A recent study shows that many old school attitudes regarding sexuality still exist, with one exception — that women are no longer the only ones who are singled out as promiscuous.
It used to be that a man who wooed multiple women was considered “successful,” while a woman who has multiple partners is “overly sexual.” However, a new study has found that society’s opinions on sexuality are changing in that regard. We seem to be moving into a society in which men are shamed for their sexuality and labeled in ways once reserved for women.
These findings were highlighted in a recent study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The UIC research team surveyed more than 19,000 students from 22 different colleges, and they asked them to reveal their opinions on men and women who had multiple sexual partners. The findings included:
Frequent hook-ups can be seen as a negative in both men and women. Survey respondents were asked if they would lose respect for a man or a woman who had numerous sexual partners. Only 12 percent of students said they would lose respect for a promiscuous woman, but not for a promiscuous man. However, 48 percent of students admitted they judge people who engage in frequent hook-ups, whether the person in question is a man or a woman.
A ‘boys will be boys’ mentality can impact a man’s perspective on male and female sexuality. Another interesting finding was that men who engaged in team sports or who were part of a fraternity were more likely to judge women’s sexual behavior negatively. While it is stereotypical to condemn all fraternity members and sportsman as people who devalue women, it does seem that those surveyed in this group tended toward judging women for hook-up behavior while not judging men.
Women judge other women for having causal sex. The survey showed that women viewed promiscuity in men with concern. Promiscuous women weren't spared the judgment and were also more likely to be negatively perceived. This suggests that even women have indoctrinated the belief that free expression of sexuality is off-limits to them and their fellow gender. It's an interesting finding which could impact the way they experience sexual desire and enjoyment in the present and the future).
Sadly, these findings show us that many double standards still exist when it comes to male and female sexuality, and yet it also shows us that men are likely to be judged for their sexual history by their peers. Until we live in a climate in which men and women are encouraged to embrace their sexuality with respect and equality, I fear that the gender wars will wage on, especially when it comes to bedroom politics. The reality is that we all have sexual desires and needs, and as long as we treat our bodies and our sexual health with respect and protection (as well as those of others), there is no need why our sexual histories need to reflect on our characters or our worth as human beings.