Casual Sex Distresses Women?

The double standard

The double standard

Women who do casual sex are, on average, more distressed than other women.

Men who do casual sex are, on average, more confident than other men.

That’s what sociologists, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, found as they researched their book, Premarital Sex in America.

That means the double standard is neither good nor bad. It just is. They say.

Women naturally need connected sex?

The professors point out that our sexually liberated age has not freed women from experiencing depression when they do random sex. So women must be naturally more monogamous, they assume. And besides, evolutionary psychology says so.

Yet, in some cultures women have – or have had – casual sex, and seem to be just fine. Like American Indians and Pacific Islanders around the time Europeans arrived.

And even right here in America today, some women do enjoy it.

But the truth is, modern American women are not really liberated. Just listen to popular music and you will learn that while sexually active men gain status, women who behave the same way are still called “hoes.”

The double standard

The double standard

Or, we regularly see Viagra ads on TV, but no networks will air ads for women’s sex aids on daytime or primetime television. Vibrators are still illegal in some places.

Parents — especially dads — are more open about sexuality with their sons than their daughters.

And guys get high-fived by friends and acquaintances as their “number” goes up.

Meanwhile, there is still plenty of slut-shaming in our culture. One of my students was on suicide watch for months after undergoing this sort of name-calling. Another young woman who once lived a few miles away from me killed herself.

Women today are sexually liberated? With so much punishment it is no wonder that sexually active young women get more depressed.

Of course, some may be more liberated than others. After all, “who we are” is influenced by a mix of our biological personalities, the people we interact with, and our culture. So if a young woman grows up in a more sex-positive subculture, and has friends and relatives who are more sex-positive, she may be, too.

But looking at our society as a whole, nearly half of women have experienced at least one of the following indicators of sexual dysfunction: low or no interest in sex, painful sex, difficulty or inability to reach orgasm.

That is not natural. That reflects a culture that punishes girls and women for being sexual.

Direction of causality

You also have to wonder about the direction of causality when it comes to sexually active women and depression. Some of my students have talked about using sex as a way to feel good about themselves, maybe to feel attractive or loved. So these young women may start out more depressed and hope that sexual activity will make them feel better. But it’s not solving the root problem.

Plus, one study found that when virginity was lost, men’s self-esteem went up, but women’s often went down. That was largely because girls became body-conscious in bed, and ended up feeling that they weren’t attractive enough. Since guys aren’t expected to have “perfect bodies” in bed they avoid that problem.

The thing is, the double standard is harmful because it creates a vicious cycle: Women’s sexuality is punished. That lowers their interest. But then their lower interest is used to justify placing the burden of controlling men’s sexuality on women, and punishing them if they don’t adequately control it. Which represses women’s sexuality even more.

It’s not good for men. It’s not good for women. It’s not good for marriage and relationships. It’s just not good.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on January 11, 2016, in body image, feminism, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 44 Comments.

  1. Overall, women are not sexually liberated. The social pressures and atmosphere are so negative towards us, that we cannot simply enjoy sex as men do. A women’s confidence will go down simply because she is body conscious in bed while men goes up. We shouldn’t have to be worrying about they way our body looks. If a man wants to have sex with you, he should have already accepted your body the way it is. However, it is easy to become numb to this logical reasoning when women are shut down by society when expressing their sexual part of life. Ultimately, it makes sense why women would be more sexually distressed than men but it is neither healthy for men or women.

  2. Who are all those people having casual sex? Show them to me, I want to make sure they really exist…

  3. Casual relationships centered around sex between young men and woman are the new trend. Almost every young adult enters into an, at-least, semi-sexual relationship before dating. Call it “test driving the car before you buy it.” At least that’s how I have to come to look at it, from a stereotypical man perspective. Because of this new normal, I would say that casual sex is at an all time high and not going to reduce in popularity anytime soon.
    It’s important to recognize that not all of casual sex is a mans idea. I believe that woman want to have “no strings attached” sex perhaps just as much as men. But, that they’re sometimes impaired by a biological impulse to seek connection from their sexual partner. Woman that claim to have a heart of rock and iron ovaries can sometimes be the most vulnerable to post-sex depression. Reason being, she is choosing to block off all of her emotions rather than dealing unsettlement in her heart. Maybe being slut-shame from others and then even herself. Once you grow up in a society that tells you certain things are wrong, it’s very hard to rewire your brain to not think-twice about those things. So woman trying to prove their power through this new path of sex can actually create a larger challenge for their subconscious mind trying to filter all of the mixed psychology in ones life.

  4. Sexual energy – when is society realized that it is not a thing to be controlled/stolen/suppressed? Yet the world keeps trying- to all of our detriment. violence against women, sexual dissatisfaction, health issues – and meantime, people are missing out on the authentic connection, intimacy, and unadulterated pleasure.

    • There are a lot of connections of the double standard to dominator societies – patriarchy. And a lot of costs. I plan to write more on this in the future.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  5. I was actually astonished when I first heard apps like “Tinder” exists. The initiatives of this app was online dating, but people use it mostly for casual sex hunting tool. Coming from a comparably conservative culture, I see casual sex as something wrong to do disregard the gender. But when I think about it deeply, even in my culture, women do get judged more than men do in terms of casual sex. I had a roommate back in high school, she had a one-night stand and got pregnant at the age of 15. When my classmates talk about this, they called her a “slut” and many other harsh words. I was one of those mean people back then, but I look at it now, she did not do anything wrong. Women can have other forms of sex like guys do. It is just that she could have had more protections when she did it.

    • And interestingly, women are much more likely to use protection when they don’t feel ashamed about having casual sex.

      • Should they not be using protection regardless? Look at all those women who were schtupping Tiger Woods without protection…

        There is a lot of free-wheeling behavior when it comes to casual sex….Hence the higher rates of STDs among such participants.

      • I am only for casual sex if it doesn’t cause harm. Of course, you can’t legislate it — usually. That’s just my criteria.

        I’ll answer your other question a little later. Got to go right now.

  6. Growing up and being raised by a single father and an older brother wasn’t as bad as it may sound to some. but my dad was more strict on me then my brother, giving him certain advice and giving me something completely different, for example “never have sex until you’re married” and telling my brother the opposite. Its something that gets planted in our heads at a very young age that having sex with multiple guys is wrong and having sex with one guy is more accepted. Women get scared and think that casual sex is something that we should never think about, but i think that women should definitely explore and never feel in distress even with casual sex because everyone need to know and feel good about their bodies.

    • Thanks for sharing. I hope you don’t mind if I quote you sometime.

    • @ JM,

      “…..but i think that women should definitely explore….”

      This is because you as a woman CAN explore to a much greater degree than most men. Women do have privilege when it comes to dating and sex. Only women can talk about “exploring.” Most men have difficulty “exploring.”

      Why do you think there are prostitutes? If men could explore to the extent that women can, they would be able to get sex far more easily than having to pay for it.

      Just ask yourself…who is more likely to get laid on a night out? An average looking man or an average looking woman? Be honest, please. Can you average looking guy walk up to a woman and say, “You’re cute….I want to take you home?” He is creep. But, if a woman does it….she is likely to get what she wants. Right?

      I just do not grasp why so few women cannot see this! But, I chalk up to the same dynamic at work when it comes to white male privilege or white privilege.

  7. I plan to comment on this blog specifically, but I was wondering if you were going to write a blog about the Cologne attacks that happened on new years in Germany. There’s a lot of things bothering me. My uncle is from there and germany has always seemed like a decent country and many ways a lot of the european countries are better than america with how women are treated. But i don’t know what’s happening now. There’s like various things from different perspectives that bother me other than the attacks obviously. But first what’s bothersome is why was the police understaffed, is it corrupt politics going elsewhere, which happens and where cuts happen? Is it the police force? what about the mayor? She said something surprisingly victim blaming and yet she’s a woman. I read how this view and treatment of some stuff I guess in some parts of germany is not common or new. But then I see this was an organized attack like paris, where thousands of men from different parts of germany all attacked in different parts around same time on new years, so it was pre planned.

    So I’m trying to be balanced and put blame on other things, but and while I think many muslims are peaceful and there are bad apples from any race, religious group, etc. It’s one thing to allow refugees, which is fine, it’s another thing to be so open to it, that they apparently aren’t vetting or screening well enough perhaps that “wolves in sheeps skin” are coming through? The men from police reports or basically 90% of the men were either asylum seekers or muslim and arab immigrant descent. So some having come through or living there are not adopting to what should be human norms, but their ways of treating women. What bothers me is when a country, politicians are so scared of being politically correct that they don’t take care of it or be more strict on immigration and just handling things, where women have to pay for it. I mean this is bullshit, this should never have happened and these dirtbag men didn’t even care about the police of were scared and total disregard of women, germany police force etc. I hope if this happens again, or they try it again the police don’t try to be polite, but just shoot the fuckers.

    • Thanks for asking about this. I’ll try to write something for Friday.

      • Yeah I think it’s a good one to talk about, because it’s a big story, is recent and so many layers to it. To politics, culture, to extremeists and how this all boils together unfortunately for women to pay for it. Women groped, surrounded, and robbed, and just a scary situation and good to discuss. I hope germany gets their act together and fast so that shit doesn’t happen again. Ridiculous.

      • I won’t be able to talk about everything in one blog post, so I’m sure I will hear from you again on things left out. But I am in the process of writing something for Friday.

  8. It’s sad women have to feel bad about their bodies and themselves from having sex because of how they are viewed for it. As well as how men may treat them as a result. But I mean isn;t it also sad that boys or men, have their esteem rise after having sex for the first time? Isn;t that a sad thing too? Because that means boys esteem can’t be too high or having to feel that good if they are virgins right? What does that say about a man’s innate self esteem and worth if it’s so dependent on women and sex?

    Pretty troubling too. It’s sad that women get too much attention and over done on sexual treatment toward them so while men wish they got more, women get too much of it and it’s not good. But women don’t understand from the male perspective either, as being the sex that is seen as sexy, and the lusted after sex, Women may not feel good about their body, but yet know at the same time they have bodies and body parts that men lust after. Men don’t feel bad about their bodies usually to the extent or frequency of women, but men don’t also or many times don’t have much of a concept of their bodies being much agencies of lust from women or esteem of women wanting sex, because of how women aren’t visual as much and because men have to pursue and approach and take all the right steps and dates to have sex. So a process and never knowing and any move, a woman can find him boring or something and flake out, be turned off and what seemed like was leading to sex now not so. Men arent fickle or turned off so easily as women. So a man doesn’t know he’s desirbale until the point he’s actually having sex with a woman. I think it’s human nature to want to be not just loved, but to be desired sexually right? We are sexual beings, sex is natural. Is it not natural to want to be desire by the opposite sex if that’s what you are attracted, especially as a man who is so attracted to women, but have no clue or may feel women aren’t so to you, until actually having sex with a woman?

    • Well, you are just a treasure trove of blog post ideas!

      So I will be writing more about all of this later. Below are some bullet points I’ve written to myself in terms of future blog posts on all of these topics, which are related by the facts that:

      1. patriarchy is to blame
      2. And yet if you look at a lot of “Men’s rights” sites you’ll find women being blamed, or anger directed at women

      Conquering women
      And making it hard to conquer women, By shaming them. It means more when the men win the game
      And up with poor self-esteem for men and women alike
      And often end up blaming women instead of powerful men at the top of the hierarchy who keep this going (Women certainly don’t benefit from being pawns in the game); creating a sense of the other as an enemy encourages dominance culture
      Only benefits men at the top of the hierarchy
      Why do men at the top of the hierarchy do it?
      The man can be winners — but are they happy? Lack loving connection
      Dominant culture: it’s easier for those on talk to rule if you create the mindset
      And mostly, everyone simply internalizes the mindset so that it seems natural and normal, And no one thinks to question it. You just try to win the game, and have high self-esteem that way, By being a winner

      Women are the sex objects when men have control of ideas — which can then even be internalized by women, so that women women use women as a sexy sex when selling products
      Men have to be the ones who pursue — be the leaders

      Then create a double standard so that women are punished for having sex with a man

  9. I know this isn’t related, but I sometimes nice things are nice to see as in simply a humanitarian thing. I saw this on fb and liked it and thought I’d share it. http://www.fox26houston.com/news/72341033-story

  10. double standards – will we ever be free of them?

  11. “Men who do casual sex are, on average, more confident than other men.”

    Of course! But, it is their success that causes the confidence. Sex does breed confidence (and general overall happiness) in men. Success at anything leads to more confidence.

    “Just listen to popular music and you will learn that while sexually active men gain status, women who behave the same way are still called “hoes.””

    And no where is more status gained by those men than from women! Look at how women cater to and flock to playboys and womanizing men….even if he is a cockroach.

    “And guys get high-fived by friends and acquaintances as their “number” goes up.”

    They also get a lot of praise and additional “rewards” from women too. As I have said many many times, if women would stop rewarding these kinds of men things would change. But, women impose no penalties on whoring men. Just the opposite. Instead, these get praise and even more sex! The more women a man has sex with, the more women who want to have sex with him. Just a fact. So, whose fault is this?

    “That reflects a culture that punishes girls and women for being sexual.”

    True. no argument here.

    Women also impose a double standard on men as well. They have a preference for sex with one particular type of man. Meanwhile, most men are frozen out. Then later in their 30s and 40s when a woman wants to settle down, she shows a preference for another type: the ones she has eschewed. When these men are no longer interested (or are now playing the field like the women), these same women complain ad nauseum about the lack of “good’ men. Even if they are successful in getting said good man, usually this man is treated in a shitty manner when it comes to sex. So, women too practice a double standard as well.

    Bottom line: There is a price to be paid for casual sex, period. It might be unfair. It might not be unfair. As a man, am I not entitled to want what I want as well. Be it biology, socialization, patriarchy…whatever…most men do not want a wife who has engaged in a lot of casual sex. i see nothing wrong with this so long as the man has refrained from this behavior himself, such as myself. I want what I want too! What’s wrong with that?

    “The thing is, the double standard is harmful because it creates a vicious cycle: Women’s sexuality is punished……”

    And men’s sexuality or lack thereof is not adversely impacted? If women find most men unattractive and not good enough, just how in God’s name can you not see this as not being harmful to men. If women RAISED the bar for sex with “good” men but keep it low to nonexistent for shitty men, just what do you expect?

    Women want good men to put in effort and make an investment in them for long term and serious relationships. Yet no such demand is made of these other men they want to have casual sex with. Be logical. If you are a man, which man would you want to be? The one who gets sex with no effort and investment or the one who has to put in effort and investment? The choice is obvious!

    • It’s generally hard for me to get through comments that are this long — and so many comments at once. So it would be helpful if you what write short comments. But I will make an exception this time. My response:

      “Men who do casual sex are, on average, more confident than other men.”

      Of course! But, it is their success that causes the confidence. Sex does breed confidence (and general overall happiness) in men. Success at anything leads to more confidence.

      Sometimes that is true but usually it’s not. Men who have sex with lots of women typically face A LOT OF rejection. Men who have sex with a lot of women typically ask hundreds of women before one will have sex with them. But they’re so self-confident that it has no effect on their self-esteem. I actually know one of these men. Whenever I go to conferences with him he is busy trying to hit on everyone, And sell them have any success. I don’t know how we can take it. But it has no effect on his self-esteem, Which is very high. He hits on me in clusters and he drives me C R A Z Y !!!!!! But since we are both working to lobby Congress on anti-poverty measures, I forgive him — and like I said, I have been so angry with him that he doesn’t do it too often anymore, And is very subtle when he does.

      “Just listen to popular music and you will learn that while sexually active men gain status, women who behave the same way are still called “hoes.””

      And no where is more status gained by those men than from women! Look at how women cater to and flock to playboys and womanizing men….even if he is a cockroach.

      “And guys get high-fived by friends and acquaintances as their “number” goes up.”

      They also get a lot of praise and additional “rewards” from women too. As I have said many many times, if women would stop rewarding these kinds of men things would change. But, women impose no penalties on whoring men. Just the opposite. Instead, these get praise and even more sex! The more women a man has sex with, the more women who want to have sex with him. Just a fact. So, whose fault is this?

      Men who sleep with a lot of women don’t get MORE status among women than men, But “players” can gain status among women both women and men. (And sometimes women see them as “man whores,” and don’t like them.) But internalized patriarchy lies behind the phenomenon when they gain status among women and men alike. When you look at popularity, we tend to have higher esteem for people that other people value. (when a lot of people value someone, Like a celebrity, the value seems “objective” — BECAUSE it is widely believed. So, for instance, if you have a fraternity where guys get points for “Scoring” with a lot of women, then that guy gains status in his fraternity. This high status makes him popular with everyone. But it is in patriarchy that men get points for “Scoring” by bedding/”Conquering” many women. Everyone tends to internalize cultural values, And here both women and men are internalizing values that harm women but which come from patriarchy.

      “That reflects a culture that punishes girls and women for being sexual.”

      True. no argument here.

      Women also impose a double standard on men as well. They have a preference for sex with one particular type of man. Meanwhile, most men are frozen out. Then later in their 30s and 40s when a woman wants to settle down, she shows a preference for another type: the ones she has eschewed. When these men are no longer interested (or are now playing the field like the women), these same women complain ad nauseum about the lack of “good’ men. Even if they are successful in getting said good man, usually this man is treated in a shitty manner when it comes to sex. So, women too practice a double standard as well.

      I don’t know how true that is. It doesn’t fit my experience. And like I said, most men who sleep with lots of women face tons of rejection. Nearly all men get married at some point. All of my friends have married good guys.

      Bottom line: There is a price to be paid for casual sex, period. It might be unfair. It might not be unfair. As a man, am I not entitled to want what I want as well. Be it biology, socialization, patriarchy…whatever…most men do not want a wife who has engaged in a lot of casual sex. i see nothing wrong with this so long as the man has refrained from this behavior himself, such as myself. I want what I want too! What’s wrong with that?

      Well since I don’t agree with your other points I don’t agree with this one either. Women with low self-esteem are the ones were usually having a lot of casual sex. And almost everyone ends up marrying eventually. And to the extent that there’re fewer options as you age, that goes for both women and men. Have you seen this article from the New York Times? http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/01/08/fashion/mens-style/new-york-bachelors-yearn-for-more.html?_r=0

      Plus, it’s not like men won’t marry women because “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” (a phrase that is quite degrading I think). See these, for instance:

      Profound Relationship vs Intense Sex
      https://broadblogs.com/2014/06/02/profound-relationship-vs-intense-sex/
      How Guys Think About Sex & Dating
      https://broadblogs.com/2014/01/06/how-guys-think-about-sex-dating/
      Guys Just Wanna Have Relationships?
      https://broadblogs.com/2012/11/28/guys-just-wanna-have-relationships/
      Hookup Culture
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/10/10/hookup-culture/
      Getting Creeped Out to Fit In
      https://broadblogs.com/2014/01/13/getting-creeped-out-to-fit-in/

      “The thing is, the double standard is harmful because it creates a vicious cycle: Women’s sexuality is punished……”

      And men’s sexuality or lack thereof is not adversely impacted? If women find most men unattractive and not good enough, just how in God’s name can you not see this as not being harmful to men. If women RAISED the bar for sex with “good” men but keep it low to nonexistent for shitty men, just what do you expect?

      Women’s sexuality is much more repressed than men’s. And women’s sexuality is much more responsive to repression than men’s — I’ll be writing about this more later. And the reason why women are more picky is because their sexuality is more repressed, So it takes more to get them interested. That’s due to patriarchy. And so you have patriarchy harming both women and men (as both women and men internalize a patriarchal culture), but women getting blamed for it here.

      Women want good men to put in effort and make an investment in them for long term and serious relationships. Yet no such demand is made of these other men they want to have casual sex with. Be logical. If you are a man, which man would you want to be? The one who gets sex with no effort and investment or the one who has to put in effort and investment? The choice is obvious!

      And the thing is that neither men nor women are having as much casual sex as you seem to think they are:

      Hookup Culture
      https://broadblogs.com/2011/10/10/hookup-culture/
      Getting Creeped Out to Fit In
      https://broadblogs.com/2014/01/13/getting-creeped-out-to-fit-in/

    • By the way, our dialogue provoked an idea for blog post, And as I was writing it I reread this part:

      “There is a price to be paid for casual sex, period… i see nothing wrong with (not doing casual sex) so long as the man has refrained from this behavior himself, such as myself. I want what I want too! What’s wrong with that?”

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

      I just want to note that as a man you have been raised in a much more sex-positive society than women have, and yet you still see good reasons not to have casual sex. I think that one can have a sex-positive outlook and still decide that casual sex is not for them. And for many good reasons, at that: the possibilities of pregnancy, disease, and props just a general distaste for, or disinterest in, nonemotional sex. Which many men– like you–can see. Even though they were raised in a fairly sex-positive society (compared with women). That’s why I believe that one can be both sex-positive and responsible.

  12. Patriarchy?

    As President Reagan said, “There you go again!”

    Btw, President Carter was right. I happen to believe, even as a conservative, that the most efficient health care system is a single-payer type system. Even free market Hong Kong has such a system.

    Just poking a little fun at you..

  13. I have thought about having casual sex myself, but I have never really went through with it, or thought about actually pulling it off when I was single. The reason being was because I thought about my future partner. Not in a way that I would think about the past encounters that I have had before him, but in a way that I am saving myself for someone that cares for me. I do not think that it is a bad thing that women have casual sex, I myself know women that enjoy the casual relations rather than having to commit to one person. I understand why they would feel that way, as for me I would rather just have the emotional connection with someone and save myself. I am the type of person that would constantly re-think about things that are completely unnecessary, so I do not believe that I myself would pull something like a casual sex encounter with anyone.

    I may be brainwashed and subconsciously thinking that it is not okay for a girl to just sleep around. I just genuinely do not want to do anything that I will regret when I am ready to settle down. There are plenty of repercussions that follow with encounters like that. There are awkward meet ups in future times, like if you are at a grocery store with a family member and you see the person. You will obviously feel extremely uncomfortable with yourself.

    I do not think that I will be able to deal with some embarrassing. I always overthink, under-think, and sometimes just worry too much to be able to pull off anything that does not have anything that I can re-assure myself with.

    • Women are disempowered sexually when they act inauthentically. For some women that means having sex when they don’t really want to. For other Women that would mean rejecting their sexuality because they see it as dirty. And then there are all sorts of in-between’s.

  14. I completely agree that there is a double standard when it comes to women having casual sex vs men. Our society is still stuck on the idea that only men can explore their sexuality with multiple partners. Yes more and more women are speaking up about enjoying having casual sex without a real relationship but they are judged. The higher the women number of sexual partners the more she is looked down upon. Young women are being victimized by slut shaming if they choose sexual liberation. Growing up men in my family made it a point that a young lady waits for true love or marriage because casual sex was only something men were allowed to partake in. Sadly I do not find it surprising that women’s self-esteem lowers after losing their virginity due to poor body image. Women are held to a different standard during sex to have the perfect body. This double standard on casual sex is harmful and will not be ending soon. This is a shame because everyone has the right to feel good about themselves and their bodies.

  15. In contrast to this article, I actually think that the social stigma that casual sex distress women is becoming less and less relevant. To me, it is now the complete opposite. Women praise other women for having casual sex and having multiple sex partners. Women feel empowered to be able to do the same thing men have been doing for a considerable amount of years. Sure, there are still plenty of cases where there are double standards for women (especially in work environments) but casual sex is no longer taboo and women who practice plenty of it is no longer seen as a “hoe” or a disgrace to all women.
    I think what people are truly looking for is honesty from the get-go and no more of the chasing game. Especially in our fast-paced society today, people want things directly up front and quick. Men are known for just wanting casual sex without any of the relationship titles or responsibilities. I can strongly say that women these days want the same thing as well. Women are not just relationship-type creatures. People don’t make time to get to know their possible future partners anymore nor do they even want to. This is why a significant amount of dating websites and apps have been created over the past few years. There are even apps for people who are just looking to hook up with someone. And guess what? Women partake in these avenues!

    • Most everyone thinks that everyone else is the same as them and their friends. But birds of a feather do tend to flock together.

      The point of social science research is to help us to get past personal experiences to see what is more common throughout a society. And there is a lot of evidence that other women are not as similar to your experience as you might think.

      Sexual dysfunction is still high among young women. In fact, women are more likely to be able to orgasm, and orgasm more easily, as they get older. And that is largely because they are less likely to feel guilty about having sex as they age and enter into socially sanctioned relationships.

      And slut-shaming is still prevalent. As I mentioned in the post, one of my students in the socially liberal San Francisco Bay Area was on suicide watch for several months from being shamed. Another young woman who lived a few miles away from me committed suicide after being slut-shamed.

      As I said in my post:
      “Of course, some may be more liberated than others. After all, “who we are” is influenced by a mix of our biological personalities, the people we interact with, and our culture. So if a young woman grows up in a more sex-positive subculture, and has friends and relatives who are more sex-positive, she may be, too.”

      So, Lucky you to be one of these young women.

      And for people who want to put their heads in the sand about the way that wome’s sexuality continues to be punished and repressed, I have a warning: things will never change if you do that. Things won’t change until we recognize that there is a problem and work to remedy it.

      But if you do think that most young women share your sex-positive experience, I’m wondering what your theory is as to why the more sex women have with random people, the more distressed they are?

  16. It is so sad to see double standards still existing, with all the advancements made throughout history. These double standards will cease to exist no matter how far into the future we go. During high school sex have always been a huge topic with many double standards. For example, girls in high school are made fun of for being virgins but when they do decided to become physically active they are seen as “hoes” which lowers girls self esteems. So either choice a girl decides to take she will continue to be judged in negative way. It is sad to say that girls will continue to devalue themselves because of these ridiculous standards set on women that should be out of their own free will.

    • It’s a really tough double bind to find yourself in – to find that exact space where you don’t get punished. But I have hope for the future that things can and will change.

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