Entries in double standards (3)


Sexual Double Standards: Evidence from Female and Male Control Theories

The sexual double standard refers to the general perception that males who engage in casual sexual exploits are studs whereas women who do the same are sluts. Where does this double standard come from? Past work pinned it on females, who are responsible for protecting their "mate value" in the "mating marketplace." However, new research by Dr. Laurie Rudman, Janell Fetterolf, and Dr. Diana Sanchez (Rutgers University) indicates that male's perceptions of sexually permissive women are the primary contributor to this persistent sexual double standard.

Read more about this study in a post by the researchers here.


Why Is The Popular Media So Fascinated By “Cougars?”

As you may have noticed, some of Hollywood’s leading ladies have taken younger lovers and husbands in recent years. Although most people still think about the recently-dissolved Demi and Ashton (separated in age by 16 years) as the epitome of older women-younger man relationships, there are actually numerous other examples. Susan Sarandon (33 years older than her partner), Mariah Carey (+11 years), Jennifer Lopez (+18 years), Katie Couric (+17 years), and Madonna (+30ish years) are all currently involved with younger guys (click here for a few additional examples). The public and popular press alike have been fascinated by these so-called “cougar” relationships, considering them worthy of front page news. However, if you’re anything like me, you probably can’t help but wonder why these relationships are such a big deal.

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Death, Derogation, and Double Standards: What’s a Sexy Woman to Do?

You do not need to look hard for evidence that North Americans are uncomfortable with female sexuality. Women, for example, are derogated for engaging in less common sexual behaviors, like threesomes. Male sexuality, alternatively, is often viewed positively or—at worst—ambivalently. This ‘sexual double standard’, when society evaluates women negatively than men for comparable sexual behaviors, is an extensively researched phenomenon.

Perplexingly, some of the research on the double standard has indicated that men are the most likely to endorse it. Why would a man derogate a sexual woman, when it would seem to be more in his interest to encourage female promiscuity? Research conducted by Dr. Mark Landau and colleagues provides an interesting explanation for this phenomenon. According to these researchers, men degrade sexual women because these women make them feel lusty, and thereby remind men of their ‘natural creaturely origins’. If this argument seems far-fetched, bear with me. Let me explain...

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