Friday, January 20, 2012

Cultural Suppression of Female Sexuality

An interesting find via Reddit. Thanks Sigi1, certainly an interesting paper:Cultural Suppression of Female Sexuality (2002). I cite:

Four theories about cultural suppression of female sexuality are evaluated. Data are reviewed on cross-cultural differences in power and sex ratios, reactions to the sexual revolution, direct restraining influences on adolescent and adult female sexuality, double standard patterns of sexual morality, female genital surgery, legal and religious restrictions on sex, prostitution and pornography, and sexual deception. The view that men suppress female sexuality received hardly any support and is flatly contradicted by some findings. Instead, the evidence favors the view that women have worked to stifle
each other’s sexuality because sex is a limited resource that women use to negotiate with men, and scarcity gives women an advantage.

[...]

The most compelling evidence, in our view, involved the direct influences on adolescent female sexuality, because any culture that wanted to suppress female sexuality would probably direct its strongest efforts toward newly pubescent females. These data uniformly supported the female control theory: Almost all influences on female adolescent sexuality are female, and the sole male influence (the boyfriend) tends to operate to promote rather than suppress female sexuality. Put simply, the influences that restrain female adolescent sexuality are female. Evidence about adult female sexuality converged with the evidence about adolescent influences. Adult women seem more disapproving of female premarital sex and other female sexual activity than adult men. Women have supported the double standard more strongly than men. The more extreme evidence about surgical interventions designed to curb female sexual responses likewise pointed toward female rather than male control.

[...]

Finally, sexual deception seemed most consistent with the female theory. Women conceal their interest in sex from prospective partners, which would be most relevant to negotiating the terms of what the man will exchange for sex. The male control hypothesis that men want to stifle their wives’ sexuality is contradicted by evidence that women pretend to have more rather than less pleasure than they actually have (such as by faking orgasms).


Pretty interesting and also reminds me of a study I have floating around, Study: Displaying cleavage, sexiness can alienate other women:

New University of Ottawa research documented women's aggression against other women wearing revealing outfits; women showing too much leg or cleavage are likely to be ostracized from female social circles as dangerous rivals, the scientists claimed.

[...]

In background information, the researchers noted that competition among males over sexual access to females has been documented extensively for many species, including humans, while relatively few studies have examined intrasexual competition among women over attention from males.
According to Vaillancourt and her team, these results fill a gap by providing evidence that women also see their sexy counterparts as threatening rivals and react against them aggressively.

Not gonna edit....I guess I have to ask thesaurus for a good "interesting" alternative the next time. Ah well, it is all about the data anyway.

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