Jan. 12th, 2010

manifesta: (Psych Major)

From Dear Author, on female sexuality and romance:

"For me, the critical issue is that as a society we continue to value a woman’s sexual status and we give value to women (or take it away) based on this status. Society justifies whether a woman deserved sexual assault or even rape based on whether she appears sexually demure enough."

Several commentors made the distinction between having random sex and embracing sexuality-- a distinction I don't agree with. Random hook-ups can be just as fulfilling as planned sex within a relationship, and the notion that sex should only occur within a relationship is simply the other side of the coin that says women should only have sex with a single partner and--as seen in many romance novels--that that partner must be their True Love. This isn't a rule that's placed on romance heroes, which is part of the point Janet tried to make.

Further, women or men who choose to pursue multi-partner relationships or random play are not necessarily psychologically driven by traumatic factors to do so. Some, yes. Others make the conscious decision to do so because that's what they're into.

There's also a lot of fail in the comments regarding the biological differences in the sexuality of men and women. Given the many alternative sexual practices, including but not limited to homosexuality, transsexuality, asexuality, and poly lifestyles, and that women and men are not nearly as different as we tend to believe (see Janet Shibley Hyde's Gender Similarity Hypothesis), I'm not convinced that men and women are driven by separate evolutionary forces. Culture is far more important in determining whether men sleep around more or women stick with a single partner. If men are lauded as studs for having sex with as many women as possible and women are chastised for having sex with more than one man, it is no longer biological forces that shape men and women's sexuality, but society.

That said, when discussing the supposed differences between men and women, there are other types of information aside from evolutionary psychology that can be applied. Try developmental or social cognitive theory. Anthropological and sociological sources would also be good. Ev psych ain't everything, y'all.