May 112003
Authors: J.J. Babb

A man with a large number of partners — the nobler the stud.

A sexually-aggressive woman – the sleazier the slut.

A man having one-night-stands – the cooler the guy.

A woman seeking sex – the dirtier the whore.

The sexual double standard: the gender issue exists today as much as ever.

Since we were born, women have been encouraged to keep their sexual selves private, while men are taught to experiment and vocalize theirs. In fact, men who do not make their sexual feelings known are labeled strange. Men are also granted greater sexual freedom, while women are held back. But possibly the largest problem in raising women takes place as they are taught, “you must have feelings of love to have a sexual experience.”

These societal norms and beliefs lead women and men to believe these are the truths about sexuality, although they are merely societal morals differing from culture to culture. Cultural and societal beliefs influence learning and learning influences our behavior and experiences, causing women to be less sexual and thus the ideas are proven true.

But what happens when a woman steps beyond the common sexual stereotypes in our society? She is usually labeled a slut.

As I discussed these ideas with friends and acquaintances over the last few weeks, it became clear a woman wanting sex, seeking sex, having sex and talking about sex is strange…. sometimes “cool,” sometimes not so great.

Why can men discuss their sexual adventures with their friends and be considered a stud, and women must be more cautious?

According to a study done by Lauman, Michael and Michaels published in The Social Organization of Sexuality journal, women experience sexual thoughts less than half as often as men.

Now this may be physical, yet there are probably a great number of women who deny telling anyone the number of sexual thoughts, feelings or experiences due to the guilt associated with being a sexual person. The majority of this guilt may not come from men, but from women themselves forcing judgments on other women.

Some may argue the success of HBO’s show “Sex in the City,” demonstrates the lessening of these stereotypes. This may be the case for women somewhere, but not for us here at CSU.

Why may a man be outward about his sex life and enjoyment of it, but a woman must discuss it among her friends in whispers?

Sex is wonderful. It feels good and it’s fun. As long as the participants are safe, there should be no problems with being sexually active. There should also be no qualms with being open about sex in general.

We must embrace our sexuality as women. We must not fear being labeled as sluts or whores, and just be who we are. If you are waiting until marriage to have sex, the more power to you. If you enjoy the fun of one-night-stands and use protection, the more power to you.

I challenge each of you to examine your own sexual stereotypes and decide for yourself what makes one a slut or a stud and keep your views consistent, especially across gender lines.

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