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Taking Sex Differences Seriously – Chapter 5 (Pages 96-113)

March 1, 2013 | NeW Team

Chapter 5 outlines the Sexual Revolution which occurred in the 1960s.  Three major components made up one of the least talked about but most highly influential revolutions: 1) the invention of the birth control pill, 2) a shift of ideology, and 3) the rise of radical feminism. From sex being pro-creative to recreational, from a serious of wars to focusing on love, happiness and freedom to do whatever you want, and from traditional family values to alternative lifestyles, the 1960s changed America forever. One result from the 1960s that sticks with us today is the double standard of women. What is your take on the double standard? Does it exist? There is often a labeling of men as studs and women as sluts if they engage in the same behavior. And, the media and culture often support men in going for what they want, and that they can have it all. In fact,

…of sixty-seven traits enumerated in a survey, American men “regard infidelity as the least desirable characteristic in a wife.” (Page 98)

Where does this double standard come from? The media? Culture? Our parenting? Rhoads brings up an interesting point that parents are often a lot more concerned about what their daughters are doing rather than their sons, is this what’s creating the difference? He also studied Cosmopolitan for a year, finding that the way sex is talked about is often very technical and recreational, rather than about emotions involved. Other books we have read in NeW and others I have read outside of NeW suggest research into what this type of thinking does to young women, leaving them lonely, heartbroken and depressed. Is college the place where most women experience this mindset?

The Glenn/Marquardt study, which notes that only 40 percent of college women ever hook up…Their phone poll asked the female college students how they felt a day or two after the hookup. Those questioned were given eight words, three positive and five negative and were asked which fit. Of the four words that drew the most agreement, all between 52 and 62 percent, two are favorable-adventurous and desirable- and two negative-awkward and confused. (Page 102)

Rhoads also discusses on page 108 why women think of sex differently than men, 1) they think about the risk of pregnancy, 2) men fall in love with women who wait, 3) sexual behavior without emotional investment often brings them a lot of pain, and 4) women are more susceptible to STDs. This chapter presented so much information, Marian is going to finish the rest of it next week. What do you think about the sexual revolution? Did you learn anything new? Which component do you think had the biggest effect on our lives?

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