|Type of paper:||Argumentative essay|
|Categories:||Gender Discrimination Sexes Social issue|
Sexual double standards define the conceptualization of different judgments given to men and women depending on their expected behaviors by society. Due to sexual double standards, women and girls experience social stigma for various types of sexual activities they engage in. For instance, sexting among teens describes the contradictions that exist based on gender. According to Ringrose, Harvey, Gill, and Livingstone (2013), "sexting presents specific age and gender-related contradictions: teen girls are called upon to produce particular forms of 'sexy' self-display." It means that society expects teen girls to present themselves in a specific manner and failing to behave as such raises legal consequences, shame, and condemnation.
On the other hand, men and boys having unexpected sexual behaviors in society may be praised, unlike girls. These contradictions raise the issue of sexual double standards that explain the oppression of women in the community. The paper entails a critical reflection on the selected topic to present a position and perception on the subject of sexual double standards evident for men and women.
Oppression of Women and Praising Men for Similar Sexual Conduct
Why women are oppressed for behaving in similar ways to men is of importance in understanding what the society expects regarding the behaviors of the two genders. Lehmiller (2014) stated that men and women are similar and different depending on various facets of their sexuality. Even though men and women can behave in the same way, the effects will differ depending on the expectations of the society. Reflecting on the view of Ringrose et al. (2013), men, as well as boys, are praised for the same behaviors that women and girls will be condemned. In a study carried out by Kreager and Staff (2009), the authors established that peers did not accept teen girls with many sexual partners. However, they took adolescence boys with a high number of sexual partners. In similar behaviors, teen boys who did not participate in different sexual defeats were stigmatized by peers. Therefore, sexual activeness of girls and sexually inactive boys usually receive social repercussions due to the failure of not following the heterosexual behaviors associated with their gender roles.
I think such contradictions on how girls and boys are treated when it comes to responsible and irresponsible sexual behaviors is determined by the gender that faces the most significant adverse effects based on the societal views. Generally, the society sees girls as vulnerable when compared to boys. Lehmiller (2014) described women as a gender that is vulnerable and experiences adverse effects when compared to men. When teen girls have many sexual partners, the society fears the effects of pregnancy at a tender age and before marriage. Teen girl's sexual irresponsibility is associated with irresponsible life in adulthood, whereby, as a mother, one cannot take care of the children. When compared to boys, the society views the men gender as energetic and achievement-oriented. Accepting teen boys with a higher number of sexual partners shows the masculinity associated with men in the community. I would associate the ability to compete for many sexual partners with the feeling of achievement for boys and men, which the society supports. What people should learn is that irresponsible sexual behaviors have harmful effects on both girls and boys. Even though boys will not experience pregnancy issues at a tender age, the increasing cases of sexually transmitted diseases and reckless at adulthood is evident. Sexual double standards for irresponsible sexual conducts among girls and boys should be avoided. The society should value and promote responsible behavior for teenagers.
Women and Men Self-Display
Women and men are expected to present specific behaviors in the community, and this defines their gendered values when it comes to sexual activities. The view of Ringrose's et al. (2013) is that women and men should value their gender differently. What defines the value of men is different from women when it comes to sexual morality. Furthermore, what is immoral for girls can be considered 'moral' for boys. Kreager and Staff (2009) provided an example of the reactions of boys and girls posting, exchanging, and sharing naked images in the digital media. Boys switching and distributing nude pictures of girl's breasts were considered normal behavior. For the teen girls, it was regarded as a risky behavior that should not be promoted.
At many times, when such instances occur in the society, I find girls and women blaming each other for sharing naked pictures. It is considered a shameful behavior that promotes sexual immorality for women. I think these sexual double standards for boys and girls have defined the way of judging women harshly when the men would face little or no attention for sexual misconduct. Allison and Risman (2013) supported this view by arguing that men have a high tendency for judging and stigmatizing women who engage in casual sex and hooking up. I think these differences in displaying sexual behaviors between men are as a result of the social expectations. Lehmiller (2014) noted that the society presumes that men and women should act aggressively but in different ways. However, men are allowed more opportunities to show their aggressiveness, and this explains the view of achievement from similar sexual activities as the women.
In conclusion, sexual double standards exist for men and women with the female gender experiencing highly adverse effects for their sexual misconduct when compared to their counterparts. Research shows that social expectations on the behavior of men and women define their values when engaging in sexual acts. Unlike men, females are oppressed for engaging in similar sexual activities as men. The society expects the self-display of women to be less aggressive when it comes to sexual behavior while men have more opportunities to practice sexual aggressiveness. When reflecting on the subject of sexual double standards, people can learn why women tend to be victimized for irresponsible sexual activities when compared to men. I think that the society should change the expectations of men and women when it comes to sexual conduct. Equality should be considered when judging men and women for similar sexual activities.
Allison, R., & Risman, B. (2013). A double standard for hooking up: How far have we come toward gender equality? Social Science Research, 42(5), 1191-1206.
Kreager, D., & Staff, J. (2009). The sexual double standard and adolescent peer acceptance. Social Psychology Quarterly, 72(2), 143-164.
Lehmiller. J. (2014). The psychology of human sexuality. Wiley Blackwell Publishing. ISBN-10:1118351215.
Ringrose, J., Harvey, L., Gill, R., & Livingstone, S. (2013). Teen girld, sexual double standards, and sexting: Gendered value in digital image exchange. Feminist Theory, 14(3), 305-323.
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