Studs & Jezebels: How Sex Standards Hurt You
We’ve all heard this scenario: A guy sleeps with countless women and he’s a stud. A girl sleeps with two guys and she’s another four letter s-word. It’s one of the most common sexual double standards. And I’ve always had a HUGE problem with it- and not only because I’m a woman. It’s also because in my time as a doctor, I’ve witnessed the numerous psychological and physical damage that this double standard has on little girls and women who are unsuspecting victims of it. Double standards like this create issues of lowered self-esteem, negative body image, and even depression in women. It can also cause physical problems such as inability to obtain sexual arousal and even inability to obtain orgasm due to the psychological fear of being labeled a loose woman.
I recently read about a study at Pennsylvania State University that took a survey of students who entered college as virgins. Unsurprisingly, the study found that male virgins experienced a boost in self-esteem after losing their virginity, while female virgins experienced lowered self-esteem after losing their virginity. Why did this happen? Well it was determined that the major culprit was the sexual double standard in which men are crowned as studs and women are branded as much less when it comes to sex.
We see this double standard in everyday life, and even in way we perceive more prominent people. Take Jay-Z and Kanye West for example. I’ve heard countless people talk about how Jay-Z picked the “perfect wife,” while Kanye was smart to end his relationship with Amber Rose. When I asked people to explain why they felt this way, it basically boiled down to a belief that Jay-Z picked “a better woman.” To them (and many other people), Beyonce is very attractive, sexually desirable, but most importantly, she has an image of being “untainted.” But then on the flip side, many of these same people trash Amber Rose simply off the assumption that she’s possibly sleeping with multiple men. It doesn’t matter that Beyonce’s husband has openly and boastfully rapped about countless women that he has humped and dumped. Most people don’t bat an eye when it comes to his sexual rep. In fact, culturally his behavior is viewed as “normal” and even a validation of his manhood.
Is it fair? No. But many argue that such is life. It’s pretty obvious how women are unfairly targeted by sexual double standard, but others argue that even men are also victims of the same double standard. How? Well they claim that the mere “expectation” of men to have tons of sexual “conquests” in order to validate their manhood can also lead feelings of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression if a man is not able to prove to his peers that he is indeed a “real man.” So is the sexual double standard really a double edge sword that actually hurts both men and women? What do you think of the whole men being crowned as studs while women are branded as jezebels when it comes to sex?
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