Okay, so I know the title is a strong one, but please keep reading.
‘Men are trash’ that is all we hear on campus, and from people in general. While that may be true, I just want to set some things straight, not dispute the phrase. Who is to say that the trashy things men do have never been done by women of the past, present and potentially the future? Perhaps women are just not as free to speak about the ‘bad’ things they do, in fear of being shamed or judged by their own sex, men, and society in general.
The majority of men encourage each other’s liberal sexual behaviour, especially at our age, as if it is part of their societal rules- an initiation into manliness! Most of the time, women appear to support each other in the same way, but who knows what is really going on behind the scenes. Personally, I cannot think of anything trashier than judging someone about by their sexual behaviour when their back is turned (or any behaviour for that matter). I won’t base this on my personal opinion alone, instead, I will hit you with some facts first…
A recent psychological article looked at the false gender differences that the general public believe in: men focus on physical attractiveness and women favour high status (socially and financially); men think about sex more than women; women orgasm less than men; men like casual sex more; women are “choosier”. Research supports that all of these are either wrong or just exaggerated. Men and women were roughly equally liberal in a further experiment, where they were approached by a stranger either asking them on a date or for sex. In reality, women and men pretty much want the same qualities in their partners too, and women don’t actually think about, or want to have sex any less than men.
Researchers support that the differences between men and women, especially regarding sexual behaviour, are governed by the social environment that they are in. Double standards, socialization or stigma of women’s roles in relationships and society are created by us. Some theories (like the social role theory) say that our ideas of both genders are created and enforced by society. This means our behaviour, attitudes, preferences, and our “appropriateness” judgements are of our own making.
My point is that the degree of sex differences for many aspects is really low: love, stability, preferences in partner qualities and sexual behaviour, amongst others. With the new year upon us, perhaps it is time to think how we contribute to all of this ourselves. I’m not writing this article to hate on women, but to say that we shouldn’t rate how trash a person is, or has the possibility of being, based on their gender. Men can definitely be trash, but women have just as much potential.
Sources used: ‘Women, Men, and the Bedroom: Methodological and Conceptual Insights That Narrow, Reframe, and Eliminate Gender Differences in Sexuality’ by Terri D. Conley, Amy C. Moors, Jes L. Matsick, Ali Ziegler, and Brandon A. Valentine.
‘Gender Differences and Similarities in Receptivity to Sexual Invitations: Effects of Location and Risk Perception’ by Andreas M. Baranowski1 • Heiko Hecht