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Friday, August 05, 2011

Female Sexuality: Complicated (2/3)

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." - Dorothy Parker (attributed)


Gender Differences in Erotic Plasticity: The Female Sex Drive as Socially Flexible and Responsive

"In socially impoverished environments such as laboratories and hospitals, males consistently outperform females at estimating their own bodily reactions such as blood pressure, heartbeat, stomach contractions, respiratory resistance, finger temperature, and blood glucose levels. This gender difference disappears when measures are taken in naturalistic and meaning-rich settings, in which multiple cues about sources of feelings are available. Roberts and Pennebaker proposed that men judge their emotional and arousal responses based on direct detection of physiological cues, whereas women rely more on social and situational cues to know how they respond."

"Newborn sheep and goats were exchanged, so that the sheep were raised by goats and vice versa. After they reached adulthood, they were reunited with then: biological species, and their mating preferences were observed. Consistent with the hypothesis of female erotic plasticity, the adult females were willing to mate with either species. The males, in contrast, preferred only their adoptive species and refused to mate with their biological conspecifics, even after living exclusively with their own kind for 3 years. These results suggest that male sexual inclinations are based on a process of sexual imprinting that occurs early in life and then remains inflexible, whereas female sexual inclinations can continue to change in adulthood"

"The present investigation was initially stimulated by a conclusion drawn by Ehrenieich, Hess, and Jacobs (1986) in their history of the sexual revolution in the United States, namely, that that revolution was mainly a change in women not men. Men's sexual desires and attitudes were pretty much the same after the sexual revolution as before it, although men had more opportunities for finding satisfaction afterward. It was women who changed fundamentally. Indeed, according to Rubin (1990), women changed several times, at first embracing a promiscuous enjoyment of casual sex like men, then shifting toward a more limited permissiveness that accepted sex in affectionate relationships but did not eagerly seek out sex with strangers"

"Ard's (1977) data. When asked about their current frequency of sexual activity and their current preferences for frequency of sexual activity, the wives' answers indicated that their marital practices corresponded almost precisely to the amount of sex they wanted, whereas the men reported a significant gap between what they wanted and what they were able to have."

"Women changed their sexual standards toward being more permissive as they accumulated dating experience. Men did not seem to change as a function of dating experience"

"The relatively large bisexual community is regarded by the exclusively lesbian contingent as a threat, and the gay-bi conflict is thus greater among women than men (see, e.g., Rust, 1993). Many lesbians view bisexual women as being in transition and as denying their true sexuality, and they regard them with distrust"

"Many women swingers begin having sex with other women "in order to please their husbands or to be sociable" (p. 223) but then come to enjoy it"

"Gagnon and Simon (1968) examined homosexual activity in prisons and concluded that half the women in prison, but less than half the men (estimates range from 30% to 45%), engaged in homosexual physical acts, most of which were consensual. When one considers that (a) base rates of homosexuality are higher among men than women, (b) men force other men more than women force other women (Propper, 1981; Scacco, 1975), and (c) women can live without any sexual contact more easily than men, these results point toward a substantially greater willingness among women than men to indulge in same-sex activity during prison."

"Among elderly women, they found that church attendance strongly predicted not masturbating (19% vs. 83% for nonattenders), whereas no significant effect was found among men"

"A White female virgin at Time 1 who had a nonvirgin best female friend was six times more likely to lose her virginity by Time 2 than a White female virgin with a virgin best friend... Males showed no such effect."

"Daughters' permissive sexuality was increased by having older parents, earlier parental marriage, parental divorce, mother's premarital pregnancy, and mothers with permissive attitudes"

"Consistent with the view that lesbianism can reflect personal choice and social construction, there are reports that some females became gay for political reasons associated with the women's movement. Blumstein and Schwartz (1977) reported that some women became lesbians under the influence of political ideology that defined heterosexuality as a form of sleeping with the enemy whereas lesbianism was the only politically correct form of sexuality... 12% of a sample of lesbians (and a similar proportion of heterosexual women) cited political reasons as the basis for their sexual orientation and relationship style choice. Charbonneau and Lander (1991) found that a third of their sample of women who converted to lesbianism during midlife cited reading feminist texts as a reason, and they spoke of the feminist path to homosexuality in which lesbianism was an outgrowth of the commitment to feminism."

"Education produced only about a one-third increase in males' likelihood of engaging in anal sex (from 21% to 29%), whereas it more than doubled the women's likelihood (from 13% to 29%)."

"College education doubled men's likelihood of becoming gay, whereas for women, the likelihood increased by a factor of nine"

"Catholic males engaged in slightly more cunnilingus than the atheists and agnostics"

"More education was associated with less sexual dysfunction for women, whereas there was no significant effect for men"

"There was also a category of people making the doubtful claim that their most recent sex act had lasted more than an hour, the effects of education were not linear, reflecting perhaps some mixture of altered time perceptions and boastfulness"

"Antonovsky, Shoham, Kavenocki, Modan, and Lancet (1978) devoted special study to the inconsistency between attitudes and behavior in their study of Israeli adolescent girls, in which they found that a third of the nonvirgins endorsed as important the value of a female remaining a virgin until she married. These researchers found that such apparent self-disapproval was partly maintained by making external attributions for their past sexual experiences—yet the girls continued to engage in sex even when they disapproved of their doing so"

[Ed: I highlight this Attitude-Behavior Consistency/inconsistency between professed beliefs and actual behaviors in particular for showing how what women say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same, and that when a lady says "no", she means "maybe".

Keywords: when a lady says no; What women say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same

One can also profit by reading What Do Women Want? - Discovering What Ignites Female Desire

Of course another interpretation is sexual coercion, but this is not mutually exclusive (it also depends on how one defines 'coercion') and then we run into the complicated and contested issue of consent (also see below on "submission"). More bluntly, the only other way to explain this heterosexual attitude-behavior inconsistency is to posit a massive date rape epidemic. But then if there is a date rape epidemic, it would seem that lesbian women are also raping straight women]

"[In singles bars] only 28% of the women said they anticipated sometimes having sex with someone they had just met, but the majority (59%) had done it. The high rate of having had sex with a new acquaintance was especially remarkable in view of the findings that the women reported high rates of guilt over such activities (72%) and low rates (2%) of saying they consistently enjoyed them. The authors pointed out that this inconsistency was peculiar to women, although they had not predicted it and had no explanation"

(to be continued)

Ed: Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (1/3)
Balderdash: Female Sexuality: Complicated (3/3)
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