Biological differences between men and women matter. Because of biological differences men tend to be bigger and stronger. Because of biological differences women tend to be smaller and more flexible. Women tend to be more focused on people, men tend to be more focused on “things.” Men tend to like solving finite problems and women tend to like artistic challenges. This isn’t my opinion, these are facts based on evolutionary and biological research. As I’ve said many a time, men and women are different and that’s a beautiful thing.
It’s concerning that modern culture (starting in the 60s but really becoming a mainstream train of thought in the 90s) doesn’t recognize this when it comes to sex. TV shows, movies, books, blogs, magazines are all telling us that sex is exactly the same for men and women. What I mean is that promiscuity, one-night-stands and casual sex were once thought to have been something more sought after by men. Now we’re told that women should celebrate their participation in any of the above as well. Instead of teaching men that maybe they should be a little more like women when it comes to sexual activity, we teach women they should be more like men. At the same time, we’re told men are pigs! If that’s the case then why is the response for women to act more like men when it comes to sex?
In a perfect world, we would all live perfect sexually moral lives. In a perfect world, you could have the same conversation about sex with your son as you would your daughter. But it’s not a perfect world and people certainly aren’t perfect. Sex is different for men and women and there’s plenty of research to back up this statement.
The most obvious difference between the sexes, is that women can become pregnant. Condoms don’t always work, hormonal birth control doesn’t always work; I know of women who have gotten pregnant while using either of these contraceptives. The only way to insure you don’t get pregnant is to not have sex. The maternal death rate in the United States is around 17 deaths per 100,000 births and pregnancy also has other life changing complications. Pregnancy takes a toll on a woman’s body and is not something to be taken lightly even when planned.
If a woman conceives she can’t keep it a secret for long like a man can because a man can’t conceive. Even if a woman decides to have an abortion, there are potential side effects, including the mother’s death in some cases. If a mother wants to give the baby up for adoption, the act of carrying a life and giving birth to a baby adds an additional emotional wrinkle that sometimes leads to a mother changing her mind after initially agreeing to an adoption. Pregnancies (especially unplanned) can lead to emotional consequences that women endure but men can avoid.
For this reason my dad’s advice to my brother and I was “don’t have sex with anyone you couldn’t do business with.” I say he told this to my brother but I actually don’t know if he did but he certainly said it to me on more than one occasion. Why me and not my brother? Because it is more relevant to me. If I get pregnant and I keep the baby, I am 1) forever connected to the baby’s father even if we are not in a relationship and 2) more locked into the responsibility than he is. From conception, the mother is literally and therefore emotionally more connected to the baby, making it harder for her to run away from the responsibility.
I do know that my father told my brother, if you get a girl pregnant, you’re pregnant too, (metaphorically) but in reality, we all know that especially in the baby’s early years, from breastfeeding to dirty diapers, the mother does much of the heavy lifting.
Believe it or not, sex related injuries are a fairly common occurrence. Did you know 30% of women report having pain or discomfort the last time they had sex? This compared to only 5% of men. The pain could be due to a variety of factors including vaginal tearing, yeast infections and urinary tract infections. The main injury men get from sex that women don’t is a broken penis. Sounds pretty serious but it is extremely uncommon. To give you some perspective, In 13 years of analyzing medical records in a region with over 3 million people…researchers found only 42 patients with confirmed penile fractures. Yeast infections alone effect over 75% of women in their lifetime.
Forget pregnancy, sex is just more likely to cause overall discomfort for women.
While everyone who’s interacted with men and women know this, for some reason its controversial to say: men and women are different emotionally when it comes to sex. And there are countless studies to back this up.
The median number of sexual partners for a woman in America is three, while it’s five for a man. And let’s be real here, when it comes to gender, which one has an easier time finding someone willing to go to bed with them? I know very few females who couldn’t come home with a guy every Friday night if they wanted to. I know males who try to come home with a female every Friday night and fail most of the time. The standard for the average woman is higher than the standard for the average man. Most women report they do not marry the man who gave them “the best sex of their life,” but instead look for a loving, multi-dimensional relationship.
This theory has been tested in other experiments where a male and female walk around asking complete strangers if they would have sex with them. 75% of males agreed to have sex with a complete stranger where 0% of women agreed. This was the biggest gender difference ever discovered in psychological science. In a less scientific, but still fun version of this experiment, some YouTubers repeated the experiment finding less than 1% of women agreed to have sex with a stranger compared to 30% of men. Clearly, men are a little more eager to engage in casual sex than women, but why is that?
You may think women aren’t as into casual sex because of safety concerns, fear of pregnancy, or fear of being discovered but studies have also found that even when men and women are surveyed on the basis that none of the above concerns would be an issue, women are still far less interested in casual sex than men. Still think patriarchy is to blame? Researchers have found that in the most egalitarian societies the difference in the desire for promiscuity between gender actually grows larger. Furthermore, across all societies on Earth, even the least patriarchal, women always are less interested in casual sex.
Researchers have also found that men are far more interested in a two women, one man threesome versus a woman being interested in any threesome combination. Men are also more likely to have fantasies about short term sexual relationships. Men imagine having sex with more partners than women. Men spend more on prostitutes, strippers and porn..need I go on? This seems like common sense stuff to me, but I have to cover my bases.
So why do women crave longer term relationships? Why do women yearn for romance over cheap lust? Why is it that 84% of romance novel readers are women and romantic comedies are aptly nicknamed “chick flicks.” Because men and women process emotions differently.
Studies using brain imaging and blood tests have found that men are less reactionary to negative emotions because negative signals spend more time in the part of their brains associated with reasoning. A study out of Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal and the University of Montreal looked at the amygdala (the brain’s threat detector) and the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (the brain’s regulator of perception, reasoning and emotional regulation) and saw that these two areas interacted more with men when they viewed negative images compared to women.
Coauthor Stéphane Potvin, an associate professor at University of Montreal’s department of psychiatry, said in a press release:
“A stronger connection between these areas in men suggests they have a more analytical than emotional approach when dealing with negative emotions. It is possible that women tend to focus more on the feelings generated by these stimuli, while men remain somewhat ‘passive’ toward negative emotions, trying to analyze the stimuli and their impact.”
Ok, so that explains why perhaps women tend to be more feelings focused. (Not a bad thing by the way.) But why does sex make us (especially women) get all emotional? While I have my own spiritual theories, the science isn’t conclusive. But, sex does appears to have a much longer lasting emotional effect on women.
A study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that as a woman’s number of sexual partners went up before marriage, so did her likelihood of divorce. Women with over ten sexual partners are most likely to divorce while the odds of divorce are lowest amongst those women with one or zero premarital sex partners. The same is not said in regards to men, meaning marital success doesn’t seem to correlate with the number of partners the man has had before marriage. However, both men and women report more satisfaction with their sex life the fewer number of sexual partners they’ve had.
We all know intuitively that sex affects men and women differently, both physically and mentally. Why do so many pretend we have the same attitude? And if we’re choosing to push one attitude over the other why are we pushing the male attitude towards sex on women instead of the other way around?! Virtually all data shows that the fewer sexual partners you have, the more fulfilling your relationships will be.
If someone gives different advice to a female when it comes to sex as opposed to a male, don’t call them a sexist, perhaps they are simply acknowledging that sex has different consequences for men and women, which isn’t sexist at all. Perhaps they’re aware that a woman has more to lose every time she engages in sexual activity.
I’m not saying everyone must wait ‘til marriage or they’re doomed. But be picky about who you sleep with. Not only should it be a privilege for someone to go dancing in the sheets with you, it should contribute to a romantic connection you and your partner are both equally interested in pursuing and maintaining.