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Thread: abstinence double standard

  1. #1
    solid motherhubbard's Avatar
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    abstinence double standard

    I had to drive over to a little town some distance from my home today. On the way there and back there were several billboards about abstinence. These are updated regularly and have been along the road in that area for as long as I can remember. Today they struck me. I had never noticed before that these signs target girls exclusively. If Scheherazade hadn’t mentioned in the Parents thread that all of the discussion had been about mothers I doubt I would have noticed.

    So do you think that there is a double standard when it comes to sexuality? Should men be expected to abstain or is that just not manly?

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    (: sprinks's Avatar
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    Hmm... Interesting. It does seem that it is always women and girls that are expected to stay 'pure'. Very rarely do I hear of guys abstaining, unless they are devout to their religion. But even still, I've been involved in situations where the guy was very religious, but it didn't stop him from trying to simulate sex in as many ways as possible, just without actually doing it.
    I do think it is unfair that often guys can do what they want and be cheered on by their friends for it, and if girls were to do the same they would be labelled a 'slut'.

    As for if guys should abstain, I think it is, and should be, personal choice. Just so long as they are careful and all. As is the same for girls.

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    Registered User Joreads's Avatar
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    Yes there is a double standard. There is a pretty nasty word for girls that get around where as boys are called Stud's. If that is not a double standard I don't what is

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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motherhubbard View Post
    I had to drive over to a little town some distance from my home today. On the way there and back there were several billboards about abstinence. These are updated regularly and have been along the road in that area for as long as I can remember. Today they struck me. I had never noticed before that these signs target girls exclusively. If Scheherazade hadn’t mentioned in the Parents thread that all of the discussion had been about mothers I doubt I would have noticed.

    So do you think that there is a double standard when it comes to sexuality? Should men be expected to abstain or is that just not manly?
    If women are abstaining, I guess the guys will have to.

    Stuff like this just makes me glad I live on a different planet.

    If anyone started that here, they'd be laughed out off this one. We love sex!

    You're dead right about the double standard, though.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  5. #5
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    If women are abstaining, I guess the guys will have to.
    Not so much.

    In certain cultures, women do abstain but that does not stop men from looking for alternative ways of... releasing their frustration.

    Motherhubbard> Thank you very much for this thread. I believe double standards are everywhere and it is an issue that is very close to my heart because I have been on the receiving end of this on more than one occasion.
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    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  6. #6
    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    In certain cultures, women do abstain but that does not stop men from looking for alternative ways of... releasing their frustration.
    Yes I was being flippant, but you're right, reality does cause some moral dilemmas!

    Samoans & fa'afafine are a classic example.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

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    biting writer
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    I've been abstaining since my engagement failed in 05 , but I think the promotion of abstinence is flawed, at best, not that sex education is a much better deterrent. I may be a world away from sixteen now, but I remember being the age, and the only thing that protected me from an STD then was my disability. Any reasonably well built able-bodied male, particularly if they were Italian, sent the hormone meter into overdrive.

    Double standard? Definitely, but I am not sure what corrective measures would serve. Second wave feminism not only seems to be making its last stand, in various instances, but is also giving way to its daughters ahead of it, and that generation is much more ambivalent about *the second sex box".

    Interesting topic motherhubbard, thanks!
    Last edited by Jozanny; 07-11-2008 at 10:01 AM. Reason: needed an adverb

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Not so much.

    In certain cultures, women do abstain but that does not stop men from looking for alternative ways of... releasing their frustration.
    This is something I noticed while living in Azerbaijan for the Peace Corps. The women were expected to be abstinent until marriage, even to the extent of having the family members examine the bedsheets after the wedding night. On the other hand, men are not only permitted, but expected, to visit prostitutes regularly before (and, frequently, during) marriage. Many of the female volunteers were viewed as prostitutes because of the image of American women they receive from popular culture. It was like I was living in Pat Robertson's utopia.
    "A man must dream a long time in order to act with grandeur, and dreaming is nursed in darkness." -- Jean Genet

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    Suzerain of Cost&Caution SleepyWitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motherhubbard View Post
    I had to drive over to a little town some distance from my home today. On the way there and back there were several billboards about abstinence. These are updated regularly and have been along the road in that area for as long as I can remember. Today they struck me. I had never noticed before that these signs target girls exclusively. If Scheherazade hadn’t mentioned in the Parents thread that all of the discussion had been about mothers I doubt I would have noticed.

    So do you think that there is a double standard when it comes to sexuality? Should men be expected to abstain or is that just not manly?
    apart from the slut issue, the people who run these campaigns probably assume that it's easier for girls to abstain, seeing as we are more level-headed and hardly have any sexual desires at all. after all, girls can't have an orgasm anyway and if they have sex, they only do it out of pity for the guys and just freeze and let them do it. *IRONIC* Welcome to the 19th century.
    aaaaaaaaaaaargh
    personally, I don't think abstinence is a very reliable contraceptive. if people choose to be abstinent for religious or personal reasons that's fine by me. I abstained for three years myself before I met my bf. but I see abstinence as a kind of life-style choice (or whatever you call them), not as a contraceptive. you just can't expect teenagers to keep their hormones at bay 24/7, so it's better to teach them about condoms, because condoms are both contraceptives and protect you against any STD.

  10. #10
    solid motherhubbard's Avatar
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    Do men think that their sexual desires are really greater than a woman's and therefore cannot be overcome?

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    Voice of Chaos & Anarchy
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    Interesting, I agree that there is a double standard, but it varies greatly from culture to culture. I don't think that the double standard is based on anyone thinking that women have less desire, but that the consequences are greater for women. I also find it interesting that the abstinence campaigns are aimed at reasonably intelligent women in situations of reasonable wealth, rather than at the women who are in less fortunate situations, who are nore likely not to abstain.

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    Ditsy Pixie Niamh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by motherhubbard View Post
    Do men think that their sexual desires are really greater than a woman's and therefore cannot be overcome?
    that wouldnt surprise me!
    "Come away O human child!To the waters of the wild, With a faery hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand."
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    Orwellian The Atheist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricP View Post
    It was like I was living in Pat Robertson's utopia.
    Nothing respects women more than fundamental islam.

    Quote Originally Posted by motherhubbard View Post
    Do men think that their sexual desires are really greater than a woman's and therefore cannot be overcome?
    Sadly, you've touched on one of the great truisms - many men do think just that.

    The mistake is thinking that only men with grazes on their knuckles feel this way, when the truth is that the attitude pervades every corner of the world and you're just as - or more - likely to find it among the boardrooms of the high and mighty as in the Neanderthals. Bill Clinton, anyone?

    Fortunately, I do see this changing.

    Very slowly.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    Interesting, I agree that there is a double standard, but it varies greatly from culture to culture.
    But only in intensity?

    I live in the country with the longest-serving female Prime Minister, and one which I'm pretty sure is unique in having had two consecutive female Prime Ministers. We also hold pride of place in feminism as being the first country to give women the vote. (Which we're still living down!)

    Accordingly, when it comes to equality of sexes and sexual activity, I'd like to claim that NZ is the country with the fewest double standards, but I can guarantee that that position has been won through the determination of women not to allow blokes to walk all over them. All primates have male dominance - and by insisting upon equality, we're trying to undo 500 million years of evolution with a couple of social classes in four generations. Attitudes are hard to change and I think the progress we've made in the developed western world is startling, but there's still a long way to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    I don't think that the double standard is based on anyone thinking that women have less desire, but that the consequences are greater for women.
    Yet as the 1960s showed, that's a fallacy. I think women are aware enough that a combination of pill and condom is as close to 100% safe as can be achieved in life. Something to throw into that mix: NZ and USA share the lead in teenage mothers, despite us being at completely opposite ends of ther morality debate. Honestly, anyone starting a celibacy campaign here would be laughed at outside of their very small church. If Kiwi dads started up the celibacy partnership weirdness that some US groups get into, the child welfare agencies would be hauling the kids away like the FLDS ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterL View Post
    I also find it interesting that the abstinence campaigns are aimed at reasonably intelligent women in situations of reasonable wealth, rather than at the women who are in less fortunate situations, who are nore likely not to abstain.
    I'm glad this subject came up, because it's not something I see. I've been taking a look at signs and campaigns thanks to Google images.

    First off, I think there's a little selective sight going on, because lots of the visual imagery used covers both sexes and all socio-economic groups. Obviously, advertising will be targeted to the area it's in, so if one lives in a "white-middle-class" area, it's more likely to see that type of person featured. I actually found more images featuring males than females.

    Federal funding for abstinence-only programs is huge. Doesn't appear to be working, however.
    Go to work, get married, have some kids, pay your taxes, pay your bills, watch your tv, follow fashion, act normal, obey the law and repeat after me: "I am free."

    Anon

  14. #14
    No longer confused... Lioness_Heart's Avatar
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    I think that the double standards are terrible... often, vulnerable girls will be pressured into things they're not ready for, and then they get labelled with some horrible names while the lad is considered a 'man'. But it takes two to tango!!! It makes no sense...

    The main problem seems to be that girls seem to equate sex with love, and are desperately seekiing affection, while the man doesn't get so emotionally involved. We should work on raising the self-esteem of both young girls and boys so that they don't feel that they have to act in a certain way to be accepted. If girls had more self-respect, then men would be forced to have more respect for us, and stop merely viewing us as objects.

    I could go on about this for a while... I was described by a boy in my year as a 'rampaging feminist', but that is the same issue: because I believe that women have the right to be treated with respect and not merely objectified, I get called a feminist, as if it's contagious. A lot of men just demand respect (and often seek it using sex), and maintain chauvanistic views (i.e. expecting that their future wife will work, look after the children, AND look after them)... and don't get labelled with anything.

    I'm not entirely sure how an abstinence campaign works, and personally believe that people should be free to make their own, informed choices once they're old enough, but think that if problems like stis and unwanted pregnancies are to be avoided, we need to look at the parenting to build self-respect so that girls can't be pressured into anything.

    However, there is ultimately one big difference between sexes, in that the woman is more likely to have more long-lasting consequences in terms of pregnancy.

    We all need to have more respect for each other as fellow human beings.
    "The magic gave me insight, and you gave me a heart, but for all the heart and insight in the world, I am still a cat."

  15. #15
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    First I agree, it is a double standard, and I tend to agree with Peter, the consequences for girls are more serious. So if they are targeting girls then maybe there is a logic to it beyond the cultural biases that exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
    If anyone started that here, they'd be laughed out off this one. We love sex!
    May I ask then at what age is appropriate for children to have sex? 14? 12? 10?

    Two points I wish to make. One. There have been many times in my adult life that we didn't have contraceptives on hand and even as adults we chanced it. The situation certainly was overly powerful. If I as an adult decided to chance it I find it hard to believe that teenagers will be as prepared over the long haul and not decide to chance it.

    Two. I am not a parent, but I do think I have an innate father's heart. I would find it impossble to give permission to any of my children, male or female, to go ahead and have sex. What would I do celebrate with them? Give them pointers? No I couldn't do that.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

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