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Gender Differences In Slut-Shaming, Being "Just Friends", Being High And Dry, And Perceived Rape Motive

Jamie Stroud and Chelsea Stroud

Table of contents

Methodology

Chelsea (a female) and I (a male) surveyed people on either on chatroulette.com or omegle.com. The demographics are similar for both sites, with roughly 90% of the users male, roughly 50% of the users aged 25 or under, and roughly 20% of users from the United States. The sites randomly connect you to people on webcam across a wide variety of countries. Many people don't show themselves on cam or they use a fake cam, and we avoided surveying such people, thusly only surveying individuals we could see and identify the anatomical sex of. We also showed ourselves on camera. Some people showed up in groups on camera, but we only surveyed them if they were all the same anatomical sex. We thought being in mixed groups (meaning both a male and female were on camera at the same time) might result in dishonest answers (for fear they might offend the other gender). We only submitted our questions in text form (as opposed to speaking/audio) as we thought this would create greater uniformity between all people surveyed.

The Data

Conclusion

In regards to the slut-shaming question: The slut-shaming of females is a common topic amongst feminist discussions. This phenomenon is usually blamed on males, however, the data we gathered suggests that males and females are similar in their likelihood to slut-shame females. Feminist explanations for the slut-shaming of females has suggested that males do it to maintain/gain power over females. However, considering that so many females do it too, perhaps another explanation is that people (both males and females) are simply conditioned to feel shameful about liberal female sexuality. Yet another explanation is that females slut-shame other females as a form of sexual competition, to increase their chances of sex/relationships with males.

In regards to the being "just friends" question: It's a popular meme to say that males can't be "just friends" with females, primarily ones that they're sexually attracted to. In contrast, it's also thought that females are okay with being "just friends" with males, even ones that they're sexually attracted to. The data we gathered, however, suggests that males and females are similar in likelihood to be okay or not okay with being "just friends" with someone they're sexually attracted to. The condition with the biggest difference was when males were surveyed by a female, in which males were significantly less likely than females to be okay with being "just" friends" with someone they're sexually attracted to. Perhaps many of the males on these cam sites were primarily interested in cyber sex at the moment and thought answering "a) Yes, probably." to the question would disincline the female surveyor from getting sexual with them.

In regards to the being high and dry question: The data we gathered suggests that males are somewhat more likely to be stressed if they don't orgasm during sex. This is congruent with other data showing that orgasm is rated as having more importance to males than to females. (Stroud, 2014) One possibility for the gender differences with these answers is that males might generally experience their sex drive and/or sexual arousal more intensely than females (at least during sex), thus feeling a greater need for orgasm so as not to feel nervously disturbed or sexually frustrated (this is comparable to feeling very sad or very mad and needing an outlet so as not to be nervously disturbed). Another possibility is that society conditions males to feel more entitled to sexual pleasure (including orgasm) more than females (it might be thought especially so in regards to males feeling entitled to female sexual submission).

In regards to the perceived rape motive question: There are big gender differences in the answers given to this question, with males much more likely to believe that the primary motive for rape is horniness and females much more likely to believe that the primary motive for rape is power. One possible reason for this is that perhaps males generally experience their sex drive more frequently and/or more intensely than females, and so females would have a difficult time understanding the temptation to rape out of horniness. It's thought that many males go on these sites for cyber sex and so these males might be especially likely to be horny and/or sexually frustrated. Another possibility is due to the onus generally being on the male to initiate when it comes to courtship. It might be much more rare for females to be sexually deprived and to feel sexually frustrated because sexual options more frequently come to them than they do to males. Yet another possibility is that the power theory of rape has been primarily spread through feminist ideologies and perhaps females are more likely to adopt feminist beliefs than males.

References


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