Men are praised for sleeping around while girls are shamed for doing so. Men pressure women into having sex but women are looked down upon for being “too easy”. It seems to be an unfair double standard because although women in theory have the equal right to have sex liberally, what might even be the majority of men hold the view that women are like objects; the more sexual restraint they show, the more valuable they are and likewise, the more men they’ve slept with, the cheaper they are. How strange it is that this notion is rarely applied to men.
Biologically speaking, humans are designed in a way that eggs are more valuable and sperm are more cheap. This is so because the woman has to pay a larger price for sex; she has to carry the child for nine months (and likely be mostly responsible for its care for eighteen years) while the man simply contributes by giving his sperm. Additionally, a man has millions of sperm released per ejaculation while a woman has only one egg available per month for fertilization. By supply and demand theory, the female body is more valuable for sexual intercourse because of the greater commitment a woman must make in addition to her more limited eggs. Thus, from the naturalistic point of view, women are justified in being more picky when choosing to have sex with a man than men are with women.
Taking into account contemporary western culture and media, that is, that of the twenty first century, it is accepted that sexual intercourse is rather commonplace and that men and women have equal rights to enjoy sex. This concept is influenced by second wave feminism, which strives for total equality between the sexes. In addition, the modern consensus is that informed adolescents are more desirable than forced abstinence among them. This is a reasonable course of action, but often can be misinterpreted to be seen as encouraging sex in youth who may not be completely ready emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Sexual intercourse that does not satisfy preparation on these three aspects will henceforth be referred to as premature sex. Given the vast prevalence of premature sex in the media and mainstream culture, premature sex is a frequent phenomenon which often results in regret and feelings of worthlessness in girls. Condoms are distributed during college orientation, sex on the third date is apparently the norm according to television shows and the few who hold out for marriage are stigmatized as being overly religious and unrealistic. In a sexual marketplace where the price for a woman’s body has diminished to an all time historic low in western-influenced cultures, choosing to abstain results in impatient boyfriends, or even worse, men who seek elsewhere to satisfy their sexual demands, a task now easier done than ever before.
So the question that must be asked is this: is the shaming of girls who participate in premature sex justified? Or worded differently, is it morally right for women to refrain from premature sex?
This situation is tricky and is an example of John Stuart mill’s concept of tyranny of the majority. Because of the modern liberal ideal of freedom to decide one’s own course of action, women should be able to engage in premature sex, even if it harms them emotionally, because people are autonomous individuals capable of choice EXCEPT when their choices harm others. Here, the paradox of freedom of choice is apparent in the tyrannical majority that is promiscuous women, which effectively lower the market value of a woman’s body. In that sense, women do not really have the choice to dictate how much their body is worth because the average woman’s virginity is cheap due to the ease of having sex in modern western society. Although the ease of finding a woman just for sex is an influence on women’s struggle for landing a committed relationship nowadays, it cannot be that this is the main reason for failed relationships. It is probable that there are other, more significant reasons that a man will not commit other than the woman’s desire to hold out for a long period of time. Therefore, the small outcomes of shaming promiscuous women do not seem to outweigh the harms caused by unfairly restricting girls from choosing to have premature sex, that is, by creating double standards for men and women. Women who have premature sex do make it more difficult for other women to place value on their bodies, but one’s choice to do whatever she pleases with her body is ultimately more important. More reasonably, encouraging introspection is a better course of action so that women can engage in sex when they are fully psychologically prepared for the consequences. It must be made clear the natural advantage women have over men in their power to be more choosy, and thus their social expectation to refrain from sex more so than men. They should not, however, be shamed for their promiscuity because as autonomous adults, they ARE expected to be mentally responsible for the repercussions of what they choose to do with their bodies.
Aug 28 2014