Rising Drops
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The Sorry Sisterhood

An abstract of an academic article via Dusk in Autumn:

Four theories about cultural suppression of female sexuality are evaluated. Data are reviewed on cross-cultural differences in power and sex ratios, reactions to the sexual revolution, direct restraining influences on adolescent and adult female sexuality, double standard patterns of sexual morality, female genital surgery, legal and religious restrictions on sex, prostitution and pornography, and sexual deception. The view that men suppress female sexuality received hardly any support and is flatly contradicted by some findings. Instead, the evidence favors the view that women have worked to stifle each other's sexuality because sex is a limited resource that women use to negotiate with men, and scarcity gives women an advantage.

[Emphasis mine.]

The PatriarchyTM works in mysterious ways!


Cafe Alpha

In retrospect, this should have been obvious.


So the Muttawa in Saudi Arabia are actually run by women?

I'm confused.


And honor killings - what are they about?

Cafe Alpha

Well if you exclude hell-hole societies run by Muslims and stick to relatively free places it rings true, doesn't it Laura?



I'm remembering the situation in Gone with the Wind (which is fiction, we remember) in which Scarlett is taking care of her business and having to travel back and forth without her husband. This is frowned upon, and sure enough, she's assaulted. She gets away OK but the men have to do a beatdown on the ruffians or they'll be emboldened to attack more women, then the men are endangered and Ashley is actually shot. So there was a reason why Scarlett was asked to act more prudently.

That kind of thing is one potential reason for slut-shaming. Another, more believable one, is jealousy.

That thing about sex being a limited resource is just stupid, IMO. Stupid.

Cafe Alpha

That thing about sex being a limited resource is just stupid, IMO.

It works like this, it's only valuable as a way to control men if women keep it limited. If men can get all the sex they want easily, then you can't use sex or the promise of sex to land the man you want.


"...it's only valuable as a way to control men if women keep it limited."

I don't think we women are all that determined to control men. We don't have secret women-only meetings where we get together and plan to dominate men by withholding sex. We actually have lives of our own - we just aren't studying y'all that much.

Besides, men can get sex pretty easily - they can go to prostitutes, for instance. If it's just sex they want.

Ask yourself this - if all a man wanted from a woman was sex, not partnership, not companionship, mutual support, love, etc., then what would she want him for?

Cafe Alpha

Laura, this is about evolutionary psychology, instincts, not individual motivation. The point is that women do benefit from suppressing each other's sexuality in theory and this is matched by their behavior in reality - thus there's good reason to believe that there is an instinct to do this.

Talking about what society SHOULD be like is entirely superfluous. From my observation, few people's attitudes are more controlled by idealism than by instinct. - that's not counting the fact that most people's sexual morality is entirely selfish, hypocritical, and oddly in concert with instinct (if one considers that they apply it to other people more than themselves).


"Laura, this is about evolutionary psychology, instincts...."

You know, evolution really is a science, not a catchall for every half-baked hypothesis out there. Do you have any evidence for women supressing other women's sexuality as an artifact of evolution?

Cafe Alpha

Psychology is mostly hypothesis based on subjective impressions, why should psychology that hypothesizes instincts (which is what evolutionary psychology does) be any different from other psychology in that respect?


"Psychology is mostly hypothesis based on subjective impressions, why should psychology that hypothesizes instincts ... be any different from other psychology in that respect?"

In other words, it's all crap. I'll go along with that.

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