Double Standard (Girl), By Sage Bennett

In high school there is a hidden emphasis on sexual image. As high school students we tend to judge people based on sexual stature before we even get to know them. For girls, there are only two common titles: slut and prude. For guys however, there is a major difference. Instead of being classified as a slut or a prude, guys aren’t really classified in either category. There are plenty of names that guys are called, but none really stick amongst other guys. For instance, if a girl calls a guy a “manwhore” it is usually just brushed off and laughed at, because it doesn’t really mean a whole lot. This has to do with the fact that guys who have been with more girls have a higher stature amongst other guys, so there really is no offensive title given. To put it simply, you have to go back to that one cliche metaphor you have heard either by your family or one of your friends about the master key. For those of you who have not heard it, the saying goes, ¨A key that can open many locks is called a master key, but a lock that can be opened by many keys is a bad lock.¨
One would think the sexual double standard would have died out by now, but it is fairly prevalent in high school and beyond. The question is: why this is even still an issue? It’s certainly not a new issue so how come we haven’t been able to move past it?

The Journal of Sex Research explains this phenomena by going back to the 1960s all the way up to present day. The research done suggests that the sexual double standard originates from the early days when women were not permitted by their families to engage in any sexual encounters until marriage, whereas men were allowed to do the exact opposite. These rules set by society would set the standard for generations to come, but if it is that simple why haven’t we changed things?
The deeper issue can be explained by evolutionary psychology. It suggests that men have a greater reproductive capacity than females, thus justifying the need to engage with as many partners as possible in order to fulfill the goal of producing as much offspring as possible. The problem is that we have already succeeded in populating the planet, so there is no longer a need to do so. So there is a sort of conundrum when it comes down to not really needing to engage in various sexual encounters with multiple partners, but also instinctively craving the need to do so, and also being fueled by a very sexually confused society, which goes back to the main issue (sort of).
We live in a society that is driven by the commercialization of sex, but also censors it more than anywhere else. For instance, we use half naked models to draw in the consumer to purchase a certain product, and at the same time we censor nudity on television and consider sexual conversation as taboo. This contradiction is confusing for teens and in a way contributes to the issue dealing with the sexual double standard we face today. On one hand we hold others to the standard that is commercialized sex, and ultimately shame those who cannot fit the role by giving titles such as “slut” or “ratchet,” and then ultimately creating that which they are not.
There is not one root cause but rather multiple factors that play into the sexual double standard. The only thing that can be done to rid our society of this ridiculous issue is to understand why it is an issue, and to talk about it instead of sweeping it under the rug.


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