Cultural Suppression Of Female Sexuality

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At most it suggests distal influence by males, with the proximal influences on specific women’s and girls’ sexuality being female.
General Discussion
The cultural suppression of female sexuality is of considerable interest both in its own right and as an important instance of cultural influence over sexual behavior. On the basis of previous writings, we identified two major theories regarding the source of this suppression. One of them depicted men as conspiring to suppress female sexuality, as a way of controlling women, ensuring peace and order in society, and reducing the risk of wifely infidelity. The other theory depicted women as cooperating to restrict each other’s sexuality, mainly as a way of ensuring that the exchange of sex for other
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Instead, it appears that the laws about sex (which are made by men) are mainly enforced against men. Women are the primary agents who use religious teachings to limit female sexual behavior, although the religious teachings themselves are generally written by men. Meanwhile, women oppose forms of alternative sexual gratification for men, such as pornography and prostitution, which fits the view that women want to maintain control over male access to sexual pleasure so as to keep the exchange of resources on favorable terms. What, exactly, can we conclude from all this? First, it is clear that the proximal causes of the suppression of female sexuality are predominantly female. The female control theory is broadly consistent with the bulk of the evidence. This conclusion is consistent with feminist views arguing that women have been active agents in society and history rather than merely passive victims of male influence. In the present analysis, female behavior has been guided by a rational and correct assessment of self-interest and a corresponding adaptation to circumstances. It must be acknowledged, however, that the present review has…show more content…
Direct male influence on female sexuality was largely absent, and when direct male influence was found, it usually pushed in the direction opposite to what the theory would require (i.e., men pushed for more rather than less female sexuality). Men do not appear to be important or effective sources of proximal influence toward the general restraint of female sexuality. A few exceptions could be raised. First and foremost, men seem to want their wives to be sexually faithful to them. Sexual possessiveness is well documented and appears to be close to universal (e.g., Reiss, 1986b). It seems safe to say that both men and women want their mates to be faithful to them. Men may have used certain methods to ensure fidelity (such as harems and chastity belts) that women were unable to use, but this does not mean that wives are indifferent to husbandly infidelity. If anything, wives appear to be more sexually possessive than husbands (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983). Still, crucially, the male efforts to ensure fidelity do not seem to have extended to attempting to stifle female sexuality. Men do want their wives to have sexual desire and sexual enjoyment, provided that they have them with their husbands. The other exception involves the institutional attempts to regulate adolescent female sexuality. We cited some evidence that courts and police seem more concerned with female adolescent promiscuity than with identical behavior by young

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