Gale suggested an interesting cultural topic: Does American society still imposes a sexual double standard on women and men? There have been a lot of changes in our moral outlooks and sexual culture and expectations since most of us in the group were young. But, the old Stud versus Slut issue seems not to have faded away. Why? What causes this double standard and who is hurt or benefits from it?
I love our culture topics and, tragically, this one is particularly well-timed thanks to our latest mass shooting spree. The killer in last week’s UCSB shooting left behind multiple videos and a 140-page screed justifying his actions. The attack was spurred – he said so – by his volcanic hatred of women that came out of his anger that he was not able to participate in the “hook-up” culture found among some of today’s young people. In his mind, he was entitled to some of the sex he perceived young women handing out all of the time. He belonged to a creepy on-line subculture of resentful, failed “Pick Up Artists,” or PUAs. PUAs are guys that pay to take courses in the art of picking up women for one-night stands. The killer was unsuccessful at it, apparently, and he blamed all women for his failure and decided to take his revenge.
But, fear not. There’s a lot more to talk about on this topic than a few men’s bizarre overreaction to modern women’s sexuality. Maybe these questions would be interesting.
Discussion Questions –
- What is the sexual double standard? Where does it come from? How is it enforced and reinforced?
- Is having a sexual double standard – stud versus slut – fair or unfair? Who does it help and hurt?
- Has the sexual double standard become less powerful in recent decades? Why/not? What larger social forces are at work here?
- Is this a Red state versus Blue state cultural thing? How have cultural conservatives reacted to these changing mores? What are the politics of all of this?
- What advice would you give to young women and men on sexual ethics?
- The basic idea: He’s a stud while she’s a slut. Recommended.
- A shorter explanation.
- [UPDATE] The term “slut” is used differently by diff. social classes of young women.
- The double standard has NOT lessened in recent decades. Recommended. (Psychology Today)
- College hook-up culture:
- Purity culture: It’s a conservative evangelical thing, alive and well but increasingly being questioned.
- OTOH, the Web is full of conservatives offering traditional advice to young women about their sex lives that is old-fashioned perhaps but not creepy.
- The UCSB killer’s warped pick-up artist culture. Recommended.
- Do liberals and conservatives have different views of sex?
NEXT WEEK: Corporations and the First Amendment.