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The Sexual Double Standard

We still live in a society that promotes the notion that it is normal for a man to desire many women and yet normal for a woman to desire only one man. Our beliefs about male and female behavior may have been helpful in the past, but today they are doing much more harm than good. As a society we need to stop perpetuating the myth that females are naturally monogamous because this erroneous belief keeps women from taking responsibility when they do cheat. Unfortunately, when women cheat they typically put the blame on their husbands.

Most of the prevailing beliefs we hold about women were created and taught to control the sexual behavior of females in an effort to ease paternity insecurity in males. When females give birth they know the children they give birth to are biologically theirs. Males on the other hand, prior to DNA testing, had to rely on the faithfulness of their partners; which is the reason a sexual double-standard emerged. However, over time the sexual double-standard gave way to a false belief that females were in fact naturally monogamous. Today, it is no longer necessary to continue teaching this false belief because DNA testing allows males to have the same certainty about paternity as females.

Today, women initiate approximately 70 '75% of all divorces. Due to our false beliefs, women lack adequate knowledge about their natural sexual impulses; as a result, they are much more likely than men to leave their marriages due to their sexual attractions and affairs. Although women typically pursue separations and divorces under the guise of "searching for self" the real reason is often another man. It's not uncommon for women to be happily married prior to their affairs; it's also not uncommon for men to be divorced by their wives without ever knowing about their wives' extramarital relationships.

For many years now, women have been knowingly or unknowingly performing a balancing act 'trying to attain equal rights, while at the same time, trying to maintain their special rights. Interestingly enough, most women are still not happy. Women continue to feel they get the short end of the stick. Women still do not feel as though they have equal rights, much less special rights, why? Because the sexual double standard still exists in our culture; but ironically, women's final right to claim is the root from which their oppression stemmed.

However, it is no longer men who oppress women 'it is women. Women have not yet decided whether they want to trade their "image" and all the special treatment that it affords them, for the "public" sexual freedom which is afforded to males. As a result, one of the biggest problems in relationships today, is due to the fact that women are finding it increasingly more difficult to maintain their "image," now that their survival is no longer contingent upon it.

It is only by doing away with the sexual double standard that females will finally achieve the equality they have so long sought after. However, in doing so, they will have to give up one of their special rights 'they will no longer be able to blame males for their sexual indiscretions and their lack of self control.

About the author:

Michelle Langley is the author of Women's Infidelity: Living In Limbo: What Women Really Mean When They Say, "I'm Not Happy" To read an excerpt from Women's Infidelity visit


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