Undead Sexist Cliches, Part Two: Guys only want one thing …

Mark Regnerus, whom I mentioned in part one, also provides the topic of this Echidne post. Regnerus’ running theme is that classic argument, men won’t buy the cow if they can get the milk, and that women can only get commitment if they hold out for marriage.
As evidence, Regnerus cites one of those studies in which men and women were asked if they’d like to go off and have sex; lots of men say yes but very few women, so there, that proves men won’t offer commitment if they can’t get laid (or something like that).
As Echidne points out, this ignores trivial facts like women have to face the risk of rape if they go off and have sex with a stranger, and men don’t. Natalie Angier (in her book Woman), makes a similar point: What about the fact that a guy who goes off in this situation may boost his reputation while a woman’s reputation ends up tarnished.
And as Echidne notes, other studies indicate that given a safe situation and an equally attractive partner, the figures are pretty comparable for who says yes.
And, of course, any argument based on men being inherently sex-obsessed should consider that we have a society where sexy female images vastly outnumber (and outsex) the equivalent male images. You can find sexy women in Burger King commercials, Internet ads for anything from T-shirts to bank loans. Why the heck wouldn’t we think about it more?
And as an argument for why women should marry early (or at least withhold sex) it’s pretty weak. Is a man who thinks “well, I can’t get laid if I don’t get married?” that good a basis for marriage? Why shouldn’t women hold out for someone who wants to marry them for love, regardless of sex?
I presume Regnerus’ point is that this ain’t gonna happen: We guys are just such horndogs, the only way we’ll be led into marriage and sacrifice our sexual freedom is if women use their charms as bait. It’s a familiar theme, but the fact we’re still getting married in this day and age leaves me thinking it’s bullshit.
The fact Regnerus (in other material Echidne links to) also thinks that financial success is bad for their love lives (as they no longer need a man to support them, they have sex without marriage and thereby fail to trap the man in their web) makes me think he has other issues than women’s wellbeing on his mind.


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

16 responses to “Undead Sexist Cliches, Part Two: Guys only want one thing …

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