This journal article was about the four main differences among men and women. The differences that were examined were, “pervasive, affecting thoughts and feelings as well as behavior, and they characterize not only heterosexuals but lesbians and gay men as well” (Peplau, 2005, pg. 93). The four differences had to do with men’s desire for sexual activity versus women, the importance of a relationship amongst men and women, the link between aggression and sexuality, and how women’s sexuality can change. These four differences build the foundation for the rest of the journal article.
The overall consensus with these differences was that men wanted sex more often than women. Whether it be intercourse or masturbation, the frequency of sex among men was a lot higher than women. When directly compared to women, men’s tendencies were higher in certain aspects. This included, but was not limited to sex fantasies, spending money on sex products and X-rated movies, and the occasional visit to prostitutes. The main difference in sexual desire among men and women was how frequently men craved sex more than women. This was true in gay couples as well. Gay men had more sex than lesbian women. In heterosexual couples, the woman was also me more likely to respect religious commitments to remain celibate.
The similarity between differences continued with the comparison of sexuality and aggression. Men were found to be more aggressive in terms of being, “powerful, experienced, domineering, and individualistic” (Peplau, 2005, pg. 95). This all had to do with how men were more the leader in sexual situations with women. They often “made the first move,” whether it was the first date in the relationship, or if it was nine years down the road. This was not saying that women did not start sexual activities at all; they just did it less frequently than their male counterparts. Unfortunately this comparison brought up the topic of rape. This serious situation was closely linked to sexuality and aggression because women seldom used force to initiate sex, while men were more commonly known to use force.
In terms of sexual plasticity, women’s beliefs and behaviors were easier to shape than men’s. This had to do a lot with the changes in a women’s sexuality over a period of time. This meant that women were more likely to have sex more during a relationship than after a break up. Men were the opposite in the sense they would often use masturbation as a form of substitution for sex after a break up, while women would not even use masturbation in some cases. Another example was how women were more likely to change their sexual orientation. Changes from being a bisexual to becoming a heterosexual after time was a lot less common in men than in women. The way people’s sexual attitudes and behaviors had a lot to with their social and situational influences. An example of this was how a study found that more women who completed college were lesbian or bisexual than men.
Some implications to these studies were that the participants were White, middle-class Americans. The study would be more sufficient of other races and cultures were studied as well. Since there was not a lot of experimental research about homosexuals, the basis of lesbian and bisexual similarities and differences can not be concluded. Lastly, the research in the studies can not make someone assume that all men desire sex more than women. It matters on a lot of different factors such as biology, experience, and culture. These factors interact to help shape the differences between men’s and women’s sexuality. Three implications have been focused on in specifically women to help understand the differences better. They are women’s sexual desire, sexual orientation, and sexual problems. These consisted of ignorance of male standards, similarities in women’s sexuality regardless of orientation, and systems used to grade sexual problems in women respectively.
Peplau, L. A. (2005). Human sexuality: how do men and women differ? In S. Kassin & K.H. Briggs (Eds.), Current directions in introductory psychology (pp. 93-99). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Educations, Inc.