Sex

Science says sexism could legit be stopping your orgasm

For reals.

By: Natasha Harding

As if sexism wasn’t bad enough already, preventing social and financial equality, a new study suggests it could also be getting in the way of women, well, getting off. Great.

According to Fusion, Emily Harris and her colleagues from the University of Queensland hypothesised that women in heterosexual relationships who buy into sexist ideals were less likely to orgasm. And they were right.

In particular, the study focussed on a particular type of gender inequality, called ‘benevolent sexism’. which refers to the systematic and sneaky ways sexist ideals work their way into our everyday lives, rather than the obvious ways. Defined as a set of beliefs that “assumes female passivity and romanticises the belief that women should be reliant on men,” benevolent sexism uses the ideas of ‘care’ and ‘protection’ of women as a justifying prejudice against them.

Two groups of women, consisting of 339 and 323 participants, were first asked how much they believed in ideals of benevolent sexism before measuring their level of “perceived male sexual selfishness” (basically, how selfish they think men are in the bedroom).

To do this, each participant was shown statements such as “during sex, men only care about their own pleasure’ and “Men care more about ‘getting off’ than whether or not their partner has an orgasm,” and asked to rate how strongly they agree or disagree.

The women were also asked to share information about how often they orgasm etc.

Here’s where things gets interesting (and kinda depressing).

The results found that “the more women endorsed benevolent sexism, the more likely they were to perceive men as sexually selfish.” Which makes sense, right?

“Perceived male sexual selfishness was, in turn, significantly related to women’s orgasm frequency, such that the more women perceived men as sexually selfish, the fewer orgasms they experienced.”

Notably, while the experiment couldn’t prove benevolent sexism causes women to stop orgasming, it was found to significantly impacted their perceptions of their partners, and their willingness to ‘ask for pleasure’, which undeniably important factors in orgasming.

So there you have it, yet more proof sexism is the goddamn worst.

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  • Author: Natasha Harding