friends with women. Brooks (1995) says men can consciously suppress
their voyeurism and sexual thoughts (as they do towards a daughter),
learn to love women for their abilities and personal traits, and enjoy
the nurturing of others as much as women do. But as long as males
are exclusively obsessed with the sexual build of any attractive woman
that comes along, we have a serious social problem.
Some think men are by nature more sexual or "hornier" than
women. Probably not true (remember, not long ago, the church
thought women were over-sexed). Indeed, Masters, Johnson &
Kolodny (1985) found the sex response--orgasm--is very similar in
men and women. Women can climax as fast as men; they can have
more orgasms. College males and females are about equally (75%)
active sexually (Playboy, 1976); college communities don't need
prostitutes any more. The same percent of first year college men and
women (80%) have had their genitals stimulated by a partner; 40% of
women and 50% of men have climaxed this way (Kolodny, 1980).
When viewing erotic films, women actually became just as sexually
aroused physically as men. Yet, when asked, many of these women
denied (or were unaware of) their sexual responses (Heiman, et al.,
1976). Women tend to underestimate their own sexual arousal while
overestimating males' sexual arousal (Byrne, 1976). It appears that
the social-sexual indoctrinations given women--the sexual taboos--
take time to wear off. As a woman gets more sexual experience, she
responds more freely to sexual stimuli. That may be why males hit
their sexual peaks early (late teens) while women peak much later.
More and more women are escaping this oppression of sexual
sensitivity and are learning to "turn on" easily (like men do).
Unfortunately, a few women conclude that they are abnormal--
"nymphos." That is seldom the case; they are just healthy and
uninhibited. (Nymphomania is when a high sex drive is combined with
emotional and interpersonal problems producing inappropriate or self-
destructive sexual behavior resulting in repeated rejection, unwanted
pregnancy, sexual disease, social censure, and other difficulties.)
The sexual information one needs is available--how to avoid
pregnancy, how to overcome disgust towards sexual body parts, how
to make your own decisions, how to be a good lover, how to have an
orgasm and so on. One has to learn these things mostly on one's own,
not from parents, teachers, friends, priests, or doctors. Where is
accurate information available? In books, mainly.
Men have historically had more sexual freedom than women. But
women are rapidly gaining freedom both in society's acceptance and in
their own minds. By age 13, about 20% of girls have let a guy touch
their breasts. By age 15, about 50% of girls have had intercourse (in
1960 it was 10%). One reason may be our entertainment; only 15% of
sexual acts on prime-time TV in 1984 were between married partners
(Harper's Magazine, Feb., 1985). Also, women now have more sexual
opportunities when working. Reportedly, over half of all single
professional women had an affair with a co-worker or a client during
the last year.