Gender double standard needs to stop

In an era when this country has witnessed such technological advances as the Flowbee, the Clapper and Ron Popeil’s spray-on hair in a can, it is a shame the progress of sociological equality between the sexes is stuck in neutral.

The social double standard between men and women may have been necessary when everybody thought the world was flat, but now a gender double standard just isn’t necessary.

The full brunt of the gender double standard bat comes down most heavily on the head of sexual activity. Recently, Paschal Sheeran and other psychologists reported in the Journal of Psychology their findings from a survey they conducted on teenagers concerning judgments on sexual activity.

The respondents were to estimate the number of sexual partners of the average 20-year-old man and 20-year-old woman and evaluate them in positive and negative dimensions. The researchers found women were expected to have fewer sexual partners than men, and female sexual activity was judged more negatively than male sexual activity. This study is a microcosm of society as a whole.

Somewhere in the evolution of society, it became acceptable for men to have sex with anything in a skirt, while women were expected to sit at home twiddling their fingers. That’s just wrong.

It is not being argued that all morality should be thrown out and this country be turned into Sexapalooza 2003. Nor is it being argued that this entire country should take a collective vow of celibacy.

Rather, an argument is being made for a midpoint between the two ideas. Sex is a gift from God that people should engage in only if they are in a long-term, loving, monogamous relationship.

The gender double standard shown by the study cited above has become so internalized that its perpetrators do not even realize that they are doing it. The majority of men who subscribe to the “I can’t respect a woman who sleeps around” doctrine are probably promiscuous males.

Boys and girls, can you say “hypocrite”?

Now, before the females begin male bash-o-rama, remember that the double standard pendulum swings both ways.

The double standard of men always having to foot the bill is as outdated as the musket. It is socially acceptable for a man to take a woman out and shower her with gifts and money, but if the positions were reversed, the man would be viewed as some kind of lazy gigolo. What type of Uncle Jed/Lil Abner backwoods-type logic is that?

Maybe in the past, a standard such as this would be necessary.

But now it is 2003 and, like Virginia Slims say, “You have come a long way, baby” — so pull out that wallet. We are at a point in our society where everyone can foot their own bills. We do not have to move to Holland to go Dutch.

Most often, people who accept the double standard pretenses do not wish to own up to their shortsightedness. They tend to blame it on society — “It isn’t me; it’s what society says.” A person should never let society dictate their thinking. It is society that has allowed such ghastly abominations as slavery, the Salem witch trials and Mariah Carey’s movie Glitter.

There may be two sexes, but there is only one race: the human race. Everyone who belongs to this race is equal and should be judged by the same sociological standards, and any double standard is wrong.

Demond Reid is a student at the University of Texas-Arlington campus.