Sexuality Research Has Shown That Men and Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


Research has shown that men and women look for different characteristics when looking for long-term partners. Some research shows that men favor physical variables (attractiveness) more than women (lecture notes). This could be due to an underlying biological impetus to breed with women who have good genes. The fact that many men worldwide reveal a preference for younger partners might also be traceable to biology; younger women are more likely to bear children.

Women might value things like "vocational status, earning potential, expressiveness, kindness, consideration, dependability, and fondness for children," (Rathus, et al., 2002, cited in lecture notes). The fondness for children preference is linked to biology and psychological necessity as well, as women want mates who will be able to share in the childrearing duties. On the other hand, some men might value traits like "cooking ability, frugality, and youth (Rathus et al., 2002, cited in lecture notes). Reasons for men appreciating these characteristics are clearly traceable to a patriarchal social structure, in which women occupy these roles in the social hierarchy. Likewise, women who seek men who have high earning potential do so because of gender-based social stratification in patriarchal societies. Women who find and marry men with high earning potential, but who lack qualities like honesty and kindness, often find themselves in disastrous relationships. The same is true for men who look for and marry mates because of their cooking and cleaning skills, but who suddenly decide they no longer wish to be domestic slaves.

More universal preferences, such as that toward honesty, shows that there are some characteristics that both men and women appreciate. Kindness and dependability also rank high as desirable characteristics in a mate for men and women (lecture notes). Therefore, it is highly likely that gay men and lesbians also look for partners who are honest, dependable, and kind.

Part II

As Nunnink, Goldwaser, Afari, Nievergelt & Baker (201) found, up to 80% of individuals with PTSD have some kind of sexual difficulties or dysfunction. The researchers link the dysfunctional pattern to emotional numbing. Thus, in cultures with high rates of diagnosed or undiagnosed PTSD, similar patterns of emotional numbing and subsequent sexual dysfunction might be recorded. Rape and sexual assault, for example, can cause PTSD and subsequent sexual dysfunction. In some cultures, rape is normative to the society. Women are considered the property or playthings of men in many African cultures, for example (Chapter 6: Sexual Violence).

Different sexual customs around the world can also increase the incidence of sexual dysfunction. Highly patriarchal societies, which border on misogynistic, undermine the sexual (and emotional) pleasure of women. This would lead to sexual dysfunction. In fact, the sexual dysfunction would not even be defined as such within that culture. Numbing and lack of pleasure for the woman would instead be considered normative. The extreme case is genital mutilation: a practice that…

Sources Used in Documents:


"Chapter 6: Sexual Violence."

Lecture Notes

Nunnink, S.E., Goldwaser, G., Afari, N., Nievergelt, M. & Baker, D.G. (2010). The role of emotional numbing in sexual functioning among veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Military Medicine 175(6).

PBS (2012). Teen Brain. Retrieved online:

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