One of the topics that kept coming up in the class I taught on non-monogamy this fall semester was slut-shaming. We had many a fruitful discussion about how rape culture and slut-shaming intersect to create an environment full of sex-negativity, virgin/whore complexes, and misogyny. Research on female promiscuity tends to whole-heartedly condemn it or ignore it. This is not, as you might imagine, a useful approach to sexual behavior that often happens regardless of whether it is stigmatized. Hence I’m a big fan of evolutionary anthropologist Eric M. Johnson’s new Slate post on female promiscuity in humans and other primates. Continue Reading →
A New Zealand doctor expresses shock and horror at the level of promiscuity he perceives in local women, saying that many come to him, pregnant, stating that they cannot remember who they last had sex with. While the article raises some good points–that it might not be healthy to get intoxicated to the point of initiating sex with strangers–it also struck me as possibly being biased. Why would young women confide about their sexuality in doctors who are judging them? Promiscuity isn’t a problem in and of itself (and even then, how are you defining it?); inaccurate and judgmental portrayals also contribute to social and sexual problems.
Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →