Are girls the new sexual aggressors?

Do you hear stories about teenage girls aggressively pursuing boys (maybe even your teenaged son) with sexualized come-ons… and wonder if it can be true?

I hear these stories regularly (including from moms at a women’s conference I addressed last weekend) and read about them in “college-hookup-genre” books.

If true, the claim that girls are the new sexual aggressors upends the narrative that women are suffering from a male-dominated sexual script!  And tends to support the government’s and Planned Parenthood’s insistence that they are only “championing women” when they bully even religious institutions to provide contraception and abortion.

But there are two big problems with claiming that girls are pursuing their “freedom” when they act as the new sexual aggressors:

  1. Even when this claim is supported by true stories, they are not stories of women’s freedom.
  2. It’s probably not widely true.

On the first point. We know from one Journal of Sex Research survey that in 89% of cases, women engaging in sex with someone they don’t even have a relationship with are drunk; 63% are “very drunk.” Even when having sex with an acquaintance, versus a standing boyfriend, 75% report themselves drunk, and 55% “very drunk.”

In fact, we know that they drink in order to overcome lack of confidence or even fear regarding even talking to opposite sex, as well as the extreme awkwardness and uncertainty of moving toward physical sex with a complete or near stranger.

This does not match any definition of freedom one can imagine: being able to engage the opposite sex only when you are without reason, not yourself, and out of your own control.

A second reason why stories of women’s sexual aggression with near-strangers are not stories of freedom is the significant possibility that these encounters emerge out of a desire to have a real relationship –while living in an environment pressuring women to be sexual even to begin getting acquainted with a male. And without getting too theological here…we all know that one aspect of women’s “original sin” (Gen 3:16) is that despite the pain of childbirth and man’s trying to “rule” over her, she would desire him anyway!  In short, women are likely tempted to go too far to try to secure a relationship.

Finally, the most respected and reliable measures of women’s sexual preferences and practices – e.g. the University of Chicago’s The Social Organization of Sexuality, and studies of college-level experiences like Lost in Transition, repeat what many others have said: women, even more than men, strongly prefer romantic, committed sex, especially marriage sex, and fewer partners generally.

It would be good to pass this on to the younger women and men you know to help them understand their situation. Women can always choose to write a new script in their own lives, and thereby gain healthy leverage in the dating and mating market.

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