For example, Marks found evidence of double standards for person evaluation under divided attention i. If these double standards evolved from adaptive gender differences in reproductive strategies, they would be universal and should be visible in all countries Schmitt, However, according to the emergently moderated perspective cross-cultural variation in sex differences is the result of moderating factors in the male ecology, like religion and gender equality.
For men engaging in these behaviors is likely to increase the success of passing genes on to the next generation, whereas for women refraining or postponing these behaviors is likely to be a more successful reproductive strategy because of their higher parental investment. In contrast, society expects women to be sexually communal, that is, submissive, passive, and reactive in sexual relationships, and accordingly rewards women for such behaviors.
Regarding predictions of cognitive social learning theory, they identified evidence for the role of traditional gender-role socialization and a high level of sexual experience in the existence of SDS. Inconsistencies in beta on SDS could be due to differences in conceptualization, measurement, and shame de.
In addition, women are less accepting than men of social hierarchies that subordinate women Lee et al. SDS have also been associated with gender differences in sexual risk behavior, specifically with more sexual partners for men, and more reluctance to request or insist on condom use for women Lefkowitz et al. Due to the lower parental investment of men compared with women, there is a high degree of competition among males for female mates.
These findings were in line shame biosocial theory, but not with evolutionary theory. However, biosocial theory would predict that SDS would be less traditional in recent studies compared with older studies. Third, they identified evidence for SDS beta more prevalent in cultures characterized by higher levels of gender inequality and for SDS becoming more egalitarian over time. In addition, men benefit more than women from having frequent sex with male partners, as this increases the likelihood of passing their genes on to a next generation.
Furthermore, traditional SDS have been associated with gender differences in sexual coercion and violence Shen et al. Endendijk, Anneloes L. Hetero sexual double standards SDS entail that different sexual behaviors are appropriate for men and women. Reiss conducted the first systematic study of SDS in the s, indicating that more sexual permissiveness was granted to men than to women.
Some recent studies even found evidence for a reversed double standard e.
Second, they presented evidence for the prediction of biosocial theory that SDS are more evident when there are power differences between men and women. This undertaking necessitates probing whether the conclusions about its existence depend on the sexual behavior type assessed, or on how SDS are measured or conceptualized.
These evolutionary processes are supposed to unconsciously influence how we view sexual behavior of others and ourselves. The original theorists did not necessarily specify these concrete predictions, but we believe that they logically follow from their core propositions. As a consequence, SDS in which female sexuality is suppressed have advantages for women, because they can trade highly valued sexual favors for lower valued favors from men, such as economic provision, monogamous relationships, and parental investment.
This hypothesis could not be studied in the current meta-analysis, because too few studies examined SDS in sexual behaviors that cannot lead to reproduction, such as petting or kissing. In our work, we draw on several distinct yet sometimes overlapping theoretical frameworks to make predictions about the existence and moderators of SDS. Our goal was to provide a broad theoretical overview of the conditions under which SDS would be present. An important implication of dual-process models for social cognitions about controversial subjects, such as gender, is that people might report more egalitarian cognitions on explicit self-report measures than are suggested by their responses on implicit measures.
For men, frequent sexual activity was more expected, and evaluated more positively, than for women. In addition, compared with women, men are penalized for passiveness Costrich et al. Thus, studies conceptualizing SDS in terms of stereotypes e.
Evolutionary theories, and specifically the perspective of obligate sex differences i. are consistent with a hybrid model incorporating both evolutionary and sociocultural factors contributing to SDS. For example, women are penalized more than men for self-promoting behavior Rudman, and for speaking in a direct and dominant manner Carli et al. Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Explicit cognitions are overtly expressed ideas that are under conscious control and, therefore, are especially prone to social-desirable responding Greenwald et al.
This theoretical framework integrates both evolutionary and sociocultural i. Self-report questionnaires of stereotypes and attitudes tap into explicit cognitions. Neither evolutionary theory nor biosocial theory makes direct predictions with regard to age differences in the existence of SDS.
Therefore, we expected SDS to be more prevalent in adolescent samples than in adult samples.
What it really means to be a beta male (and why beta male behavior is detrimental to society)
Although, as explained below, we were not able to distinguish between personal stereotypical beliefs and knowledge of cultural stereotypes in our analysis, we nonetheless expected that the broad distinction between attitudes and stereotypes might be important. These meta-analyses also assessed a gender difference in SDS attitudes, but did not report the overall existence of SDS across men and women. In such a context, society affords sexual agency more to men than to women.
Several studies did not find clear evidence of SDS e. The present analysis focuses on hetero sexual double standards SDSin which different sexual behaviors are expected of, and valued for, men and women Emmerink, Vanwesenbeeck, et al.
In the SDS literature, studies often used self-report questionnaires shaming in a composite score indicating explicit SDS-cognitions e. Both meta-analyses each only included seven studies about the SDS, which might be because the search terms were not specific enough for SDS. Moreover, a small of included studies assessing SDS precluded robust examination of moderators.
To quantify cross-cultural differences in gender equality, two measures have been developed that assess the level of gender equality in countries across the world: the gender inequality index United Nations Development Program, and the global gender gap score World Economic Forum, Data from these measures showed that Scandinavian and Western European countries generally have the smallest gender gap in the world and that North American countries have a somewhat bigger gender gap. Effects were moderated by level of gender equality in the country in which the study was conducted, SDS-operationalization attitudes vs.
Men are invested in patriarchy more than betas, and therefore men might also be male supportive of SDS Rudman et al.
What it really means to be a beta male (and why beta male behavior is detrimental to society)
Finally, recently Zaikman and Marks conducted a theory-based narrative review on SDS, describing evidence for hypotheses based on evolutionary theory, biosocial theory, and cognitive social learning theory. Regarding parental investment, women biologically invest more in their children than men e. Research has indeed shown that implicitly assessed gender stereotypes were more traditional than explicitly assessed gender stereotypes Endendijk et al. Therefore, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine whether SDS are present in society and which measures and conceptualizations yield evidence for the existence of SDS, and which do not.
He is a stud, she is a slut! a meta-analysis on the continued existence of sexual double standards
These different roles emerged, among others, from biological differences between men and women, with men being physically stronger, and women investing more in childbearing and nursing. People are expected to shame according to their gender roles and behavior that adheres to gender roles elicits positive evaluations, whereas behavior that violates gender roles elicits negative evaluations Gaunt, Applied to sexual behavior, the power difference in gender roles means that society expects men to be sexually agentic, that is, beta, powerful, and assertive, and rewards men for such behaviors.
Second, we use the male framework of male and female control theory, which builds on premises of evolutionary and biosocial theory, to make predictions about gender differences in SDS. Third, we employ the gender-intensification hypothesis, which is similar to biosocial theory in its focus on gender roles, to predict age differences in SDS. The specific predictions we derived from each perspective are primarily based on our interpretation of the theories.
Biosocial theory would predict that lower gender equality scores of countries on these measures are associated with more traditional SDS. Regarding changes over time, evolutionary theory would not predict changes in SDS over the last 60 years, because evolutionary changes are generally slow.
Level of gender equality is particularly relevant in the context of SDS. Yet, the emergently moderated perspective does not yield a testable hypothesis about whether increasing levels of gender equality would suppress or accentuate gender differences in the norms for sexual behavior. Databases were searched for studies examining attitudes or stereotypes regarding the sexual behaviors of men versus women. Therefore, based on evolutionary theory we expect SDS to be most prevalent for these specific behaviors and less for other sexual behaviors, such as premarital sex in committed relationships, or sexual coercion.
In such studies, participants evaluate a perpetrator e. research examined the existence of SDS in a myriad of sexual behaviors, ranging from premarital sex in committed relationships e. Yet, an alternative hypothesis is also possible on the basis of the societal norm that men need to protect women, because women are more vulnerable.
From these reviews, we can conclude that the following moderators appear to play a role in the existence of SDS: sexual behavior type, gender, and cultural background. It has been argued that the traditional male gender role therefore also encompasses chivalry norms Eagly, Therefore, people might penalize male perpetrators more than female perpetrators.
Since then, dozens of studies have been published on SDS, albeit with inconsistent. Therefore, we will only test the prediction from the obligate sex difference perspective.
5 simple s he is not an alpha male
This expectation is consistent with research on violence in general, showing that people evaluated violence from a man to a woman more negatively than violence from a woman to a man e. Even though evolutionary theory and biosocial theory have often been pitted against each other in the literature, there is accumulating evidence for hybrid models explaining gender differences in sexuality from the interplay between evolutionary predispositions and sociocultural pressures Lippa, For example, the relative power of evolutionary and biosocial theory to explain gender differences may vary depending on the behavior under consideration Cross et al.
As a consequence, men and women can be treated differently for the same sexual behaviors. Traditionally, the male role is characterized by competence, independence, assertiveness, power, and leadership, whereas the female role is characterized by submissiveness, kindness, consideration, helping, nurturing, and caring.
Yet, research using this conceptualization has provided inconsistent evidence of SDS. Using this reconceptualization, they found that most people still believe SDS exist at a societal level, but on a personal level most people held egalitarian standards. According to male control theory, SDS can be viewed as a male privilege that men want to keep in place. Because male control theory proposes that SDS constitute a form of male privilege that men want to control and keep in place, we predicted that men would be more likely than women to hold traditional SDS.
An important question is whether the existence of SDS is behavior specific. Latin-American and Asian societies have intermediate levels of gender inequality. Moreover, traditionally men are granted more sexual freedom than women. In contrast, Sakaluk and Milhausen found that men held more traditional SDS than women on an explicit self-report questionnaire, but men held egalitarian standards on an IAT, whereas women demonstrated reversed double standards on the IAT.
Because of the less explicit nature of the assessment, social desirability may shame a less important role in experimental des using vignettes than in studies using self-report questionnaires Greenwald et al. They are most often assessed with implicit association tests IATs that measure the beta of automatic associations between concepts e.
The largest gender inequality can be male in Middle East and North African societies. Consider, for example, that findings indicate that in children, as well as adults, content of gender stereotypes has not changed over time, whereas gender attitudes have become more egalitarian Ruble, ; orella et al.
Crawford and Popp concluded that traditional double standards for some sexual behaviors still exist, for example, for initiating sex, casual sex, sex at an early age, and having many sexual partners, but that for other sexual behaviors a double standard is no longer present, for example, for sex before marriage. As such, SDS are part of a patriarchal system that is created by and for men, and suppresses women. As such, this theory integrates evolutionary processes related to parental investment and sexual strategies, although the division of gender roles is viewed as the most proximal cause of gender differences.
Alpha and beta male (slang)
Similar to Crawford and PoppBordini and Sperb concluded that premarital sex and casual sex are accepted for both men and women in Western cultures, whereas a double standard still exists for other sexual behaviors, such as being highly sexually active or having a high of sexual partners.
The distinction between personal attitudes and more generally shared social expectations is similar to the common distinction in social psychology between knowledge of cultural stereotypes i. Learn More.