Human Sexuality: How Men and Women Differ

Abstract

The aim of the current research is to investigate the correlation between sexual desires, sexual aggression, and sexual plasticity that determine the difference in sexuality between men and women. Since limited literature exist on this topic, it is essential to conduct critical research that will address the issue following the significant literature gap that exist. The researchers will adopt a secondary method of research to collect substantial information relating to the topic. A thematic analysis will be used to synthesize the data that will be collected from the materials included in the study. The codes generated will be organized into themes that relate to the four factors that have been identified to influence sexuality differences in men and women.   

Keywords: sexual desires, sexual aggression, sexual plasticity, sexuality.

Introduction

            Over the years, sex experts have asserted that men and women possess strikingly different sexual natures that explain their sexuality. Sexuality has been identified as the preeminent factor that distinguishes romantic relationships from any other emotional ties (Busby, Hanna-Walker & Yorgason, 2020). Sex is a fundamental aspect of a relationship and different sexual elements have been linked to the attachment measures between men and women in relationships. As a result, researchers have studied the difference between men and women sexuality as a way of distinguishing factors that influence a romantic relationship. However, feminist scholars have opposed this research area placing emphasis on sexual equality between men and women (Mize & Manago, 2018). Psychologists have used scientific evidence from empirical research as a way of distinguishing men from women based on their sexualities. They have argued that it is important to study these differences since they influence behavior and feelings among men and women.

            From previous findings, four factors remain outstanding in distinguishing sexuality between men and women. Sexual desire, sexual aggression, sexual plasticity, and sexuality and relationships have been identified as contemporary research areas that distinguish men from women. According to Rieger et al. (2016), women are psychologically sexually aroused to both genders when compared to the sexual arousal of men. The study conducted by Rieger and colleagues revealed that women’s sexual patterns are less affected by the sex of their partners. Social, cultural, and contextual factors play a fundamental role in influencing the sexual patterns of women, thus, their arousal. Contrastingly, existing literature points out that men have a higher sexual desires as compared to women (Dawson & Chivers, 2014). Reserachers have found out that men are interested and think of sex often than women.

            Across their lifespan, men exhibit high sex drive than their female counterparts. Historically, sexual desire and arousal were thought to be similar because sexual desire was responsible for the spontaneous sexual response, leading to arousal. Recently, researchers have distinguished sexual desire from sexual arousal stating that both characteristics emerge from the sexual cues of an individual (Dawson & Chivers, 2014). Consequently, another factor that has been used in distinguishing the sexuality of men and women has been linked to sexual aggression. Typically, women have a higher sexual aggression and disgust as compared to men. The previous decades of disgust research have indicated that women have a robust and substantially higher aggression and disgust level which influence several areas of life including profession and interpersonal relationships (Al-Shawaf, Lewis & Buss, 2018). This characteristic has been a distinguishing factor differentiating men from women in intimate relationships.

            Another recurring theme in human sexuality and the differences between men and women is sexual plasticity. Sexual plasticity is regarded as the degree to which an individual’s sexual behavior and beliefs can be altered and shaped by cultural, situational, and social factors. Diamond (2013) postulates that women have a higher sexual plasticity as compared to men, meaning, their sexual behavior and attitude can easily be changed by cultural and social factors. Changes in a person’s sexuality has been identified as the greatest sign that shows sexual plasticity between men and women. Women often experience these changes such as variability in their sexual activities as compared to men. For instance, a woman in an intimate relationship might frequently be involved in sexual activities with their partner but can lose interest in sex after breakup, leading to changes in her sexual preferences (Busby, Hanna-Walker & Yorgason, 2020). All these four factors have been used to distinguish sexuality between men and women over the past years of research.

            Also, men and women display different levels of commitment in intimate relationships which determine their sexuality behavior and characteristics. Compared with men, women have a less permissive attitude towards casual extramarital and premarital sex. Additionally, women are likely to display sexual fantasies that involve their partners and include commitment and affection (Mize & Manago, 2018). These distinguishing factors are used to differentiate between men and women in human sexuality. On the contrary, men fantasies are likely to involve anonymous partners, strangers, and multiple partners and might involve specific sexual acts. These differences are used to categorize the underlying sexuality differences between men and women.    

            Research on gender and sexuality have played a critical role in contemporary society. Gender and sexuality are fundamental forces that shape our lives. The present research will add to the body of the existing literature regarding human sexuality by exploring the topic through the four themes that have been identified. The study will emphasize on the social expectations and legal definitions between men and women sexuality. The current study will play a significant role since it will provide information that is categorically based on the four themes that have been identified which influence the sexuality of men and women.  It is hypothesized that:

  • The low sexual desire in women is as a result of various causal factors that influence their arousal and sexual behavior
  • Women’s sexual aggression is as a result of their heavy investments and commitment in relationships, making them choosy after breakups
  • The lower sexual plasticity in men is linked to their high sexual desire

Despite the existing literature that investigate the differences between men and women, limited research has been conducted which emphasize on the four themes that influence the differences between men and women. Thus, the aim of the current research is to investigate the correlation between sexual desires, sexual aggression, and sexual plasticity that determine the difference in sexuality between men and women. Information from the study will cover an existing literature gap that has not been addressed for a longtime. It is critical to address these issues since they will have a significant implication in future research.

Methods

            The current study will use secondary data gathered from previous studies to collect comprehensive information regarding the topic under review. The secondary method of data collection is deemed useful for the present study due to the challenges experienced when collecting first-hand data. Most people find the topic of sexuality sensitive, thus, might fail to participate in the study. Data from existing literature relating to the four themes that have been identified will be systematically collected and reviewed. Several types of literature will be considered for inclusion in the present, ranging from quantitative-, qualitative-, cross-sectional-, and longitudinal studies.

            Multiple databases will be used during the selection of appropriate materials that will be included in the current study. Both psychological and sociological journals will be used in the extraction of peer-reviewed articles that will be used in the study. Additionally, different reputable search engines that will be used to access research materials include Google Scholar, Wiley Online, ERICK, Research Gate, and EBSCOhost. Some of the journals that will be used during the literature search include Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Also, reports that will provide substantial information needed in the study will be included in the present research. During the literature search, specific words, phrases, and word strings will be used to locate the best materials that can be included. Some of the words that will be used include: sexual desire in men and women, differences in sexuality between men and women, sexuality and relationships, sexual plasticity in different genders, sexual difference between men and women, and human sexuality.

            A stringent inclusion and exclusion criterion will be applied to identify the materials that qualify to be included in the present study. One of the inclusion criterion that will be used in identifying studies is the correlation of the current study’s objective to those of the materials that will be identified. To qualify for inclusion, the articles need to investigate either one of the identified themes or the topic of sexuality between men and women in general. Also, studies that will be included will be those published since 2013 to present, thus, ensuring that the information that is incorporated in the present research is up to date. However, studies that have been qualified for inclusion will have to be scrutinized by reviewers to ensure that the information contained in them is relevant to the present topic of research. This will be done by skimming through the abstracts and conclusions of the studies.

            On the other hand, excluding studies that do not meet the current criteria is essential for ensuring that the conclusions withdrawn is relevant. The year of publication will be an essential element that will be used in disqualifying materials that provide outdated information. Since several studies regarding sexuality difference between men and women have been conducted in the past, eliminating studies published before 2013 will help in using updated information. Additionally, studies that focused on other elements of sexuality apart from the four themes that have been identified will automatically be disqualified from inclusion.           

Analytic Strategy

            Since the present study relies on secondary data sources, a clear method of analysis needs to be developed to ensure the information extracted from the materials subjectively contribute to the findings and conclusions. Researchers will use a thematic analysis approach to analyze the information that will be collected from the available data sources. The data obtained from the sources will be coded to help in identifying the recurring themes that are present in the identified materials. Coding will help in organizing the themes identified from the literature as a way of developing the thematic analysis. The coding will highlight different phrases that have been identified in the materials. The data will allow the researchers to gain a condensed overview of the recurring data throughout the materials.

            Theme are generated from these codes and then defined according to how they apply in the different sources. The codes will help in identifying the prevailing patterns in the materials included in the research. However, for this study, there are four underlying themes that will used to categorize the codes that have been identified. The themes will form a basis through which the discussion and conclusions will be analyzed in the study. Defining the themes will be crucial in ensuring that the information from the materials is applicable to the present research topic. Afterward, the information from these themes will be used in conducting the thematic analysis and comparing them to the proposed hypotheses.     

Conclusion 

            Gender differences and sexuality are topics that have gained considerable interests from researchers over the past years. Previous research indicates that women and men portray different sexual characteristics and behavior which distinguish them. While women have low sexual desire and high sexual arousal, the opposite applies to men, who have a higher sexual desires with a lower sexual arousal. Additionally, women have a higher sexual plasticity and aggression compared to men. This explain some of the primary factors that are used to distinguish sexuality in men and women. The objective of the present research is to explore these differences basing the argument on four themes of sexual desire, sexual aggression, sexual plasticity, and sexuality and relationships. A secondary method of data collection will be used in conducting the study. A strict inclusion and exclusion criteria will be used in identifying the research materials that qualify to be included in the present research. Data from the study will be analyzed thematically based on the codes that will be generated.   

References

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M., & Buss, D. M. (2018). Sex differences in disgust: Why are women more easily disgusted than men? Emotion review10(2), 149-160. doi: 10.1177/1754073917709940 journals.sagepub.com/home/er

Busby, D. M., Hanna-Walker, V., & Yorgason, J. B. (2020). A closer look at attachment, sexuality, and couple relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships37(4), 1362-1385. doi: 10.1177/0265407519896022 journals.sagepub.com/home/spr

Dawson, S. J., & Chivers, M. L. (2014). Gender differences and similarities in sexual desire. Current Sexual Health Reports6(4), 211-219. doi: 10.1007/s11930-014-0027-5

Diamond, L. (2013, January). Sexuality in relationships. Oxford University Press. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264741826_Sexuality_in_relationships

Mize, T. D., & Manago, B. (2018). Precarious sexuality: How men and women are differentially categorized for similar sexual behavior. American Sociological Review83(2), 305-330.

Rieger, G., Savin-Williams, R. C., Chivers, M. L., & Bailey, J. M. (2016). Sexual arousal and masculinity-femininity of women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology111(2), 265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000077

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