One of the oldest canards – something I’ve written about before, in fact – is the idea that women don’t like sex, especially casual sex, as much as men do. It’s the subject of many a heated debate, the punchline to hacky comedians’ jokes and the background noise in movies and sitcoms since pretty much forever. We’re given any number of reasons for this, from the classic “sperm is cheap/eggs are expensive” evo-psych rationale to the more mercenary “women use sex for barter” market view of human sexuality. This supposed disparity between male and female libidos is part of what drives so much of Pick-Up Artists tactics, of Red-Pill rage and many a rant from anime-avatar’d randos on Twitter when people dare to suggest otherwise.
The ur-evidence of this belief is the infamous Clark-Hatfield study, which was published in 1989 and replicated over and over again by YouTube pranksters as “social experiments” ever since.
Of course, the study was fatally flawed; as has been pointed out many times, Johnny Rando rolling up on a college campus and asking chicks to bang him betrays a rather severe lack of social calibration at best. But despite its flaws and mistaken conclusions, it hangs in as part of the accepted wisdom of gender relations.
(Of course, the heteronormative focus of this causes the idea to fall apart as soon as homo- and bisexuality are introduced into the mix, to say nothing of trans men and women… but hey, why let facts get in the way of closely held beliefs?)
However, a new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior drives home just why the Clark-Hatfield study was wrong and – more importantly – why women are so reluctant to say “yes” to casual sex.