Keys, Doors, and sex

In Moore and Davidson’s “Communicating with New Sex Partners”, they explain how risk-taking sexual practices is more related to self efficacy than knowledge. They stated, “High Self efficacy is associated with both the intention to discuss STD prevention and reported discussion of past sex partner.” I thought it was interesting how they compared the three different groups of college females in regards to asking about their sexual partners about sexual history. They categorized them into three groups: rarely, sometimes, and almost always. Moore and Davidson’ then brought in a nurturing aspect to each group, further distinguishing them from one another. The AA (almost always) is known to have had more sexually related conversations with their mother figures than the R (rarely) and S (sometimes). This is compelling in that something so minuscule when growing up can make the biggest differences later on in life.

After reading this article, I feel like that when it comes to asking about sexual history, that responsibility has mostly fallen upon women in modern day American society. I heard this quote when I was younger, “What would you rather have, a key that can open any door, or a door that can be opened with any key?”. This made me think of how society says it is ok for a man to sleep with numerous women; however, when a woman sleeps with numerous men, she is frowned upon. Knowing this information, I think men should be equally as responsible for asking the question. Sure, a women has more on the line besides contracting STDs, but a man still has enough on the line to bring up the question.

STD’s can be asymptomatic depending on the strain, and gender infected. for example, A man can carry Chlamydia while being asymptomatic/clueless, and pass it on to a woman – possibly making her infertile. It makes me angry how a simple test or question can prevent something terrible like the example I gave from happening. Men do have more than enough on the line to bring up the question, but I am positive most don’t ask. I think it is odd how women have been thrown this responsibility of being the “careful ones”, when it is obvious that men should be equally as responsible.

4 thoughts on “Keys, Doors, and sex

  1. This is one of the most obvious double standards in society. Perhaps its the varying concepts of masculinity that shape the way men are expected to act and the mirroring standards of femininity that women are stereotypically expected to uphold. Sex is a prominent topic in society and questions regarding sexual history become ambiguous when gender is taken into account.

  2. I agree with your and jsmit63’s comment that we do have a double standard in society. Women are expected to ask this question because they are said to be “at a greater risk” than men, since men usually have more sex partners. It’s truly a double standard because society could have taken a different track, and looked down upon men after thinking that men are the reason for spreading majority of the STD’s because they have more sex partners than women. For example, if a man has contracted a disease, and then has had sexual intercourse with multiple women, he may have passed this infection on to multiple women. I am not saying this is true, but merely pointing out the one track mind in that article. Almost all the articles were from the viewpoint of what women need to change and how women need to be cautions, and what women were doing wrong. I totally agree with your statement, “Sure, a women has more on the line besides contracting STDs, but a man still has enough on the line to bring up the question.” One’s own safety is on the line here and both women and men can be carriers of an infection, and thus both males and females should be wanting to know (and thereby asking the question) the “sexual script” of their sex partners.

  3. Well this is a fairly obvious comment, but both genders need to be tested just as frequently if they are sexually active. Knowing you have an infection and using protection seems like the most logical way to prevent propagation. Unfortunately most of the responsibility falls upon women because for diseases like HPV, they are at risk.

    Also, I’ve heard the analogy a similar way. “If a key can open many locks, it is a master key. If a lock is opened by many keys, it’s a bad lock”. Regardless, that exemplifies the double standard.

  4. Upluto: great job starting such a robust discussion. I have to admit that I had not heard the key/lock thing. I am assuming key= penis and lock= vagina? It’s great that you reference Moore and Davidson’s article. Remember that most outside readers are not familiar with the article and may not know what the categories (almost always, etc.) refer to, so try to be more explicit. Your comment amount the focus on a mother’s impact on young women’s self efficacy and how it was “nurturing” got me wondering- what about dad’s? If there is one in the picture, do you they could impact the situation? Can dad’s nurture too? Do you think that would impact a young woman’s self efficacy?

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