The power of stereotypes


Bismah Syed

“The need many guys have to assert their dominance in every aspect of life isn’t just exhausting, it’s concerning. Especially when sex is involved.”

Sophie Chappell, features writer

I’m going to be completely honest with you: I’ve never had sex. I could chalk it up to the fact that I’ve been single for a while, or that the people I dated weren’t “the one” but the truth is, I’m scared. Scared of caring about the relationship more than my partner.  This isn’t an unreasonable fear because many stereotypes surrounding sex deal with an imbalance in emotion between males and females. These clichés came from experience females had with their male partners, and as the years went on, stereotypes surrounding the emotional aspect of sex developed, causing an unease in teenage girls today.

Our society has become a breeding ground for hyper masculinity, a psychological term for the exaggeration of stereotypical male behavior, such as an emphasis on physical strength, aggression and sexuality. As a society, we seem to have the ability to recognize hyper masculinity has an issue, but that’s all we appear to be doing. The need many guys have to assert their dominance in every aspect of life isn’t just exhausting, it’s concerning. Especially when sex is involved.

One of the biggest stereotypes surrounding sex is that males care less about who they are having sex with, and more about the sex itself. To them, it’s not the girl that matters, but what she has to offer. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable for both parties, not just one. This stereotype reflects an experience various girls have been through, and KHS students seem to agree with me on this one, a majority of the students surveyed agreed and some said, “Because it’s like a prize to them, something they do to keep up a status.” Others said, “I think it depends on the male. Some use sex as a form of everyday entertainment, while others see it as something they’re saving for the right person.”

Sure, girls are more emotional than the average guy, but we didn’t choose to be. Females have verbal centers on both sides of their brains, which allows for us to use more words when describing our feelings. Males have fewer verbal centers than females, resulting in less connections between their emotions and words. Despite these great differences, it’s not like girls are asking for a lot here emotionally. Part of the foundation for any relationship is emotional support, and when it’s not provided, the relationship will feel one-sided, which is heart-wrenching to say the least. Guys need to lose this idea that by not showing emotion, they will become appealing to their crush. Believe it or not, girls like it when someone shows genuine interest in them. Who could have guessed?

While I fear the worst when it comes to sex, Mia*, junior, showed me that not everyone has a terrible experience their first time.

“What makes me think [he] isn’t like that [hypermasculine about sex] is because he’s still talking to me,” Mia said. “When I was kissing him I got nervous, [but] he was caring.”

Although Mia had a good experience, most people don’t think of their first time as being remarkable. According to survey results from college women in an article from a Bustle ⅓ of the women surveyed weren’t ready to have sex their first time, and out of 3,000 women surveyed, only 630, wanted to have sex with that first partner again. Something had to happen that first time in order for the other 2,370 women to not want to have sex again with that person. Sure, it could have been a hookup with someone they didn’t know, or it could have had something to do with that person’s attitude toward sex. Maybe, just maybe, the girl felt like she cared more. And for me, that would be a deal breaker.

This stereotype makes girls believe they aren’t worthy of someone who truly cares for them, and they will settle for the classic douchebag who believes a head nod is a suitable form of greeting. Personally, I want to know, for a fact, the person I’m dating is as invested in the relationship as I am. It shouldn’t be a guessing game. And if it is, chances are it’s time for a change.