A study from the University of Guelph finds that men often feel “coerced” into sex because we’re subject to the myth of the massive libido. In other words, social constructions do have a measurable effect on behavior, and it cuts across both genders:
A study of 518 university students found that 38.8% of men and 47.9% of women reported being pressured into a range of sexual activity, from kissing and cuddling to intercourse and oral sex.
But the most surprising finding was the link between popularized notions of the male libido and the susceptibility of both genders to pressure, said Cailey Hartwick, the lead author of the study published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.
The existence of traditional stereotypes may cause men to engage in sexual activity rather than feel guilty about refusing it. Meanwhile, adherence to such stereotypes by women may fuel the belief “that resistance may be somewhat futile against a man’s indomitable desire for sex,” the study stated.
These myths have power.