August 23, 2019
You might think British views about sex have come a long way, but turns out there are still a lot of outdated assumptions about gender roles in the bedroom.
Were Still Confused About Women Wanting Sex – Or So This Study Suggests
More than half of people (57%) questioned in a major new survey of sexual attitudes think Women are likely to ‘go along with sex to keep their partner happy’. And 56% of people think a woman is more likely to refuse sex than a man, compared to the 1% of people who consider the man more likely to.
In the survey of 4000 adults, conducted by YouGov and the End Violence Against Women Coalition, 42% of participants think that in heterosexual relationships, men always want sex more than women do.
Sarah Green, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said the survey showed “persistent, widely held views about who sex is primarily for, who ‘needs’ it and whose pleasure matters”.
A third (32%) of respondents not only believe men want to have sex more than their female counterparts, but also that they physically need to have more sexual interaction. Only 2% believe women want to have more sex than men.
And when it comes to the question of initiating sex, most people (45%) still believe it falls to the man, although 42% think either party is likely to initiate. Just 3% think that a woman is more likely to get things started. 
Findings also point towards the well-documented ‘orgasm gap’ between men and women. More than half of those surveyed (53%) think men are more likely to orgasm – Lisa Williams, co-author of More Orgasms Please: Why Female Pleasure Matters says there is truth in this, citing the statistic that men have an orgasm in 87% of interactions versus only 65% for women. Related... What Is The Orgasm Gender Gap – And What Can We Do About It?  
Not only do women lack autonomy when it comes to asking for sex, they’re also deemed the less important voice when it comes to ending encounters, the survey suggests – with 36% of those surveyed thinking men will decide when sex is over compared to 11% believing it’s the woman.
“This report shows how far we’ve got to go in changing outdated ideas about women as sexual gatekeepers,” said Dr Fiona Vera Gray, research fellow at Durham Law School, expert on sexual harassment.
“The belief that heterosexual sex is something women refuse or go along with rather than initiate, feeds damaging rape myths that hold women responsible for stopping rape and blame women who show sexual agency.”
While three quarters (73%) of people believe both partners in heterosexual sex are just as likely to enjoy themselves, this figure reduces among 18-24 year olds to 58%. 
“The fact that young people seem to hold some of the most regressive attitudes may speak volumes about how government delays to sex education have left a whole generation scrabbling to understand sex through the sexist representations we find in most pornography, where sex is something done to women by and for men,” Dr Gray added.Related... Has Porn Become The Ultimate Passion Killer? The report makes an appeal for the new proposed sex education curriculum (due to be launched in September 2020) to include discussion of sexual pleasure and not just reproduction and menstruation. 
Sarah Green commented: “If we have a society thinking it’s fair enough for a man to pester a woman into having sex with him on his terms because he ‘needs’ it, that women are less likely to enjoy sex, that women’s orgasms are more difficult to achieve, that it’s normal for women to routinely go along with sex for someone else’s sake, while still putting responsibility all on the woman for preventing and ‘gatekeeping’ sex – rather than on the man for seeking consent and working towards enjoyable experiences for both – then at best our aspirations are poor, and at worst we create a set of readymade excuses for sexual assault.”Read More 'My Wife And I Role Play – And Sometimes It Lasts For Days' Gagging Orders Clearly Discriminate Against Women – So Why Are They Still Allowed? "We're Just Exhausted": Meet The People Under 35 In Sexless Relationships
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