The Good Men Project hosted an article by Andrew Miller on Sept. 4th about the absent discussion of male sexuality. The article stirred more than a bit of quick opinion and observations on the subject. Some of the more interesting comments were as follows:

  • Male sexuality is ‘problematic’ only as long as we allow others to define what’s acceptable for men to do.
  • When we stop accepting other people’s judgments about it, we’ll be able to make REAL progress on men’s sexuality and its proper respect and celebration.
  • I think the continual presentation of male sexuality as “they’ll screw anything, anywhere” is hugely problematic.
  • I think it’s because men dating much younger women is seen as inherently predatory on the part of the man, while women dating much younger men is seen as inherently empowering on the part of the woman.
  • So no, in that light, it is really not surprising that older men are attracted to younger women or girls. Not because “that’s how men are,” or because of something intrinsically wrong with men, but because of the social acceptance by both men and women that Youth = Sex.
AncientEgyptionFigures

Ancient Egyptian Figures circa 1000BCE

The focus seemed to be about what was accepted as normal male sexuality, and perpetually  on who’s in charge of good taste, both arguably fall under Social Influence and its effects on behaviour. I’d argue that the entertainment industry is the largest portal for influencing society. The article compared Miley Cyrus twerking against Robin Thicke’s groin during a music award performance, and a 49-year-old teacher being excused from jail for statutory rape of a 14-year-old student who two years later committed suicide at 17. The author’s premise was essentially – ‘If it’s OK to have a family show simulating coitus, then should society be surprised when a 49-year-old teacher have coitus with his 14-year-old student, now lets talk male sexuality’.

What is male sexuality? In terms of social influence, it seems to be portrayed in entertainment media as some Lothario type, that archetypal unscrupulous seducer of women. That’s a one-sided schtick that ‘works’ by playing on the dupe falling into the pit of her own vanity. It also only works if the audience can see how silly she is to fall for the sweetly perfumed words of her seducer. Those characters exist and we seem to smile at their conquests and even call them as I just did, ‘conquests’ a very militant or hunter type of mentality, arguably primal. As a brief aside, if using lies to take advantage of another persons vanity is wrong, and it were to stop – the marketing industry would collapse overnight and the world would be better as a result.

Missing evidence.

Male sexuality, as presented in the entertainment media, and in the news, creates a bias – a stereotype, that is widely believed by society, at least American and Canadian society, that men and teenage males, if unrestrained by social influence would be rutting in the park like dogs. The popular rascal/protagonist, like in Two and a Half Men, is looked upon most favourably, and the women he’s bedded are part of the popular mystique and focus of his ‘loveable rogue’ character. What about the 1000 or 10,000 other men that are not like him? Wouldn’t make for good entertainment would it?

As far as the news is concerned, when there are reports of rape and other sexual violence committed by men, it’s scary and it becomes socially salient because that’s what news is supposed to do – get people talking. News, by definition, can’t talk about the sexual violence that did not occur, again – missing evidence. Also society seems to look at rape as an act of sex, as opposed to an act of violence, which skews beliefs about male sexuality, that men are sexual monsters – people to be frightened of – especially alone with one in an elevator, or after dusk. Rape is not part of male sexuality, anymore than being raped is part of female sexuality.