We wish to thank Mary Koss for her helpful editorial comments, and Tamar Elkeles, Margaret Golden, Beth Goldsmith, Wendi Groves, and Erin Kelly for their assistance with this study. This investigation was supported by University of Kansas General Research allocation No. 3743–20–0038.
DOUBLE STANDARD/DOUBLE BIND
The Sexual Double Standard and Women's Communication about Sex
Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
Psychology of Women Quarterly
Volume 15, Issue 3, pages 447–461, September 1991
How to Cite
Muehlenhard, C. L. and McCoy, M. L. (1991), DOUBLE STANDARD/DOUBLE BIND. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 15: 447–461. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1991.tb00420.x
- Issue published online: 28 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 28 JUL 2006
We tested the hypothesis that the sexual double standard, which gives more sexual freedom to men than women, might in some situations make women reluctant to acknowledge their desire for sexual intercourse. We asked 403 college women whether they had been in situations in which (a) they were with a man who wanted to have sexual intercourse, and they wanted to have sexual intercourse with him, but they indicated that they did not want to do so (scripted refusal); and (b) they were in the same situation, but they openly acknowledged their willingness to have sexual intercourse (open acknowledgment). If they had been in either or both of these situations, they were asked to complete a scale measuring acceptance of the sexual double standard, first the way they believed their partner would have completed it, and next the way they would have completed it. As expected, women in scripted refusal situations believed that their partners accepted the double standard more than did women in open acknowledgment situations. Consistent with theories emphasizing proximal determinants of gender-related behavior, scripted refusal provides sexually active women with a socially acceptable way of dealing with the sexual double standard.