Why is there a Double Standard?

There is a definite double standard between men and women in the college environment. Kathleen Bogle states designates a whole chapter to provide readers an explanation and attempt to create an understanding for those of us who don’t really get it. So, guys are free to hook up with whoever comes at them (or whoever they go after) while girls have to be cautious to maintain a good reputation, one that does not include the words “slut” or “whore”. Furthermore, we are given standards to live by with no boundaries. Larry, a senior at Faith University, stated that a girl is considered a slut if she sleeps with twelve guys in a short period of time or if she hooks up with five guys in a week, which means a new guy every day. This statement really bothered me because I feel like that is not the least bit realistic. So where do these guys get these obscenely high numbers when being asked what a “slut” is? Do they think that girls are morally corrupt or do they use their numbers for background knowledge to make the estimate? The more important question may be: who are these guys to determine what the definition of a “slut” is? Why can they hook up with large amounts of girls and still be considered a bro? If guys are given the opportunity to define such a harsh term, we clearly have a problem in society. This double standard is very unclear which gives guys more freedom and girls more of an opportunity to be judged. I also found it displeasing that once a girl hooks up with a guy, she is talked about with the “bros” which could possibly place a target on her. A target that calls for boys to stay away from her or one that draws them in. It was interesting that boys who want to hook up look for the “trophy girl”, one that does not hook up often. My question is, if she does not hook up often then why does he think he’s something special enough to persuade her to hookup. Does it make her more of a trophy girl if she turns him down knowing she is just another girl to him?

By interviewing boys and providing statistics, it is known that boys don’t want to date in college. They want to “have fun.” It takes two to tango. Therefore, in the midst of trying to have their own fun they are putting the moves on many girls. In society today, a girl will do whatever it takes to try to get a boy to fall for her, even if that means hooking up. Maybe boys are essentially the start to this unfortunate domino effect. Let’s set up a scenario: A girl sees a guy at a party who she thinks is very attractive, they talk, he uses his sweet talking abilities, they leave and now they are in bed together. By the time the night is over, he’s a bro and she’s a slut?

This video displays the sexual double standard wonderfully.


She explains that this double standard has taken place for a really long time. Even though both a man and a woman are involved in the act, the woman is viewed as promiscuous.

Earlier in the semester, we talked about sexual education programs in school. Many were not efficient and some schools did not have them at all. This woman in the video brings up a very important fact. Many young girls today are told not to be too revealing with their outfits because boys will get the wrong impression. Therefore, they need to be taught more than only abstinence in these programs. As I said, this sexual double standard is really not specific which allows anyone to say mean things. Even girls call girls sluts when they are not particularly taking part in any action that would resemble the actions of a “slut”. This is the time where we need to educate to stop this double standard.

My questions for you: How can we stop this double standard? Do boys instigate it? Why are they given the opportunity to define it? Should Kathleen Bogle have interviewed guys at different universities? Do you think there is any hope to end this double standard?

5 thoughts on “Why is there a Double Standard?

  1. When it comes to the double standard concept, I would personally say that there is no way to stop this, or any hope that this will end. In our earlier classes we discussed male dominance, and male dominance plays a huge role in the double standard concept. So guys are given the opportunity to define this term, because guys have all the control. When have you ever heard about a woman being in control over a man? Responses would be the same if Bogle would’ve interviewed different colleges. So, who are we to categorize an individual because of their sexual experiences?


  2. The double standard is very engrained in our society and a good example is how a girl’s virginity is something to be cherished, while for a guy it is something that needs to be lost. Boys have been taught that it is okay for them to be sexual and have these desires, but girls haven’t. Nancy Fishcher’s article, “Purity and Pollution,” talks about how labeling perpetuates the problem of individuals being seen as immoral, typically girls being seen as sluts. Guys at any school are going to answer in a similar manner and it will be difficult to change this. Would the only way to change the double standard be a complete ideological shift by society?


  3. One way to curb the power of the “bro”/”slut” double standard is by allowing women to develop their own sexual subjectivity from an earlier age. It is important to teach everyone that they can be as sexual as they deem fit, and that is their decision and their decision alone. If a woman hooks up once and gets called a slut, shame on society. If a woman hooks up every weekend and gets called a slut, shame on society. We do not get to project our own moral code onto others, especially a sexual moral code that differs for every individual.


  4. I feel very strong about the topic of double standard. I completely hate that there is one and sad to say that I feel like there has always been a double standard. I don’t necessarily think that boys are the only people that instigate this issue of double standard because you have many women who call other women “sluts”, “whores”, and many other hurtful names. I’m not real sure why only guys were given the opportunity to define it but it may be because most people think that the double standard is created by men. I believe Bogle’s point could be stronger if she would have interviewed guys from different universities to make sure the answers were similar all around. I really hope there is an end to this double standard but it is so hard to think of ways to end it. So I am not really sure if we will find a way to end double standards but I sure hope we do.


  5. Double standards exist in many different realms but for the sexually derived ones, I think it will be a long hard fight before they disappear. The existence of double standards is due in large part to a “sexual morality” script that dictates what is and isn’t moral in a sexual relationship. Many live by this. Our country is so entrenched in religion and their accompanying morals, not to say this is a bad thing – everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, however when these beliefs are placed on others that is when it becomes an issue. But, this has become so widespread that it isn’t really seen as a problem, we don’t see the harmful affects. Bodies are being regulated from even a governmental and legal level that are largely fueled by religious beliefs. I believe the only way to get rid of these double standards is to learn how to truly separate church and state. People must learn to personally police their own bodies (if they so choose) but not the bodies of others.


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