A man that sleeps with a lot of women is often seen as a stud or a player, but when a woman does the same she is perceived as a slut. This plays into the double standard for men and women and their sexual activity. The double standard that exists between men and women is extremely sexist because it allows men to have numerous sexual partners, while women are expected to keep a reasonably low number. As seen in the interviews in Bogle’s book, guys in college tend to only respect women who have a low number of sexual partners, even when they themselves have slept with a high amount of girls. The acceptable number of sexual partners for women is much lower than it is for men and it simply isn’t fair. A person’s “number” of sexual partners should not change how they are viewed by others, yet for many it does.
The film What’s Your Number? confronts this idea of the double standard head on. When the main character, played by Anna Faris, reads an article stating that women who have slept with over 20 men often can’t find a husband, she becomes extremely worried considering she has already had sex with 19 men. Once she accidentally sleeps with number 20, she attempts to find all the men she has slept with in order to see if any are worth a second chance. She is afraid that no one will want to be with her once she has slept with over 20 men. Society has led her to believe in this double standard through media and articles like the ones she read.
This plays into the idea that once a woman has had sex with multiple men her value decreases as a potential partner. Yet, for men this is rarely the issue, except perhaps in extreme circumstances. The main character’s neighbor, played by Chris Evans, sleeps with numerous women throughout the movie, never giving a second thought about it. Men have different expectations placed upon them than women do. The main male character can have numerous females leave his apartment several times throughout the film, but it never taints Anna Faris’ character’s opinion of him and she still ends up falling for him. The movie however goes against the double standard by the leading male not caring about how many men she has slept with. An individual’s number of sexual partners has no bearing on who they are as a person and should determine whether or not they are worthy of respect.
Rather than acknowledging that a woman is in control of her sexuality, society tends to be critical. What could be done to eliminate this double standard between men and women?