Scientist claims feminism is the "anti-Viagra"

As increasing numbers of women become hooked on internet porn, the question arises: have the advances in gender equality made since the sixties served to boost the incomes of sex therapists? Have gender politics screwed with hardwired, biological mechanisms of desire? Ogi Ogas, author of A Billion Wicked Thoughts, seems to think so. A neuroscientist, Ogas appears to believe that a too-heavy diet of Simone de Beauvoir and Naomi Wolf can conflict with a woman's preference for sexual submission as controlled by the unconscious, subcortical part of her brain.

Ogas, of course, points to rat studies, and how a part of the hypothalamus in male rats acts as a kind of conning tower for that dominant, caveman behavior in men. With a recent study suggesting possible liberal/conservative differences in brain structure, new kinds of philosophical questions will be asked. Will some scientist be branded a misogynist for suggesting that women are drawn to romance novels for their popular submission themes? And is there a connection between the increasing female consumption of porn, and the cultural evolution of male "wussification," as rebelled against by the drum beating of Iron John's Robert Bly?

According to erotic-romance author Angela Knight:

"Women like bad boys. I suspect that's because our inner cavewoman knows Doormat Man would become Sabertooth Tiger lunch in short order. In fact, this may be one reason why EroRom is gaining popularity so fast -- writers feel free to write dominant heroes with more of an edge."

Ogas points out that both men and women's brains are wired with neural circuitry for dominance and submission, but nature apparently links only one of the circuits to the arousal system. And many men are born with active submissive circuitry themselves, evidenced by such genres as transformation fiction and femdom porn. So is Ogas right, is feminism partly responsible for bedroom dissatisfaction, or is this all nerdy nonsense?

Tags Feminism

Commentarium (19 Comments)

Apr 10 11 - 3:49pm
LM

I'd hardly call it nerdy, but nonsense, yes.

Apr 10 11 - 4:42pm
N

This is such crap.
All the feminists I know have a great time in bed.

Apr 10 11 - 5:10pm
Lawrence

Feminists know what they want. Of course they have a great time in bed.

Apr 10 11 - 5:26pm
L

I haven't read the actual study, but the psychology today article gives no evidence whatever that gender equality somehow prevents men and women from role playing or asking for what they want in the bedroom. I'd argue that a feminist with submissive fantasies would be in a better position to explore those fantasies in a consensual, healthy, and totally hot way than a woman who was so repressed that she couldn't communicate her desires to her partner.

Apr 10 11 - 7:32pm
lolwut

I think you guys are confusing "submission" and "repression". Just throwing that out there.

Apr 10 11 - 8:45pm
bk

Nerdy nonsense. They assume that feminism and sexual submission are mutually exclusive - which is absolutely untrue.

Apr 10 11 - 11:07pm
nn

I'm about as big a feminist as I've ever come across, and yet I'm pretty openly sexually submissive. Actually, the people I've heard complain about sexually submissive women tend to be more men who don't like having to do the bulk of the work, not women themselves.

Apr 11 11 - 7:42am
vss

Once again we confuse what exsists on an "instinct" level, as exsisting on a personal level. It might explain trends, but cannot explain personal motives. As such I don't think its the basis for higher moral reasoning, such as abortion, or same sex marriages.

Apr 11 11 - 8:46am
gdanon

EroRom? Is that a word now? (Yes, this is all I took from this post)

Apr 12 11 - 9:11am
yoni

I love that word, hope it catches on.

Apr 11 11 - 10:12am
Kel

Nothing is more arousing than another person's desire for you. I applaud feminism for giving women the freedom to declare their intentions and make the first move.

Apr 11 11 - 2:05pm
anon

Women (and people) who know themselves, who are confident with their bodies (and selves) have better sex (and everything else too).

Apr 12 11 - 9:11am
red

Simple but very true

Apr 18 11 - 10:11pm
Quizzical mama

Adult sex educator Charlie Glickman debunks this study wonderfully. Read his post and the comments (http://www.charlieglickman.com/2011/04/when-scientists-dont-understand-s...) - I just left a lengthy one myself that I'll copy here (I plan on reposting my article I refer to at my online resource center www.lovesexfamily.com):

Thanks, Charlie; I too enjoyed your debunking of an article that’s been seriously bugging me lately. One thing that struck me in your post, was your quote from the article towards the end (“But just as democracy has no effect on our basic taste preferences for sugar and fat, democracy doesn’t affect our basic sexual preferences for domination and submission.”), which you commented on with “Gender equality activism makes negotiating sexual politics challenging because we don’t have easy roles to fall back on.”

I think you’re right; in this American context where gender roles seem to be up in the air at this point. – Sure, women have made some steps towards a greater gender democracy, but there’s ways to go still.

I’ve recently been working on an article comparing attitudes to sex among youth in the US and my native Norway. What researchers there point out is how much the political and cultural support of women’s rights since the 60s and 70s in particular has meant in terms of the reconfiguration of sexual gender roles that we’re seeing in Norway today with women appearing more empowered and proactive about their sexuality than ever in terms of their sexuality.

Explains sociologist Willy Pedersen (who’s contributed to a major recent longitudinal national survey on sexuality among youth in Norway): Norway has a strong tradition in promoting gender equality, and sexual roles are a reflection of our social roles: “As sex goes, so goes society.” Today’s young women are inspired by their mothers’ generation; the generation of women that fought for women’s rights, securing the since undisputed rights to birth control and abortion.

The 1960s and 70s did not have the same long-term effect in the United States where the rights to birth control and abortion have been under ceaseless attacks; the U.S. House of Representatives’ recent vote to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding a case in point.

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I got interested in looking further into this subject as a college professor teaching women’s and film studies courses; my students’ reactions were so different from what I might have expected from college students in Norway!

Nov 20 11 - 5:53pm
Buffee

Articles like this are an epxmale of quick, helpful answers.

Nov 21 11 - 2:42pm
afruww

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Nov 24 11 - 2:17pm
sqtrybsn

EkOkJk txxbcphhtoby

Dec 16 11 - 4:09am
Shymar

I completely agree with what Ogas is saying. Feminists who go overboard with wanting "Rights" are only wanting Male status, or roles. Being able to do what you want is one thing, but when Feminists put down women who would like to have the stay at home mother role, like what we had for centuries, just because they personally do not like that choice for themselves, is completely ridiculous. There are no stay at home mothers nowadays to raise the children who, whether we take notice of this or not, are becoming more and more materialistic brats. Because of this whole downfall of the family structure, men don't see any reason to get married, women no longer contain an air of mystery or are seen as beautiful treasures, and children are being raised in an environment that is not promoting family unity. There is no such thing as a family unit anymore all because a bunch of bra burning feminists destroyed the role of the stay at home mother/housewife. The result of the loss of this vital unit in our country, is easy to see. The backbone of every society starts with the home. With less responsible men, and more nagging career oriented women, who is focusing on the moral, family oriented upbringing of the children? The government, the media, the education system. Step up and be a real woman! Women for centuries were the glue that held together families, homes, and in so doing held together communities, and society. We were better off not having to work 40+hour a week jobs and letting the men be the breadwinners while we actually took care of and raised the children to be responsible, caring, loving, functional people.

Dec 16 11 - 4:16am
Shymar

Essentially saying sexually of course men are not going to continue to be dominant, as they are growing up in a world being told they don't have to be strong dominant men, they can choose to be more feminine and submissive. No point trying to be manly if the woman is doing just that.