Australia’s leading international student news website

SEXtember: Busting sex stigmas

Sean Foo

Tue Sep 24 2013

Sex Myths Busted

WITH one week to go for the month of SEXtember, Sean Foo busts five common sex stigmas doing the rounds in university campuses. 

Sex Myths Busted

1. Women who carry condoms are sluts

Are women who carry condoms sluts? Apparently many people seem to think so, which is absurd. When it comes to sex, women definitely have a lot more to lose as they risk pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections when they engage in unprotected sex. Why should she trust the guy to provide all the protection?

Carrying a condom doesn’t make a woman slutty, it makes her responsible. The general consensus on what constitutes a slut is that he or she is someone who sleeps around. Just because a woman carries a condom doesn’t mean she sleeps around. In my opinion, it is always better to be safe than sorry no matter how frequently you engage in sex.

2. HIV is a ‘gay’ disease

It might sound antiquated, but there is still a common misconception that only gay people get HIV. Contrary to popular belief, more than a quarter of people with HIV belong to the heterosexual community.

While it is true that gay men are a high-risk group for HIV because they feel they don’t need a condom, straight people are not immune to HIV. STIs don’t discriminate between sexual preferences, so you should always use a condom regardless of whether you’re a girl or a guy, gay or straight or bi.

3. Guys will have sex with anyone

There is a popular notion that men are a lot less picky compared to women and this apparently boils down to their biological make up. In a recent paper written by Michigan psychologist Terri Conley and co authors, and covered on the website Jezebel, women were asked to approach men instead of the other way around. In the experiment, men turned out to behave the same as women when approached. They were just as picky with their sexual partners.

The paper concluded that our behaviour is influenced by social norms rather than our biological makeup. So it’s terribly sexist to think men want sex more or think about it more than women or that they’re generally more promiscuous. There are different types of men and women in the world with different levels of sex drive and promiscuity.

4. Guys with small feet have small penises

Guys with small feet are stigmatised. People immediately jump to the conclusion that they are not very well endowed. The same is often said about Asian men in popular media and jokes. I have scoured the depths of the internet and I can safely say I have not found one shred of evidence that supports this theory. And the Medical Observer agrees in an article published earlier in the year.

There is no correlation between feet size and penis size and there is no standard size for nationalities. Penises come in different shapes and sizes. And while women find bigger penises more attractive, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceproves bigger is not necessarily better.

5. Men think about sex every 7 seconds

The most common and most insulting stigma (for our male companions) is the widely held belief that men think about sex every seven seconds. Once again, sex drive is an  individual concept and has little to do with gender.  That men think about sex every seven seconds sounds pretty ridiculous to me.

Trust me, guys are definitely not thinking about sex every seven seconds during a football match – that would just be plain weird.