Do women feel less sexual desire?

A woman’s libido level is traditionally considered to be lower than that of a man.. History teaches how, over the centuries, women have seen their desire for intimate relationships underestimated, virtually reducing their sex life to male procreation and satisfaction. However, in recent historical stages, the figure of women has undergone an unprecedented revolution, challenging all beliefs that the role of women is (or should be) different from that of men.

This evolution of the consideration towards the female figure (among other justifications) also implied a revolution also in the sexual plane, acquiring the value of female desire at the social level and beginning to be much more accepted. However, it is generally still considered that men in general continue to have a higher libido. This leads us to ask ourselves: what caused such a belief? Do women really feel less desire?

Analyze the myth of sexual desire

The studies and research carried out have made it possible to answer the question posed above. The conclusions reached show that the woman responds to the presence of an erotic stimulus with the same speed as a man. It has also been shown that the excitatory response of women at the physiological level is more non-specific than that of men, exhibiting physical activation with a greater number of various stimuli.

It is true, however, that the stimuli that produce desire at the conscious level tend to be different between the sexes. While men typically see desire activated by the sense of sight, in the case of women, attraction is mediated by a greater number of variables, such as voice and smell. This is partly explained by neuroanatomical differences: the medial preoptic nucleus is one of the brain nuclei that regulates male sexual behavior, with that of women located in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus.

It has also been shown that at the cognitive level, women also have a high level of excitability and desire, being elements such as erotic games and fantasies more elaborated and used by women. Thus, these surveys and others show that the view that places female desire below male desire is largely wrong. But … What prompted this kind of thinking?

The reasons for the underestimation of female desire

According to several experts, the reasons why at the social level it is considered that women have less desire than men are due to a set of causes, essentially linked to the education received by both sexes throughout history. More precisely, the existence of a restrictive education with the expression of libido in women, which was frowned upon and valued at the social level if it manifested itself. For this reason, women have tended to hide their desire, over time learning to ignore their needs in this area and limiting their role to being wanted.

Another of the main reasons derived from the above is the consideration of the image of women, the object of a clear dichotomy for many centuries: either she was a pure housewife, a good and exemplary mother, or she was practically viewed by a sex worker, considering the latter immoral and indecent. Traditional culture and the view of libido were centered on the man, so the existence of much of the view of sex, including the present one, was originally designed to please the home. . This is why women have struggled to feel included in this area.

The lack of effective sex education, as well as the hidden situation of the genitals inside the body, also caused great difficulty in knowing one’s own body for the female figure, not to see her genitals as erogenous zones. and to have serious difficulties enjoying her sexuality, female masturbation is now somewhat practiced or encouraged until recently. To this also contributes a vision of the erotic act very focused on sexual intercourse and the genitals, ignoring the other erogenous zones which can cause a great cognitive activation in women.

Likewise, the risk of infections and pregnancy led to rejection of sexual activity; a rejection which is currently called sexual aversion disorder.

Changing gender roles

At present, however, the situation has changed a lot., Produce a great liberalization of sexuality in all its senses and promote sexual diversity. At present, women can satisfy much more freely, without in principle being frowned upon (although some taboos and reluctance to give up rejection in some areas still survive) and actively seek the satisfaction of their desire.

Gender roles have also been relaxed: women are more impulsive, sexual, competitive and aggressive, abandoning their passive role in society. Consequently, man is no longer the only one to play an active role and to seek satisfaction of his impulses, also reducing social pressure and expectations on him.

But … have they changed since the roles assigned to each gender in couple relationships?

The predominant image in the minds of much of the population regarding the bond between the components of a couple is that while the man has a clear preference for the satisfaction of his desire in the relationship, women, on the other hand, tend to focus more on romantic and emotional details.

This image does not turn out to be correct, or at least not in today’s world. Data from a study by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction suggests that, in fact, sex is observed by men in a much more emotional way than by women, resulting in the adoption of sex. ‘a better predictor of happiness in a relationship for men while for women, the level of sexual satisfaction is a better indicator.

The cause may be due to the role traditionally attributed to each genre. While the man must be strong, protective and aggressive, generally not emitting his emotions, in the case of women, the social role attributed to their sex in a traditional way as a fragile and vulnerable being has allowed the expression of fears, doubts and feelings. In this way, the man has learned to express his sentimental aspect by actions and not by words, which makes sexual intercourse a form of expression of intimacy, its vulnerable and emotional side. Thus, studies indicate that the man uses his libido as an element of rapprochement with his partner, which is sometimes difficult to manifest otherwise.

In the case of women, the fact that sexual satisfaction is the best indicator may come from the sexual liberalization of the female gender itself repressed for so long, as well as in an attempt to get closer to the couple through what many people consider fundamental to the male sex. All of this, however, points to the experience of sexuality in established couples, but not in the case of sporadic relationships, where men continue to show a greater predominance of seeking relationships with a large number of couples.

Bibliographical references:

  • Arancibia, G. (2002). Pleasure and sex in women. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueca
  • Davis, PG, McEwen, BS, Pfaff, DW (1979). Localized behavioral effects of selected estradiol implants in the ventromedial hypothalamus of female rats. Endocrinology, 104: 898-903.
  • Chivers, ML and Timmers, AD (2012). The effects of context and gender relationship indications in sound narratives on the genital and subjective sexual response of heterosexual women and men. Sexual behavior files.
  • Gómez, J. (2009) Bond and sexuality. Between the emotional bond and sexual desire. Madrid: Alliance.
  • Hansen, S., Köhler, C., Glodstein, M., Steinbusch, HVM (1982). Effects of neuronal degeneration induced by ibotenic acid in the medial preoptic zone and the lateral hypothalamic zone on the rat sexual behavior. Brain Res., 239: 213-232.
  • Lehmiller, JJ (2014). The psychology of human sexuality. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Muise, A .; Stanton, SCE; Kim, JJ; Impett, EA (2016). Am I not in the mood? Men perceive their partner’s sexual desire with established intimate relationships (or not too much). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 110 (5), May 2016, 725-742
  • Rosen, R .; Heiman, J; Long, JS; Smith, NS; Fisher, WA Sand, MS (2011). The first results of couples published in the Study of International Couples point to gender differences in relationships, sexual satisfaction over time. Kinsey Institute for Sex, Gender and Reproduction Research.

Leave a Comment