P1: GVG/GIR/GOQ/GCV P2: LOV/GCV
Sex Roles [sers] pp489-sers-373448 May 3, 2002 7:53 Style ﬁle version Nov. 19th, 1999
Sex Roles, Vol. 45, Nos. 11/12, December 2001 (
Gender, Sexual Experience, and the Sexual
Double Standard: Evaluations of Female
Jacqueline Kelly and Doris G. Bazzini
Appalachian State University
The purpose of the present research was to compare men’s and women’s per-
ceptions of female contraceptive behavior and investigate the relationship be-
tween sexual experience and these perceptions. One hundred forty-six pre-
dominantly Caucasion males (n = 76) and females (n = 70) were randomly
assigned to one of three sexual scenarios in which a male provided the con-
dom in a sexual encounter, a female provided the condom, or no condom was
used. They were then asked to rate the female on several behavioral and per-
sonality measures and to complete a sexual experience scale. Results showed
differences in the way men and women perceived the female target. A positive
correlation was also found between sexual experience and more favorable
perceptions of the sexually-prepared female.
KEY WORDS: sexual double standard; sexual experience; attitudes toward women.
Tradition holds that a sexual double standard exists for women in American
society. This double standard prescribes that a woman’s sexual behavior
be more conservative than a man’s (e.g., women must be in love to have
intercourse and should have fewer sexual partners than men, Lamanna &
Riedmann, 1997). Acknowledgment of the sexual double standard has been
demonstrated even in interactions among adolescents (see Orenstein, 1994,
for more detail).
One result of this unequal status for women is that they are at a greater
disadvantage than men when trying to negotiate sexual encounters (Chen,
Sepulveda Amor, & Segal as cited in Amaro, 1995). For example, traditional
To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Psychology, Appalachian
State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
2002 Plenum Publishing Corporation