Why Do Some Conservatives HATE Female Sexuality? Science Explains It!

Although 95 percent of Americans have premarital sex, Amanda Marcotte reminds us “there is still a shocking amount of anger, and many colorful epithets, aimed directly at women who indulge.” Why? Jesse Singal at Science of Us breaks down a recent study that finds a lot of the desire to control and punish female sexuality comes from the belief that women are, or should be, financially dependent on men. According to Singal:

In the paper, which consisted of two studies and was published in Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers from Brunel University asked a large group of Americans to rate their level of agreement with statements like “It is wrong for women to engage in promiscuous sex” and “It is fine for a woman to have sex with a man she has just met, if they both want to.” They also had them respond to statements gauging to what extent they viewed women as economically reliant on men — “Of the women I know who are in long-term heterosexual relationships, most do not depend very heavily on money contributed by their male partner,” and so on.

Overall, the more likely a given respondent believed women were economically dependent on men, the more likely they were to view female promiscuity as immoral. These were modest to medium effects, but they were statistically significant, even controlling for factors like religiosity and political conservatism.

The researchers argue that this may stem from long-standing cultural concerns about “paternity certainty” that linger on in more conservative circles despite the advent of birth control. “Beliefs,” they write, “may persist due to cultural evolutionary adaptive lag … that is, because the environment has changed faster than the moral system.” This suggests, I’d argue, that the recent upswing in hostility to birth control is an attempt to preserve these cultural norms.

This study goes a long way toward explaining one of the more peculiar aspects of the contraception mandate debate: the stalwart conservative insistence that the mandate is some sort of employer or even government giveaway, as opposed to an earned health insurance benefit. Along with telling women to close their legs, the conservative complaint has been: “Why should ‘we’ have to pay for it?” This, of course, makes no sense, as the Department of Health and Human Services mandate is about women paying for their own contraception, using insurance benefits they earn by working.   Read more here.  You’ll want to!

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With political activists as parents, Stephanie learned gender politics at an early age and embraced stiletto feminism in high school. As a marketing professional, she’s written for a variety of publications. She founded www.scandalouswomen.com to be a voice for the sex-positive alpha female.


  1. It’s really about control, right? There’s a chapter of Young Republicans on my college campus and they held a (sparsely attended) rally to protest contraception being given out at Health Services. These same assholes were downtown the next night trying to get lucky. Hypocrites!

  2. I’m a conservative and I love female sexuality.

    I’ve never seen anyone say anything about not paying for contraception. What the Supreme Court upheld this summer was that religious affiliated organizations cannot be required to pay for certain kinds of contraception that contradict their moral beliefs. What is wrong with that? Specifically, for BC that is basically abortion (which isn’t actually birth control).

    What you say above is a persistent lie from the media. A lie stated enough times starts to seem true. Please check your facts.

    • You say you’ve never seen anyone say anything about not paying for contraception. Did you miss the Hobby Lobby decision?

      Yes, the Supreme Court ruled this summer that religious affiliated organizations cannot be required to pay for certain kinds of contraception that contradict their moral beliefs. Interestingly, first you said “I’ve never seen anyone say anything about not paying for contraception,” then you said “religious affiliated organizations cannot be required to pay for certain kinds of contraception.” That’s a direct contradiction.

      Further, health insurance isn’t a giveaway, it’s something employees earn. The services insurance providers offer have NEVER been a decision that rests with employers, it rests with insurance companies. No companies or organizations sit down and check off treatments they don’t want their employees to have. In Hobby Lobby’s case, their group policy was ALREADY covering those methods of contraception. Why did it suddenly become a issue once the affordable care act was passed? Hmmm…

      Now, you asked what’s wrong with the Supreme Court decision that? What happens when other companies use this case as a precedent? for the first time, commercial enterprises can successfully claim religious exemptions from laws that govern everyone else. Since the decision, fifteen states have filed a brief arguing that businesses would be able to deny coverage for blood transfusions, stem cell treatments, psychiatric care and a host of other treatments that conflict with some people’s religious beliefs.

      There’s also the opposite side of the ‘religious freedom’ debate. Hobby Lobby is effectively imposing their religious beliefs on their employees. The Supreme Court has never ruled that companies have religious beliefs and that it has never held that religious exercise provides a license to harm others, or violate the rights of third parties.

      From a business standpoint, if owners indicate that they are not entirely separate from their corporation—by denying corporation employees’ birth control coverage based on their personal religious beliefs—the case could be made in future state-court litigation that they have waived their right to be shielded from responsibility for corporate financial liabilities. In other words, if I was injured at Hobby Lobby, there’s a case to be made that I could sue the owner of Hobby Lobby and not the corporation. Currently, liabilities of the corporation are not attributed to the owners, so why should the owners be able to attribute their beliefs to the company?

      Finally, your definition of ‘abortion’ and how the methods of birth control at issue work is disputed by medical science. Emergency contraception pills and IUDs prevent pregnancy from occuring. The families who own Hobby Lobby have a belief that peventing a pregnancy by making the conditions for an egg to be fertilized is an ‘abortion.’ It isn’t. An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy, not the prevention of a pregnancy.

      These are not “persistent lies from the media,” as your termed them. You and others who believe as you do have fallen victim to an anti-science agenda.