Jump to content
drumbo

Reconciling female sexual preferences with modern feminism

Recommended Posts

It is well known that most women prefer men that prominently express masculine secondary sex characteristics, and it is also patently true that men are a class of humans who do not bear children. Therefore if women's sexual preferences are a reflection of which traits are optimal in men we must assume they are also a reflection of which traits are optimal in a class of humans who do not bear children. Therefore if feminists believe that feminine traits are not suboptimal for tasks not related to bearing children then they should prefer feminine men, but women generally do not. How can feminists reconcile the incongruity between women's sexual preferences and their position that femininity is not suboptimal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If all women were feminists your argument might be worthy of fuller consideration. Since they are not the incongruity you imagine is dispoosed of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, drumbo said:

It is well known that most women prefer men that prominently express masculine secondary sex characteristics, 

!

Moderator Note

“it is well known’ is poor science. This will not fly. Do better.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, swansont said:
!

Moderator Note

“it is well known’ is poor science. This will not fly. Do better.

 

From the Jones, Hahn, Fisher et.al article No Compelling Evidence that Preferences for Facial Masculinity Track Changes in Women’s Hormonal Status (2018)

Quote

Although widely cited as strong evidence that sexual selection has shaped human facial-attractiveness judgments, findings suggesting that women’s preferences for masculine characteristics in men’s faces are related to women’s hormonal status are equivocal and controversial. Consequently, we conducted the largest-ever longitudinal study of the hormonal correlates of women’s preferences for facial masculinity (N = 584). Analyses showed no compelling evidence that preferences for facial masculinity were related to changes in women’s salivary steroid hormone levels. Furthermore, both within-subjects and between-subjects comparisons showed no evidence that oral contraceptive use decreased masculinity preferences. However, women generally preferred masculinized over feminized versions of men’s faces, particularly when assessing men’s attractiveness for short-term, rather than long-term, relationships. Our results do not support the hypothesized link between women’s preferences for facial masculinity and their hormonal status.

And even more curiously from 2019 by Marcinkowska et.al. women’s preferences for men’s facial masculinity are strongest under favorable ecological conditions:

Quote

The strength of sexual selection on secondary sexual traits varies depending on prevailing economic and ecological conditions. In humans, cross-cultural evidence suggests women’s preferences for men’s testosterone dependent masculine facial traits are stronger under conditions where health is compromised, male mortality rates are higher and economic development is higher. Here we use a sample of 4483 exclusively heterosexual women from 34 countries and employ mixed effects modelling to test how social, ecological and economic variables predict women’s facial masculinity preferences. We report women’s preferences for more masculine looking men are stronger in countries with higher sociosexuality and where national health indices and human development indices are higher, while no associations were found between preferences and indices of intra-sexual competition. Our results show that women’s preferences for masculine faces are stronger under conditions where offspring survival is higher and economic conditions are more favorable.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, drumbo said:

It is well known that most women prefer men that prominently express masculine secondary sex characteristics,

You confuse "well known" with stereotypes. While there are obviously partner preferences, they are strongly influenced by a large variety of cultural norms. There is a large body of literature suggesting that gender stereotypes and perceptions of masculinity (and femininity) vary between populations and connected to that, traits that are associated with masculinity as well as attractiveness. Interestingly, as a whole secondary sex characteristics almost persistently play second fiddle to other traits. There is also a marked difference in selection for long-term vs short-term partners.

At least one study found that in societies with high masculinity indices, for example, husbands were preferred when they were wealthy, healthy and understanding. Boyfriends were preferred to have more feminine traits, such as affection and intelligence. In more feminine cultures these differences vanish (see works from Hofstede et al, but even there it is argued that he is actually overgeneralizing things- the individual differences even among a culture are much wider).

Other studies suggest have shown that partner preferences are built on a wide range of parameters and one of the strongest predictors for strong masculine features (especially among gay folks) happens to be high scores in sexism queries. In other words, it is again a topic starting off from badly informed assumptions, and then rapidly extrapolating to further, even less founded questions. 

 

Edit: so the provided quotes actually give some decent context. Most importantly it shows that even if we focus on preferences on a single characteristic (and thereby eliminating all the other, potentially more important factors of partner selection), it shows that preferences vary significantly. I.e. even focusing on a narrow measure the assumption in OP does not hold true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, drumbo said:

According to the Pew Research Center 61% of U.S. women say ‘feminist’ describes them well.

From that can we assume that 61% of women should prefer feminine men, but that is obviously not the case

So you wish to extrapolate the views of  some three and a half billion people globally on the basis of a mere 150 million locally. What makes you feel that is justifiable?

More to the point, on what basis do you assert that a feminist would prefer a feminine man over a masculine man?

RElated to that, what do you think the respondents to the Pew poll understood by feminist? What do you understand by the term?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Feminist" is a broad category - in many cases it just means wanting things like equal opportunity of wages, legal rights, freedom from sexual harassment. It is not going to determine sexual preferences beyond being likely to make men who do not support such equal opportunity less compatible as life partners. I would not call men supporting such things "feminine".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, drumbo said:

This cites facial characteristics. Your claim was much broader. Further, the focus was on whether hormones affected the preferences, not on what the preferences are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.