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Sexual Double Standards: A Review and Methodological Critique of Two Decades of Research

Mary Crawford and Danielle Popp
The Journal of Sex Research
Vol. 40, No. 1, Gender and Sexuality (Feb., 2003), pp. 13-26
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3813767
Page Count: 14
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Sexual Double Standards: A Review and Methodological Critique of Two Decades of Research
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Abstract

A review of 30 studies published since 1980 found evidence for the continued existence of sexual double standards: different standards of sexual permissiveness for women and men. Experimental studies have included predominantly White North American college students; ethnographies, focus group and interview studies, and linguistic analyses have included more diverse samples. Studies show that sexual double standards are influenced by situational and interpersonal factors (e.g., the target's age, level of relationship commitment, and number of partners), and that double standards are local constructions, differing across ethnic and cultural groups. This review discusses methodological issues, including the strengths and limitations of quantitative and qualitative approaches. It also discusses implications for women's high-risk sexual behavior and sexual identity, and suggests directions for future research.

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