A depressing new survey from Britain reveals that out of 4,000 people, over half of women admitted to feeling so overweight that they avoided having sex with their partners. The really shocking part of the survey, though, was that the numbers were much lower for men, at around 20 percent. The women cited tiredness and dissatisfaction with their bodies as primary reasons for evading sex. A low but worrying percentage of women said that they only had sex out of “duty.”
Although this survey doesn’t seem to be exhaustive or particularly scientific (it was, after all, sponsored by “Fembido,” a “passion pill” for women), it does flag issues that come up again and again, with regard to female sexuality and body image. Although women’s sex drives are often portrayed as mysterious, there also seems to be evidence, like this, that women’s desire to have sex is conditioned by social factors, like bodily inadequacy.
And the fatigue of trying to balance work and home life, which a recent study revealed takes a stronger emotional toll on women than on men, may also have an impact. Dr. Catherine Hood, a lecturer at Oxford University, explained that women “feel under pressure to live up to a vision of perfection which just isn’t realistic.”
It’s important to get this out in the open, although as Lane Moore points out on Jezebel, it’s pretty depressing that the only reason this study has happened is because a female libido pill company wants to figure out why women don’t want to have sex, so they can better market their product. It’s easy to imagine, though, why sex would feel like a chore if you’re constantly worried about whether your body measures up or whether your partner thinks you’re sufficiently attractive, which is how women are for the most part conditioned to relate to themselves physically. So perhaps female sexuality isn’t such a delicate science – and women’s sex lives might improve if they weren’t subjected to such crushing social pressures to have perfect bodies.
Photo from Flickr.