Female Friendships: I Can’t Be Your Friend Because You’re Too Slutty, Study Says

by Shelby L Thompson

Ugh. After reading about the recent study “Birds of a Feather? Not When it Comes to Sexual Permissiveness” published by Cornell University, I felt like I stepped into that episode of Sex & the City when Carrie walks in on Samantha giving the World Wide Express guy a BJ and judges her.

In the study conducted by Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, 751 participants were surveyed about their sexual experience and relationships, and depending on the results, rated as either permissive or non-permissive based on their experience and number of partners. Of this co-ed group, the students were then asked to rate a peer of their own gender on friend compatibility using factors such as likeability, competence and morality based whether this person had between two or 20 sexual partners in their lifetime.

Regardless of their own past, female participants ranked women with 20 sexual partners more negatively on nearly all friendship attributes (except for outgoingness), while men seemed not to care at all either way amongst their peers. 

What’s with the judgment, sisters? Unfortunately, this means the old stigma that a man who pursues multiple sexual conquests is perceived as awesome, whereas a woman who pursues that same goal is considered a slut remains true. Lead author in the Cornell study, Zhana Vrangalova notes, “Sexually permissive women are ostracized for being ‘easy,’ whereas men with a high number of sexual partners are viewed with a sense of accomplishment.”

Women continue to work towards being open and honest about sex without having to bare the shame of sharing that information, and we truly have come a long way, though now it seems we’ve hit a new roadblock – our own peers! The slut shaming and judgment among females is pretty rampant, and we all seem to be getting pretty tired of it, so why are we continuing to perpetuate it? Do we really not want to be friends with other girls that have a lot of sex? Does your opinion of potential female friends change based on their sexual history? 

Images via HBO.com and cbs.com.   

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