I would like to present this year’s Most Disgusting Sentence in an Academic Paper award. I realize it’s somewhat early in the year, but I don’t think that we’re going to find a sentence more disgusting.
In addition, these findings provide circumstantial support for one hypothesized function of the emotion of sexual attraction—to motivate men to pursue women for exploitative, short-term mating opportunities when there are cues suggesting that exploitative strategies are likely to be effective.
I know everyone reading this is thinking “wait, that did NOT say what I think it did.” Yep. In the paper Sexual exploitability: observable cues and their link to sexual attraction, someone literally argued that sexual attraction evolved in order to help men find which women it’s easiest to rape.*
I am not really sure whether women or men come off worse here. Women are agency-less flaps of skin around a pussy, who never experience sexual attraction, much less actually seek out sex instead of being helpless tools of evil male predation; men are rapists out for nothing but a quick and easy lay, and they’ll do whatever it takes to get it. God. Sexists suck.
Sexism aside, the research in the paper is actually really interesting. They selected pictures that exhibited certain traits possibly linked to how rapeable people perceive women as, and then asked men to rate how rapeable and attractive the people in the pictures were. As it happens, fourteen cues were positively linked to exploitability, and all of them were correlated with short-term attractiveness, but not long-term attractiveness: attention seeking, come hither look, “easy,” flirty, immature, intoxicated, open body posture, partying, promiscuous, promiscuous friends, reckless, revealing clothing, sleepy, and young.
Like most evolutionary psychologists, the authors seem to be entirely unaware that culture is a thing and that different cultures find different traits physically attractive. Therefore, they did not find the explanation for this data that I, at least, find intuitively obvious: the virgin/whore complex. With the exception of immature, young, and sleepy, all fourteen cues describe the mainstream stereotype of a ‘slut.’ According to the tenets of the virgin/whore complex, sluts are good for casual sex and will “get themselves raped,” but when you get married you want to marry the Madonna. This is literally the exact result that would be predicted by mainstream, standard feminist theory.
The sequel study, which is not called Misandry 2: The Ensexisminating anywhere outside my brain, found that men who are assholes (technically, who are ‘disagreeable,’ which is the psychological term for asshole) and, if single, like casual sex are more likely to perceive women as rapeable. In short, most men aren’t slut-shaming misogynists who believe that sluts will get themselves raped. Assholes are. This is literally scientific proof of that, right here. The whole misandric idea that men can’t control themselves? It can go away now! Most men can! Only men who are assholes seem to have even the remotest problem!
I also find it really interesting that being a “sluts will get themselves raped” asshole is correlated with desire for casual sex, but only among single men. My hypothesis is that men who are likely to subscribe to that particular sexist view are also likely to subscribe to other sexist views, such as the one that men are of course supposed to desire sex with every person with a vagina who comes along.
*They actually folded “seduction” in with rape by force, rape by deception, and rape by coercion, which provides one with fascinating insight into the mindset of the authors.