Rough & Tumble
in the Barn
See Sex as a
The way sexual identity is constructed in our society,
sexual availability is a low-status position for women
and a high-status one for men.
Straight men are taught to view sex as a conquest.
Banging a woman confers status to a man. A powerful
man who suddenly has lots of women making themselves
sexually available to him sees getting that sex as
an emblem of his power, proof that he is a big shot.
Women, on the other hand, have traditionally had to use
their sexuality as a way of gaining power. Fuckability is
a basic requirement for any woman in the public eye.
Sleeping your way to the top is an inherently female act.
In the entertainment business studio executives reject
a show because there’s nobody onscreen they’d want to fuck.
Women have to be sexually acceptable to a straight dude
audience just to be seen.
Straight sexuality is constructed as women giving and men
getting. Men fuck. Women get fucked. In that construction,
sex for women is inherently low status.
The Alpha Dominant Female
The alpha dominant female imposes her will
on others and is in control of her life.
She possesses a combination of both
psychological strength and willpower.
The Dominatrix is a female archetype associated
with a particular dress that depicts her role
as a strong, dominant, sexualized woman.
Black leather corsets, thigh-high boots
with high stiletto heels, fishnet stockings,
and a whip is the cliched costume.
Like the Bonobos
Among mammals, female social dominance is rare. However, one of our closest living relatives, bonobos, are known for the relatively high statuses females hold in social groups.
This puzzles researchers as the males are often bigger and stronger than the females. A new study has analyzed the dominance relations between male and female wild bonobos, taking particular interest in the high social status of some females.
It is not female alliances that help females win conflicts with males, the study reveals, nor does the context of the conflict seem to be relevant for the outcome either.
Instead, the researchers found the determining factor was sexual attractiveness. If the females in the conflicts with males displayed sexually attractive attributes, including sexual swellings, then they tended to win the conflict more easily. The males in these conflicts behave in a less aggressive way as well.
Intersexual dominance relations in bonobo populations have never been thoroughly studied in the wild. However, several theories exist for how females reach their elevated status.
One theory proposes bonobo female dominance is facilitated by females forming coalitions which suppress male aggression.
Another theory suggests an evolutionary scenario in which females prefer non-aggressive males which renders male aggressiveness a non-adaptive trait.
Recently, a study from the Lui Kotale bonobo project from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology reported on the outcomes of intersexual conflicts in a bonobo community near the Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The analysis of male/female conflicts revealed a sex-independent dominance hierarchy with several females occupying top ranks.
The team also discovered only two factors have a significant influence on the outcome of intersexual conflicts. The first is female motivation to help their offspring, and the second is attractiveness.
They found when females defend their offspring against male aggression, often alone but sometimes in groups, males defer to females.
They found it even more interesting females are more likely to win conflicts against males during times when they exhibit sexual swellings indicating elevated fecundity.