What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

Madonna refers to the Virgin Mary, who reputedly bore Jesus through Immaculate Conception. | Source

“We used to be intimate at least a couple times a week, but soon after we married, his sex drive waned.”

Women who marry a man prone to the so-called Madonna/Whore syndrome, also known as a “virgin-whore complex” or sometimes simply “Madonna syndrome,” can spend years trying to figure out what is wrong with them.

It's especially confusing when their husbands seem to have enough libido to have extramarital affairs, or who claim to be attracted, but then rarely want to get frisky.

Keep reading to learn about Madonna/Whore syndrome, how it differs from other causes of infrequent sex, and whether it's treatable.

The psychiatric community does not formally recognize Madonna-Whore syndromes as a valid diagnosis. The concept originated with Sigmund Freud, who observed that some men had trouble relating to their wives, presumably due to their relationships with the first significant woman in their lives: Mom.

As the video explains, sexual intimacy is a completely different experience for women who have high self-esteem than it is for women who have low self-esteem. However, both types of women can find themselves married to a man with a Madonna complex. They question themselves and their husbands as they try to understand what is happening.

Both she and her husband may believe varying reasons as they struggle with this problem:

  • His libido is too low.
  • Her libido is too high.
  • She's not attractive enough.
  • She's attractive, but he's focused on his work.
  • They're too tired after dealing with work, family, and other stressors.
  • She just doesn't satisfy him well.
  • He's secretly gay.

Most of these ideas fly out the window when she discovers disturbing evidence on his computer or learns that he has had an affair. He insists that he wants to save the relationship and cannot live without her, but if she grants him another chance, she finds that his sexual interest only increases temporarily before they're back in the same boat.

  • Physical illnesses anemia, kidney failure, and thyroid problems.
  • Infections and injuries, urinary tract infections and STDs.
  • Medication side-effects.
  • Other relationship problems.
  • Psychological issues Inhibited Sexual Desire (ISD), Anxiety Disorder, or Depression.

Only a doctor can rule out physical conditions that can contribute to an ongoing lack of desire, so a physical exam is highly recommended!

Most experts claim that having intercourse ten times a year or less qualifies as a sexless marriage, while others say that the definition should rely upon whether the partners feel satisfied with their own frequency or not. After all, they say, once a month might be great for an octogenarian, but not for a couple in their mid-20s.

  • When it comes to a relationship where a Madonna syndrome is present, there is a predictable pattern.

Prior to marriage, sexual relations appear “normal.” That's to say that the couple is intimate on a regular basis at least weekly. Often, they'll have physical relations several times a week.

After their wedding, the frequency may stay the same for a while or it may drop. Once children enter the family, however, they may discover that they have sex rarely or not at all because he cannot imagine the caretaker of his children being the “bad girl” too.

Relationships afflicted with the MW Syndrome suffer. Photo: Harsha K.R. Licensed CC-SA 2.0 | Source

Early in the relationship, a man with Madonna-Whore Syndrome is sexually attracted to his new partner. He doesn't yet know her well enough to determine if she's a “good girl,” the holy Madonna. He does know that when he marries, he wants to marry a good girl, but in the meantime, he's excited by sexually assertive women.

His new lady presents an interesting dilemma that keeps him chasing. She wants to take things slowly, she says.

Alternately, she may not initiate the slowed pace but instead, reacts to his claim that he wants to take time developing their relationship instead of rushing in. Either way, this is a test of sorts.

A woman who takes things slowly is someone he can classify as a good girl, while a woman who has a high interest in sex falls into his category of “whore.”

He'll take the good girl to meet his family. He'd be willing to marry a good girl. He wants to have children with a good girl. A “whore” on the other hand, is someone who he finds sexually appealing, exciting, but not worthy of commitment.

As his new relationship progresses and he learns more about his new partner, he starts categorizing her accordingly:

Men who exhibit Madonna-Whore complex can be misogynistic (meaning “woman hating,”) but many aren't aware of their contributions to their marital problems.

Most often, they feel devastated to learn that their wives have started emotional or physical affairs.

Only then do they recognize that they neglected her and the relationship, and they want to return the relationship to its status quo.

Many of these men feel very much in love with their wives, and always have. With the exception of sexual intimacy, they are devoted, attentive, and good providers.

However, something subconscious prevents them from approaching her as a sexual equal. (Sigmund Freud speculated it was related to a man's relationship with his mother.

) In some cases, they feel they're being disrespectful or treating her as an object if they seduce her.

This man wrote about his experience on Health Central:

the other guys with this disorder, sex with all the other women was a blast and they were just our “whores.” The sluttier a woman was the more I was into her.

I never loved them though, Never could I love such a woman! I may have told them I did, but that was just so that I could keep getting what I was getting. Is that right of me? Absolutely not! I feel horrible and ashamed for having treated those women that way.

As for my wife, she is the most precious jewel in the world to me. I love my wife, I adore my wife!!!!! Now why in the freaking world can I not make love to her?????

Some experts believe that all narcissists have this complex, and that their humiliating, dehumanizing behaviors result from it. Others believe that when a man categorizes women in this way, he automatically is a woman hater (misogynist). However, there is no solid evidence to support these claims.

A misogynistic male might think, “She's had sex with a dozen men! There's no way I'd want to be with that promiscuous slut.

” Another guy might avoid her and feel uncomfortable without being able to pinpoint exactly why. A third man might pursue her because he finds her exciting.

All three of these men could still have MW complexes that drive them to categorize her as a “whore” rather than as a “good” girl.

Because a Madonna-Whore complex isn't viewed as a psychiatric disorder, there is no particular diagnosis or prescribed treatment. In fact, most people who have sought marital counseling with their partners say that counseling did not work.

The Madonnas who have spent many years married to a husband with MWC say that wearing sexy lingerie doesn't work. Their husbands simply cannot allow themselves to see their pure, wonderful wife get sexually defiled, so they ignore and avoid her attempts to seduce him. At worst, they may belittle or ridicule her attempts.

Deeply rooted psychological issues these are nearly impossible to change. Personality disorders, for instance, can be treated to some extent but aren't recognized as curable. However, highly motivated individuals who recognize that they want to change may be able to improve to at least some degree. So how could this work in the MWC?

Dr. Nerdlove's article on this subject raises what may be an important point:

Men are frequently portrayed as being absolutely at the mercy of their own sexual desires, leaving women as the guardians of morality.

Men, already feeling at a disadvantage, resent the authority and power over sex that women represent and blame women for their feelings of… impotence.

Regulating female sexuality into the acceptable form – under the authority of men (the Madonna) and the unacceptable form – acting in a manner similar to men (the Whore) provides the illusion of control.

Many men have reported that as their children grow, they start perceiving their wives as being in control of the family and they begin to feel as if she's in control of them as well.

Taken together, it seems that two important elements are at play in a Madonna-Whore scenario. The man is willing to submit to his woman in most ways, but submitting sexually to her desires means debasing his family's morality, something that he finds unacceptable. In order to change this, any treatment must be focused on helping him do two things:

  • Reframing his views of morality
  • Governing his own sexuality

Some therapists claim that NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) is effective, but I found no instances where someone reported that they'd found success using this method.

Sex therapists are best suited for handling MWC because they're the most ly to be familiar with its dynamics.

As noted in this New York Times article on sexual desire, tackling the underlying reasons causing lack of desire are necessary to generate changes.

If a couple isn't ready to seek outside help, here are some unproven suggestions to consider:

1. The man must feel safe enough to acknowledge his beliefs and feelings. This means he must not worry that he'll be judged or criticized if he reveals what's making him tick.

2. The woman in his life, whether she is Madonna or his whore, can invite him to “help” her solve her problem.

If she is his Madonna, the problem is that she feels too confined being a “good girl,” and would treasure a “protector” who makes it possible to break such a confining role without compromising anyone's morals.

After explaining this, she might ask him to be that protector and advise her on how to go about having a “safe zone” to pretend she's a bad girl. This might involve some role-play or perhaps light bondage, but only within the safe zone he sets up.

He may be able to let himself see “pretending” to be bad as an acceptable activity for himself and his Madonna as long as he feels secure knowing it won't truly corrupt her or damage the family's reputation.

If he's seeing her as the whore, she might ask him to guide her to be a “better woman.” Such a request doesn't mean she isn't a terrific woman already, it just means that she's using phrases he can understand. (I don't know that there's a lot of hope here, though, since he's motivated to commit himself only to the Madonna types.)

3. Get informed. The book above reveals a survey that followed 4,000 couples in sexless marriages to discern what contributed to their sexless marriages, and includes a chapter on what other couples are doing to address their problems.

Marriages can be relatively happy despite MW Syndrome, but many do not survive it.

Some women stay married to men who have a Madonna-Whore complex for decades. Their relationship tends to be good in every other way. They're best friends with their husband and are treated well by him everywhere except in the bedroom.

Others have affairs to meet their needs after months or years of exhausting themselves trying to find a solution.

Most eventually divorce. The wear-and-tear on a woman's self-esteem can be grueling and eventually, she thinks it's “just not worth it anymore.”

There is no right or wrong way to cope with this issue. There's just the “best way you can”.

Source: https://pairedlife.com/problems/What-is-Madonna-Whore-Syndrome

Here Is What A Madonna-Whore Complex Looks In 2015

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?
Hot Gossip Italia

The term “Madonna-Whore Complex” was first coined by – you guessed it – the father of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.

Though much of Freud’s work has either been disproven or is widely regarded as invalid (to put it nicely), his archetype-based complexes live on.

The Madonna-Whore Complex is known as the distinction men draw between the women they desire and the women they respect – with the implication that those two categories are mutually exclusive.

I’d to say that in 2015, we’re all ready to give up Freudian psychology. But alas, here we are, still exemplifying the Madonna-Whore complex left, right and center. It’s in the very nature of the way that we’re socialized as men and women a. We all feed into it – it just looks a little different than it did back in Freud’s day.

In 2015, the Madonna-Whore complex looks a woman lying to her boyfriend about how many people’s she’s slept with because she doesn’t want him to know she’s ‘been around.’ It looks him judging her for the number if she actually tells the truth.

The Madonna-Whore complex looks the men who claim to be “Nice guys,” and then shame all sexually active women who aren’t sleeping with them. It looks the divide that is placed between women who deserve respect in the eyes of a “Nice guy” and women who don’t.

The Madonna-Whore complex is thriving every time a guy tells you that you seem a “Nice girl” and then is shocked to hear about your sexual history because the idea of you being a nice human being and a sexual human being are incompatible in his mind.

It’s the assumption that the traits we value as stereotypically “feminine” are directly at odds with embracing one’s sexuality. That a person can’t be kind, understanding, composed and also sexually empowered. That they have to be one or the other.

The Madonna-Whore complex is hopelessly outdated as a theory but so are our views on dating. We give each other advice “Don’t sleep with them on the first date,” “Don’t admit how many partners you’ve had,” and “Don’t text unless he texts first.” Be the Madonna, not the whore. Be the docile, most repressed version of yourself. It’ll win you the respect of the person you’re trying to date.

But at the end of the day, it’ll make you lose respect for yourself.

The problem with the Madonna-Whore complex is that 0% of us fit fully into one category or the other. We may err on one side or the other but we’re all born with sex drives. We’re all born with a sense of compassion. We’re all a little bit Madonna and a little bit Whore. Trying to separate the world into two types of women is a game. You’re either lying to yourself or you’re losing.

I, for one, am tired of these accidental categories we’re placing ourselves and each other into – and much of it is, I believe, truly accidental.

We put the people we respect up on a pedestal and we strip them of any qualities that we deem to be unvirtuous. We don’t give each other time to reveal who we actually are – we jump to conclusions and then punish one another for not meeting them.

We fail to be conscious of the polarized fashion in which we manage our own thoughts and then we let them run rampant.

“She’s a great girl,” or “He’s a nice guy” quickly gives way to “(S)he would never do anything wrong. (S)he shares all my morals. (S)he is an absolute Madonna, whatever that means to me personally.” We compartmentalize our love interests into whichever categories are most convenient for us and then grow frustrated with them for defying our own system.

It’s not just Madonna-Whore. It’s Creative-Conservative. It’s Logical-Foolish. It’s Compassionate-Independent and it’s Feminine-Masculine.

Men and women are guilty of the polarization process a: we place each other into one of two categories and grow enraged by any evidence that fails to line up with what we have decided.

It’s a frustrating game for all those playing. And in some way, we’re always all playing.

At some point, we need to put an end to this madness.

And we do so by throwing the rulebook out the window – by texting when we want to text, sleeping with whomever we want to sleep with, by refusing to deny our pasts in order to preserve a sick conceptualization that someone else holds of us.

We end the game by ceasing to entertain it in absolutely any form. By letting people show us who they are before we go ahead and decide it for them. We end the game by being honest about who we are instead of twisting our image to resemble who we think others want.

We end our psychological complexes by asking ourselves why we hold them. Why we cannot allow people to be entirely, unapologetically themselves without our judgment. Why we cannot allow ourselves to be the same. We end the complex by refusing to entertain it for one more minute. Then, and only then, will we be able to lay our outdated, archetypal mindsets to rest once and for all.

“,”author”:null,”date_published”:”2015-06-25T16:23:55.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://thoughtcatalog.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/15541119647_c15b5d574a_o.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/06/here-is-what-a-madonna-whore-complex-looks–in-2015/”,”domain”:”thoughtcatalog.com”,”excerpt”:”We put the people we respect up on a pedestal and we strip them of any qualities that we deem to be unvirtuous.”,”word_count”:881,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}

Source: https://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/06/here-is-what-a-madonna-whore-complex-looks-like-in-2015/

The

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

And to be clear, when we talk about the Madonna-whore complex, we’re not talking about that Madonna…

The ‘Madonna-whore complex’ is worth researching if you happen to be a male sufferer of retroactive jealousy. You may have already encountered the phrase in your quest for insight on your condition.

According to Wikipedia, a Madonna-whore complex is “said to develop in men who see women as either saintly Madonnas or debased prostitutes.

Men with this complex desire a sexual partner who has been degraded (the whore) while they cannot desire the respected partner (the Madonna).

Sigmund Freud wrote: “Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.”

Sound familiar?

Freud argued that the Madonna–whore complex is caused by oedipalcastration fears which arise when a man experiences the affection he once felt for his mother with women he now sexually desires.

In order to manage this anxiety, the man categorizes women into two groups: women he can admire and women he finds sexually attractive. Whereas the man loves women in the former category, he despises and devalues the latter group.

Alternet recently posted a very good article on the topic which I imagine many of you will find interesting:

Dr. Patrick Suraci, Ph.D., and author of “ Male Sexual Armor: Erotic Fantasies and Sexual Realities of the Cop on the Beat and the Man in the Street” explained the origins [of the Madonna-whore complex] to Alternet:

“Historically men had a dichotomy in their perception of women. In the past, men, especially teens, had the idea that they had to marry a ‘good girl’ – a virgin. They only had sex with the ‘fast girls’ or ‘bad girls’.

They waited until marriage with a ‘good girl’ – a Madonna, before engaging in sexual activities with her. Literally, sometimes they went to a whore for their first sexual experience.

The advent of the pill changed the way women approached sex and thus men had to also change their views to accommodate women”, he told Alternet.

From then on, Dr. Suraci explained, women were as free to have sex as men were, and men no longer had to make a distinction between good and bad girls and didn’t expect to marry a virgin.

Yet, despite the effect that female contraception had on the women’s liberation movement and that we live in a post Third-wave feminism era, the dichotomy still rears its ugly head today through pop culture, slut-shaming and condemning women in society who enjoy sex as being a whore.

Equally as patronizing to feminists, is the ‘Madonna’ label whereby men put a woman on a pedestal as someone to be protected and subservient to men.

I firmly believe that retroactive jealousy in men is caused by, in part, modern man’s compulsion to put their woman on a pedestal, and project unrealistic and sometimes delusional expectations on them.

From Penn State University:

Hartmann (2009) asserts that though many of Freud’s sexual theories are now considered antiquated and sexist, his psychoanalytic notion of the Madonna-whore complex is still quite viable and pervasive in modern sexual dynamics and gender roles.

Women are given so many shaming antisexual messages suppressing the understanding and integration of their sexuality, while simultaneously being valued principally for their youth, thinness, attractiveness, and overall sexual prestige by society.

The female plight is just as dichotomous as the male’s: women want to be both respected (primarily) yet desired (secondarily), whereas men struggle to reconcile these concepts that they can find paradoxical, creating cognitive dissonance.  Landau et al. (2006) indicate that men’s ambivalence towards women’s sexuality is predicated on the ambivalence about their own sexuality, again a painful reminder of their mortality.

Heidi Priebe from Thought Catalog has some words worth considering on this topic:

The problem with the Madonna-Whore complex is that 0% of us fit fully into one category or the other. We may err on one side or the other but we’re all born with sex drives. We’re all born with a sense of compassion. We’re all a little bit Madonna and a little bit Whore. Trying to separate the world into two types of women is a game. You’re either lying to yourself or you’re losing.

I, for one, am tired of these accidental categories we’re placing ourselves and each other into – and much of it is, I believe, truly accidental.

We put the people we respect up on a pedestal and we strip them of any qualities that we deem to be unvirtuous. We don’t give each other time to reveal who we actually are – we jump to conclusions and then punish one another for not meeting them.

We fail to be conscious of the polarized fashion in which we manage our own thoughts and then we let them run rampant.

“She’s a great girl,” or “He’s a nice guy” quickly gives way to “(S)he would never do anything wrong. (S)he shares all my morals. (S)he is an absolute Madonna, whatever that means to me personally.” We compartmentalize our love interests into whichever categories are most convenient for us and then grow frustrated with them for defying our own system.

As I’ve written before:

When we put someone on a pedestal they have no choice but to look down on us. Not only is this unhealthy for us as men, but it is equally unhealthy for the women in our lives.

When a woman sees that you value her above all else, she starts to question your own value, and attraction dies. You can guess what happens next…

Male sufferers of retroactive jealousy wish to preserve a “pure” vision of their partner’s femininity by questioning them about their interactions with other men.

If you’re one of them, you need to realize that your partner is a human being with flaws, weaknesses, shortcomings, and a need for growth.

Of course, this should not dismiss your doubt if her values are genuinely incompatible with your own, but otherwise don’t look at her as if she “should be above” certain types of behavior.

If you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy, maybe something for you to consider

Click here to learn more about overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Source: https://www.retroactivejealousy.com/madonna-whore-complex/

The Madonna-whore dichotomy explained

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

First published on Friday the 26th of April, 2019, this was the most read Villainesse story of 2019.

The Madonna-whore dichotomy is the epitome of compartmentalisation. It describes the perception of women as either a chaste, maternal Madonna figure, or a promiscuous, immoral whore with little overlap between the two.

Sigmund Freud, who developed the outdated, misogynistic idea, described it quite succinctly himself, “where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.”

Today, the Madonna-whore complex doesn’t really pop up as a married man with a mistress. Instead, it’s become more of a subtle dichotomy; a woman can either be respected but not desired, or desired but not respected. Many women have come face to face with this either/or attitude whether they realise it or not.

If you’ve ever felt to need to lie about the number of people you’ve slept with previously, or felt guilty about how early into a relationship the first time happened, just know that these are conditioned responses from a system that places too much worth on a woman’s sexual status.

Let’s take beauty standards as an example. Kim Kardashian is a great example of how society treats sexually assertive women, i.e. the ‘whore,’ who is desired but not respected. There are endless slut-shaming comments about her sensual pictures, but also an undeniable following for them.

Another example of the Madonna-whore dichotomy comes from Peruvian men whose perception of women was split quite cleanly between ‘mother’ and ‘everyone else.

’ After frequently sexually harassing women on the street, sports brand Everlast reached out to their mothers and disguised them as other women so they could witness their sons’ appalling behaviour first hand.

As you can imagine, their mothers were not impressed.

There are countless contradictory, oftentimes hypocritical codes that women should follow. “Just keep your legs closed,” is a tired remark in the abortion discussion, from men who most ly also expect regular sex from their female partners.

“Don’t drink, don’t wear tight clothes, don’t go out alone,” from sexual assault victim-blamers who then complain about the fear women have developed of men.

It seems we need to find a ridiculously thin middle ground in order to be both desired and respected – if that’s even possible. This has resulted in the idea that women should be sexually desirable, but only if they are unaware of it, thus maintaining all the appeal of the whore and the innocent virtue of the Madonna.

Take note of lyrics “You don’t know you’re beautiful / that’s what makes you beautiful,” album names containing, “…you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it,” and the angry backlash women received when they started agreeing with compliments they received from men.

The Madonna-whore dichotomy wrongly reduces the characteristics of women to a spectrum on which we need to find the midpoint instead of a melting pot where these qualities just are.

A woman’s sexual activity says next to nothing about the rest of her because, shocker, women are sexual beings. After so many generations of sexual repression, it’s time that we declared an end to the dichotomy and embraced a duality.

A woman can wear makeup and still be authentic. A woman can be provocative and still aspire to become a lawyer (go Kim!). A woman can have casual sex and still be a fantastic role model. A woman can think herself gorgeous and still be compassionate. A mother is still desirable. The Madonna and the whore are not exclusive.

Women can’t be compartmentalised. We don’t fit neatly into labelled boxes. And we all deserve to be respected.

IN

  • Beauty Standards /
  • Innocence /
  • Female Sexuality /
  • Compartmentalisation /

Support Villainesse

Source: https://www.villainesse.com/girl-power/madonna-whore-dichotomy-explained

Madonna-whore complex | Applied Social Psychology (ASP)

What is Madonna Whore Syndrome?

According to the sexual script theory, human sexuality is largely determined by culturally-prescribed scripts, or templates for behavior.  These gender-normative scripts are typically heterosexual, where men are depicted as sexually active and assertive, while favoring nonrelational sex.  Conversely, women are described as sexually passive and seeking relational sex.

  Such tendencies are learned through socialization and then acted out, thereby creating further reinforcement of the conventions, making these scripts cyclical in nature.

  Despite the twenty-first century‘s advances in gender roles, the stereotype that men are generally sexually eager and women are coy, if not repressed, is still the sexual norm (Garcia, Reiber, Massey, & Merriwether, 2012).

  Both evolutionary drives and media messaging explain this phenomenon, which is also related to social dominance theory’s view that men have more power in the gender hierarchy (PSU WC, 2015). To further complicate matters, adhering to these traditional gender roles is associated with societal rewards and punishments (Schneider, Gruman, & Coutts, 2012).

These concepts of gender and sexuality are stereotypical and fairly obvious, yet a deeper look reveals huge and complex juxtapositions for both men and women.

  The terror management theory suggests that men have a profound subconscious ambivalence towards women and their sexuality because it reminds them of their true corporeal animal nature and therefore, mortality.

  This concept is woven throughout many different culture’s religions and histories.  On the one hand, men spend much of their lives lusting after women, and on the other hand men wrestle with an intense fear of women.

  This contradiction is unsettling and at the mild end of the spectrum can create cognitive dissonance for men, potentially leading to sexism, misogyny, and even violence and rape, in the extreme (Landau et al., 2006).

Accordingly, Sigmund Freud developed a theory to explain men’s anxiety towards women’s sexuality, suggesting that men cast women into one of two categories to allay the uncomfortable dichotomy of fear and desire: the Madonna (women he admires and respects) and the whore (women he is attracted to and therefore disrespects).

  The Madonna-whore complex views women’s desirability/licentiousness and purity/maternal goodness as mutually exclusive traits.  Love is seen as clean and virginal whereas sex is viewed as dirty and shameful.

  Because healthy sexuality is sublimated, it is rerouted towards the secrecy and debasement involved in pornography where the concept of slut is outwardly despised and privately craved.

  This dichotomy may contributes to many relationship issues, where men generally seek to maintain the image of their romantic partner as Madonna, but may seek the whore in the form of an affair in order to achieve both opposing idealizations that are difficult to project onto the same woman (Landau et al., 2006).

Hartmann (2009) asserts that though many of Freud’s sexual theories are now considered antiquated and sexist, his psychoanalytic notion of the Madonna-whore complex is still quite viable and pervasive in modern sexual dynamics and gender roles.

  Women are given so many shaming antisexual messages suppressing the understanding and integration of their sexuality, while simultaneously being valued principally for their youth, thinness, attractiveness, and overall sexual prestige by society.

The female plight is just as dichotomous as the male’s: women want to be both respected (primarily) yet desired (secondarily), whereas men struggle to reconcile these concepts that they can find paradoxical, creating cognitive dissonance.  Landau et al.

(2006) indicate that men’s ambivalence towards women’s sexuality is predicated on the ambivalence about their own sexuality, again a painful reminder of their mortality.

My initial aim in writing this blog was to explore the difficulties involved in women’s gender roles and sexuality, however, after further research it seems that men’s attitudes and proclivities are just as complicated.  I think these dynamics are both fascinating and frightening.

  So much of how we behave sexually it seems is genetic and societal programming outside of our control.  But understanding these deeply rooted tendencies and conflicts is the first step in self-actualizing to consciously create the gender and sexual roles we feel comfortable with and want to portray.

  Also, I think the Madonna-whore complex does affect many relationships to varying degrees, especially married couples, and those with children most of all.

  I’ve seen family and friends struggle with that dynamic, probably thinking the issue was unique to them, whereas I believe it to be a much more widespread phenomenon.

References

Garcia, J. R., Reiber, C., Massey, S. G., & Merriwether, A. M. (2012). Sexual hookup culture: A review. Review of General Psychology, 16(2), 161-176. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.1037/a0027911

Hartmann, U. (2009). Sigmund Freud and His Impact on Our Understanding of Male Sexual Dysfunction. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(8), 2332-2339. doi:10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01332.x

Landau, M. J., Goldenberg, J. L., Greenberg, J., Gillath, O., Solomon, S., Cox, C., . . . Pyszczynski, T. (2006). The siren’s call: Terror management and the threat of men’s sexual attraction to women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(1), 129-146. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/10.1037/0022-3514.90.1.129

The Pennsylvania State University World Campus (PSU WC). (2015). Lesson 6: Intergroup Relations. In PSYCH424: Applied Social Psychology (5). Retrieved from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/fa15/psych424/001/content/07_lesson/05_page.html

Schneider, F. W., Gruman, J. A., & Coutts, L. M. (2012). Applied social psychology: Understanding and addressing social and practical problems. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

freud, gender roles, sexism, sexual script theory, sexuality, social dominance theory

Source: https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2015/10/03/madonna-whore-complex/

Add a comment