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The most persistent stereotypes is that male and female sexualty is completely different, women being shy, coy and passive, men being aggressive, dominant and active. Women are chaste, men are promiscous. Or -- at least -- they ought to be, if they follow the rules of Darwinian competition.
It turns most of these ideas are rooted in Victorian misconceptions. New research shows, for instance, that females, in most species, are not more monogamous than males.
[b]Data should smash the biological myth of promiscuous males and sexually coy females[/b]
Zuleyma Tang-Martinez writes:
Birds have played a critical role in dispelling the myth that females evolved to mate with a single male. In the 1980s, approximately 90 percent of all songbird species were believed to be “monogamous” – that is, one male and one female mated exclusively with one another and raised their young together. At present, only about 7 percent are classified as monogamous.Modern molecular techniques that allow for paternity analysis revealed both males and females often mate and produce offspring with multiple partners. That is, they engage in what researchers call “extra-pair copulations” (EPCs) and “extra pair fertilizations” (EPFs).Because of the assumption that reluctant females mate with only one male, many scientists initially assumed promiscuous males coerced reluctant females into engaging in sexual activity outside their home territory. But behavioral observations quickly determined that females play an active role in searching for nonpair males and soliciting extra-pair copulations.
The reason previous researchers missed this was cognitive bias:
Unconscious biases and expectations can influence the questions scientists ask and also their interpretations of data. Behavioral biologist Marcy Lawton and colleagues describe a fascinating example. In 1992, eminent male scientists studying a species of bird wrote an excellent book on the species – but were mystified by the lack of aggression in males. They did report violent and frequent clashes among females, but dismissed their importance. These scientists expected males to be combative and females to be passive – when observations failed to meet their expectations, they were unable to envision alternative possibilities, or realize the potential significance of what they were seeing.The same likely happened with regard to sexual behavior: Many scientists saw promiscuity in males and coyness in females because that is what they expected to see and what theory – and societal attitudes – told them they should see.
We should keep this in mind when discussing the autogynephilia theory as well. Blanchard is deeply rooted in the Victorian paradigm on what constitutes proper sexuality and gender identity.