Double standards of sexual morality

Experimental visualization of narrower problems

Different codes of sexual morality apply to men and to women. The double standard is very clearly seen in questions of chastity before marriage and the legal and moral consequences of this. Basically a man is encouraged by social attitudes to 'sow wild oats' and thus enhance his 'manhood', while for women sexual experience outside the confines of marriage means 'shame'. She may forfeit the limited rights she has under the law or may be victimized by her family or the community. Accusations against a woman's chastity in traditional society may lead to murder and vendetta, and double standards of sexual morality encourage prostitution.


Double standards of sexual morality occur wherever there is discrimination against women. They appear more in industrialized and traditional society than in primitive society, which tends to be more cohesive. Religious intolerance has played a large part in reinforcing a double standard.

In the UK in 1989, 1,000 men were prosecuted for kerb-crawling (soliciting prostitutes on the street) compared with 10,000 prostitutes for soliciting.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 5: Gender Equality
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
13.01.2021 – 19:17 CET