Differences within dating culture give merit to gendered labels

In the realm of dating, it has often been said that men who have multiple female sex partners are considered “studs,” but women who have multiple sexual encounters with men are classified as “sluts.” 

At first glance, this may seem unfair because equality between the sexes is presumed to be a goal society ought to be striving for. Yet, it is clear men and women are not in a similar position when it comes to dating. Due to these differences, the terms “stud” and “slut” make sense and hold up in American culture.  

This is due to the fact that men are expected to chase women, but women are chased. This assumption about dating unveils how men and women are perceived incongruently when they admit to having sex with a lot of members of the opposite sex. 

Before the “stud/slut” myth can be debunked, however, it is important to understand gender expectations and how they can influence behavior. 

Since men are expected to be the ones who must first initiate contact with women, they exhibit different behavioral patterns when they approach women for the first time. According to the unwritten rules of dating, men are seen as the ones that must get their crush’s contact information. From there, they must reach out to them and ask them out on a date. If the first date goes well, he then has to do it a second, third and fourth time until he has enough courage to ask if she would like to be his girlfriend. 

During the dates, the man may have to buy his crush meals, gifts, drinks, movie tickets and the like. Moreover, he cannot do or say anything to make her feel uncomfortable or creep her out, and at the same time try to charm her. If, however, he did say or do things the wrong way, then she can stop communicating with him, and both parties then have to start all over finding a mate. 

By contrast, women have a completely different role to play, according to society. Generally speaking, women are seen as the ones to be asked to give away their contact information to a potential mate. From there, women usually wait to be contacted, to be asked out on a date and to have their male counterpart take them to new or exciting places. At any point during this process, both parties can, for whatever reason, discontinue the courtship process. 

Although men and women have equal power to break it off, the fundamental difference between the two is that the former has to put more effort into getting laid, but usually the latter only has to ask.

The aforementioned explanation between what men and women usually do is why the stud/slut double standard cannot hold up to scrutiny. Since the former often has to put more effort into the process of finding a romantic partner, he is seen as a hero from his male peers; but since the latter can reciprocate any time she wants to, she is not considered a hero. 

Since the costs borne by a man who is seeking sex with a woman is generally higher than the reverse, it is understandable—but not necessarily good or bad—that men who have sex with many women are classified as studs. 

This is not to imply that one mode of living is better than the other. Each lifestyle is a manifestation of the right to live according to the dictates of your conscience. But since the process of courtship, dating and seeking sex is different for men and women, the stud/slut double standard dichotomy exists for a reason.