More and more men are admitting to having ‘unwanted’ sex with women to prove they aren’t gay.
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, a small number of men have come forward and said they have been sexually assaulted and inspired by this, Jesse Ford, a PhD student at New York University, interviewed college men who said they have had unwanted, non-consensual sex with women.
Ford explained that ‘unwanted’ sex was different from sexual assault and said: “All sexual assault is unwanted sex, but not all unwanted sex is sexual assault.
“These men were reluctant to call their experiences sexual assault and were more comfortable with terms such as ‘unwanted’ and ‘non-consensual’.”
In the study – which was published by Oxford Academic – Ford noticed a pattern which suggested men had unwanted sex with women because they felt pressurised.
One of the men said: “There is this social pressure that men like sex a lot and women can choose yes or no.
“So, I guess it makes you unmanly if you don’t want to have sex.”
Another added: “I even said ‘thank you’ afterwards even though I didn’t really want to have sex.
“I was still playing the role of someone who wanted to be in that moment… I didn’t want to give off any impression of weirdness.”
Ford concluded: “Many described having unwanted sex in order to project an image and to take advantage of a sexual opportunity.
“They worried that saying ‘no’ to sex might be strange, immature, offensive or emasculating.
“A looming fear was ridicule, and they didn’t want to be talked about as the kind of man who rejects sex with an attractive woman, lest others might see them as a ‘virgin’, an ‘idiot’ or someone who’s ‘gay’.
“I do think it’s important to understand how and why it happens. And it does make me wonder if it’s a missing piece in the overall debate over sex in our culture.”