A girl first becomes aware of herself as a sexual being when men start commenting on her breasts. The breasts develop from around 12.4 years. Beast development signals a woman’s reproductive maturity. A girl can wear a supportive bra to avoid getting stretch marks. It is perfectly normal for a woman’s breasts to be different sizes. The nipple stands erect when cold. Otherwise the nipple may be inverted, particularly in young women.
Most men are not aroused by pre-adolescent girls. Young girls have figures similar to boys. Men assume breast development indicates that a girl has become a woman. Women have wider hips than men and their buttocks are larger. In general women’s bodies carry more fat, which acts as reserves for breastfeeding. The pelvic development of a woman’s hips and buttocks is in preparation for pregnancy when she has to carry the weight of a baby in her abdomen. One consequence of a wider pelvis is that women’s hips may sway as they walk (called a ‘bum wiggle’). Men find this movement attractive and women wear high heels in part to accentuate this movement.
Women’s bodies are not sexual in a responsive way. Men sexualise women’s bodies to assist with their own arousal. Breasts, for example, take on a sexual significance. Girls react to male lust for their bodies with embarrassment and even shame. Women think their genitals are dirty because of the crude urges they evoke in men. Some girls develop a negative view of themselves. Anorexia and bulimia are nervous disorders that occur because a girl has a distorted view of her body. A woman’s body develops wider hips and more fat so some girls think they are getting fat.
Young women may be excited by the prospect of intercourse. This excitement is based on a social anticipation rather than arousal. They do not masturbate by imagining opportunities for intercourse. Women prefer to think of sex in terms of love rather than genital activity. Having a partner (and children later on) provides a woman with the rewards of companionship, increased personal confidence and emotional security.
A girl is not aroused by male nudity or by anticipating genital activity as boys are. Young girls cannot imagine why anyone would ever want sex. They are disgusted by men’s enjoyment of women’s genitals. Without a romantic attachment, intercourse seems crude and impersonal. But as she matures, a girl comes to appreciate a more romantic view of sex. Young women see sex in terms of male passion and his desire to possess her body.
During adolescence girls start to enjoy the attention they get from men. Some women enjoy the reassurance of being admired by men. They may interpret this emotional neediness as a sex drive. Some women use the advantage their bodies give them (in gaining favour with men) to obtain an advantage at work or elsewhere. Women associate sex with a relationship because they typically rely on a man’s motivation to initiate sexual activity. As they age men worry about impotence. Women worry about looking old.
Men are confused when women are disgusted men’s fantasies and sexual urges. Men are sexually active throughout their lives regardless of any relationship. Most men masturbate. Men’s minds are often occupied with sex related thoughts. A woman assumes that a man is attracted to her because she is pretty and has a good figure. Women see the world from a social, not a sexual, perspective. They like being with men who are good company, who admire them and are supportive. A woman is not aroused with a lover, so a man’s genitals or his responsiveness are of no interest to her. A woman is offended if man shows any interest in her genitals. She cannot understand why anyone would like such smelly and ugly anatomy.
Even if a woman is promiscuous (she is a prostitute or engages in casual sex) she feels much the same way. If a woman is responsive (she masturbates to orgasm) she still has the same basic response as every other woman. She cannot fully understand men’s responses (because she does not experience them) but she can empathise to some degree with men’s enjoyment of the sexual world because of her use of sexual fantasy.
Women dominate the view of polite society. In male company, men can be as crude as they like. Men also enjoy male-only clubs and bars, where women are paid to provide male turn-ons. It is only when respectable women are present that men are expected to change their behaviour to accommodate women’s dislike of eroticism. When people avoid being linked to sex-related topics, it is women’s approval they are looking for.
Thus, between adolescence and fifteen years of age there were 78 per cent, and among other teenage girls there were 53 per cent who were not reaching orgasm in any type of sexual activity. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)