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Conservatives Don’t Know Much About Intersexual Dynamics

Conservatives often give the worst advice to men because they have a completely false model of intersexual dynamics.

Another example this past week comes from Pat Sawyer, who tweeted:

Sawyer has written for Christianity Today, The Federalist, The American Conservative, and the Gospel Coalition. He may or may not profess to be a conservative himself, but he writes for conservative publications.

Not only is his take not true, it’s the opposite of the truth, something that even the New York Times has explicitly written about.

In 2014, the NYT Magazine published a piece called “Does a More Equal Marriage Mean Less Sex?“. It was written by Lori Gottlieb, who also wrote the famous “Marry Him!” article in the Atlantic I’ve referenced before.

Gottlieb refers to academic research, including a study that concluded, “Results show that both husbands and wives in couples with more traditional housework arrangements report higher sexual frequency, suggesting the importance of gender display rather than marital exchange for sex between heterosexual married partners.”

She also draws on her own personal experience as a therapist, writing:

But as a psychotherapist who works with couples, I’ve noticed something similar to the findings. That is, it’s true that being stuck with all the chores rarely tends to make wives desire their husbands. Yet having their partner, say, load the dishwasher — a popular type of marital intervention suggested by self-help books, women’s magazines and therapists alike — doesn’t seem to have much of an effect on their libido, either. Many of my colleagues have observed the same thing: No matter how much sink-scrubbing and grocery-shopping the husband does, no matter how well husband and wife communicate with each other, no matter how sensitive they are to each other’s emotions and work schedules, the wife does not find her husband more sexually exciting, even if she feels both closer to and happier with him.

Sawyer does pre-marital counseling, so he’s an authority figure younger men are looking up to and taking advice from. But his advice is simply a recipe for futility.

This is just a small example, merely a tweet, but the entire edifice of conservative Christian teaching on gender is shot through with content that just isn’t true. No wonder so many young men today are turning to the manosphere instead of the church for guidance on how to live their lives.

Cover Image Credit: Piotrus, CC BY-SA 3.0

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