People will say that women got prostitution banned because they were jealous of the women their men were visiting. This is in fact totally untrue.
Women don’t typically think it is a big deal if a man has sex with some stranger simply for the purpose of sex. They’re worried about the man developing an emotional connection to a woman that will lead to him expending more resources and time on her than ten dollars for ten minutes.
Infidelity. It’s one of the top reasons couples end up in divorce court. According to researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), about the same amount of men and women forgive these indiscretions. How the genders view different types of infidelity however, is very different.
The study finds men are most upset when their partner is physically intimate with another person. Women on the other hand feel most threatened by a deep emotional connection between their partner and another person. This is true even if the relationship does not involve sex.
While both sexes go through similar thought processes to arrive at a conclusion about their cheating partner, the degree of forgiveness (or lack thereof) is about equal whether the injured party is the man or the woman.
Although researchers expected to see a greater contrast in how men and women respond, they believe some of the clues reside in cultural gender roles and evolutionary psychology passed down from generation to generation.
They point out that until recent times, men had to manage their “paternity insecurity” inside their own heads. Women in traditional gender roles did not have the question of paternity hanging over their heads. They instead had to establish that the father of their child(ren) would stay and continue to provide for them. So these women were always on the lookout for any rival who might beguile their mates and threaten their survival.
For the current study on infidelity, the NTNU team recruited 92 couples to answer a questionnaire about hypothetical scenarios involving unfaithfulness. In one scenario, the partner sleeps with someone else but never falls in love. In the other scenario, the partner develops an emotional attachment to someone else but abstains from having sex.
The results reveal that participants of either gender thought it was improbable that they would forgive a partner’s cheating. Researchers add the thought processes involving cheating and possible forgiveness are almost identical for both men and women. What makes the difference is the perceived threat to the relationship.
“Whether or not the couple breaks up depends primarily on how threatening to the relationship they perceive the infidelity to be,” according to first study author Trond Viggo Grøntvedt.
The reason women banned prostitution was not because of normal jealousy that you would have if a woman cheated on you.
You have that jealousy because the woman could get pregnant. All emotions are psychological mechanisms that reflect biological realities. So, it is a very big deal if a woman cheats on you, as she could get pregnant and you could end up raising someone else’s kid, which is an absolute waste of your personal resources, as it doesn’t carry on your genetics. It doesn’t matter if she only spends ten minutes with the man and has no emotional connection to him, he can drop the seed and you can be left with someone else’s son. This is our bio-psycho-social evolutionary wiring at work.
Women tried to argue that their reason for banning prostitution (or severely socially and culturally demonizing it) was related to a similar type of jealousy, and they played on men’s understanding of their own emotions in this. However, just as men have a biological reason to be jealous to the point of murder at a woman having sex with another man, women have no such trigger. There is no logical reason that a woman would be concerned about her man visiting a prostitute, especially if it is kept private.
(Notice that women are also jealous when you spend time with your male friends, and they will try to isolate you from them through punishment mechanisms, including denial of sex. You don’t care if she hangs out with her female friends, and in fact, you’re trying to get her to do so as much as possible, so she doesn’t have time to create problems for you.)
The reason women outlawed prostitution was so that they could gain a total monopoly on sex, and so that the only way you could access sex was through their approval. Prostitution gives men control over when they are able to do the sexual release process, which is biologically necessary.
Of course, there are conversations to be had when it comes to a monogamous relationship, such as why are men turning to prostitutes in the first place, why do men seem to need to see more than one woman (variety), trust, infidelity and reciprocity and diseases. Likewise, “can we be civilized?” and what are the effects of male dependency on sex are yet other important ones.
Women understand that as long as a man can go see a prostitute, he is not fully under her control. So, the banning of prostitution by women was an absolutely cynical power grab.