The Hidden Enemy: Patriarchy’s Damaging Effect on Women’s Sexual Wellbeing

May, 12, 2023

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Have you ever felt uncomfortable discussing female sexuality? You’re not alone.

For centuries, patriarchal norms and expectations have shrouded women’s sexual health in shame and secrecy. But it’s time to break the taboo and start talking openly about the impact of patriarchy on women’s sexual health. From the lack of access to sexual education and healthcare to the objectification and violence against women, the effects of patriarchy are far-reaching and damaging.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the impact of patriarchy on women’s sexual health and how we can work towards a brighter and more empowering future for women everywhere.

Because it’s been far too damn long.

What is Patriarchy?

Before we start dismantling the patriarchy, we need to get on the same page about who we are dealing with.

Patriarchy is a social system that prioritizes men and male-dominated perspectives while oppressing women and feminine qualities. It is a system of power and domination that reinforces gender roles, stereotypes, and inequalities. Patriarchy affects every aspect of our lives, from the way we interact with each other to the institutions and systems that govern our society.

In the context of women’s sexual health, patriarchy perpetuates harmful attitudes and beliefs that create barriers to essential sexual health services, education, and information. It enforces stereotypes that limit women’s sexual agency, promotes gender-based violence and discrimination, and reinforces stigma and shame around sexuality.

For example, women are often expected to be sexually passive and submissive, while men are expected to be sexually aggressive. This dichotomy creates an unequal power dynamic in sexual relationships, which can lead to various forms of sexual violence, including rape and sexual harassment.

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Understanding patriarchy is essential for breaking down the barriers to women’s sexual health and achieving gender equality. By challenging patriarchal attitudes and beliefs, we can create a more equitable, just, and healthier society for all.

Now that we are on the same page, we can start dismantling.

Related Article: The Myth of Virginity: The Damaging Social Construct

Understanding the Oppression of Patriarchy on Women’s Sexual Health

Under patriarchy, women’s sexual health has been subject to oppressive norms and expectations that aim to control and limit women’s sexual expression. Women have been taught to feel ashamed of their bodies, desires, and sexual experiences. For instance, women are expected to remain virgins until marriage and to be sexually submissive to their partners. This expectation of sexual purity and passivity is not only unrealistic but also harmful to women’s mental and physical wellbeing.

Moreover, patriarchal societies often view women’s sexuality as a commodity to be controlled and traded, leading to women’s objectification and sexual violence. Sexual harassment and assault are prevalent in patriarchal societies, with women being blamed for their experiences and even ostracized for speaking up. Such violence harms women’s physical health and damages their self-esteem, confidence, and sexual autonomy.

Ultimately, women face social stigma and discrimination for seeking sexual health services or engaging in sexual activities outside of marriage. This stigma can create a barrier to accessing essential sexual health services, such as contraception, STI testing, and treatment, and can result in negative health outcomes.

The impact of patriarchy on women’s sexual health is far-reaching and damaging.

Examples of patriarchy’s sexist views on women’s sexuality

Patriarchy’s sexist views on women’s sexuality are deeply ingrained in society and can be challenging to eradicate. Some of the most common examples of these views include:

  • Women who engage in sexual activity outside of marriage are “sluts” or “whores.”
  • Women who dress provocatively are “asking for it” and are responsible for any sexual violence they may experience.
  • Women who experience sexual pleasure are “deviant” and should be shamed.
  • Women who use contraception are “promiscuous” and lack self-control.
  • Women who have abortions are “immoral” and should receive punishment.

Or my new favorite one from those “Bro Podcast”:

  • Women who own a house or make more than man, are too masculine
  • Women who have slept with more than one person are “ran through.”
  • Women who own their own houses are sad and will die alone.

Related Article: 3 Ways to Improve the Basic Handjob

Breaking the Barriers

Despite the challenges posed by patriarchy, women can take steps to break the barriers to achieving sexual health and wellness. Here are a few tips:

  1. Educate yourself: Knowledge is power. Educate yourself about your sexual health, including contraception, STIs, and safe sex practices. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about your sexual health.
  2. Seek support: Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or healthcare providers. If you’re struggling with sexual health issues, seek out resources and support networks in your community.
  3. Advocate for yourself: You have the right to access essential sexual health services and information. If you feel someone is violating your rights, speak up and advocate for yourself.
  4. Challenge patriarchy: Patriarchy is a pervasive system that perpetuates gender inequality. Challenge patriarchal attitudes and beliefs in your personal life and in your community. Speak out against sexism, misogyny, and gender-based violence.

Reclaim Your Sexuality from Patriarchy’s Grip

Despite the damaging effects of patriarchy on women’s sexual well-being, there is hope for change. Women can reclaim their sexuality from patriarchy’s grip by challenging oppressive norms and expectations. By embracing their bodies, desires, and sexual experiences, women can resist the shame and silence that patriarchy imposes on them.

Moreover, women can seek out resources and support to help them overcome the harmful effects of patriarchy on their sexual well-being. Therapy, sex education, and self-help resources can all be helpful in this regard. Women can also seek out communities of like-minded individuals who share their experiences and can provide support and encouragement.

patriarchy on women's health
By embracing their bodies, desires, and sexual experiences, women can resist the shame and silence that patriarchy imposes on them.

Smash the Patriarchy

Patriarchy is a significant barrier to women’s sexual health and wellness. It perpetuates gender inequality, enforces harmful stereotypes, and creates barriers to essential sexual health services. However, we can break the barriers and achieve a healthier life by educating ourselves, seeking support, advocating for ourselves, and challenging patriarchal attitudes and beliefs. Remember, your sexual health and well-being are essential and deserve to be prioritized and celebrated.

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  1. Pennsylvania State Unviersity | The influence of patriarchy on women’s health


Hi, I am Mia! I am Sex Education Enthusiast and I love bringing people the knowledge they need to make their sex lives better! I always preach that having a healthy sex life is a part of a healthy life overall.

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