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  #1  
Old 02 June 2014, 07:49 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Icon06 There's No Such Thing as a Slut

In 2004, two women who were long past college age settled into a dorm room at a large public university in the Midwest. Elizabeth Armstrong, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan, and Laura Hamilton, then a graduate assistant and now a sociology professor at the University of California at Merced, were there to examine the daily lives and attitudes of college students. Like two Jane Goodalls in the jungle of American young adulthood, they did their observing in the students’ natural habitat. The researchers interviewed the 53 women on their floor every year for five years—from the time they were freshmen through their first year out of college.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...a-slut/371773/
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  #2  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:02 PM
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Interesting to have objective data, but nothing very surprising here.
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Old 02 June 2014, 08:11 PM
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Well, as a 'scientific' study, it is an extremely limited test group with a very high degree of selection bias. And clearly to the extent the 'study' was about the title topic, it failed to define terms, and hence could not establish the stated conclusion.
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Old 02 June 2014, 08:14 PM
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Wasn't that the whole point, though? I.e., that there's no objective meaning for the term: it's just a misogynist catch-all not even necessarily related to sexual behavior?

ETA; Also, why the crying emoticon?
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  #5  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Well, as a 'scientific' study, it is an extremely limited test group with a very high degree of selection bias. And clearly to the extent the 'study' was about the title topic, it failed to define terms, and hence could not establish the stated conclusion.
Do you have access to the full text of the study? I don't have access, so I can't read it.
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  #6  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderwoman View Post
Do you have access to the full text of the study? I don't have access, so I can't read it.
I did not check. I just read this article and posted it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
ETA; Also, why the crying emoticon?
For the reaction of the one woman when publicly called a slut.
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  #7  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:36 PM
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But ATNM, the study's not meant to prove anything about the statistical prevalence of slut stigma. Instead, it illustrates the value of "examining how stigma is constituted and circulated," and the conclusions point to the importance of "explicitly intersectional" stigma research. That is not obviated by a limited or self-selecting sample size: it's how a significant proportion of social science studies are done.
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Old 02 June 2014, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
For the reaction of the one woman when publicly called a slut.
Why would you selectively quote my post to answer one of my questions and ignore the other? They were both directed to you.
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  #9  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:43 PM
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I believe this is the relevant paper for the study in question.
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  #10  
Old 02 June 2014, 08:55 PM
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Just FYI, Unless you are a subscriber or institutional subscriber, you need to pay for access to the article. Jahungo, if you pulled up the full article, it is possible that you are on a computer at an institution or library with a subscription. Other people will just see the log-in page.
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  #11  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:03 PM
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This is the abstract:

Quote:
Women’s participation in slut shaming is often viewed as internalized oppression: they apply disadvantageous sexual double standards established by men. This perspective grants women little agency and neglects their simultaneous location in other social structures. In this article we synthesize insights from social psychology, gender, and culture to argue that undergraduate women use slut stigma to draw boundaries around status groups linked to social class—while also regulating sexual behavior and gender performance. High-status women employ slut discourse to assert class advantage, defining themselves as classy rather than trashy, while low-status women express class resentment—deriding rich, bitchy sluts for their exclusivity. Slut discourse enables, rather than constrains, sexual experimentation for the high-status women whose definitions prevail in the dominant social scene. This is a form of sexual privilege. In contrast, low-status women risk public shaming when they attempt to enter dominant social worlds.
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  #12  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
Just FYI, Unless you are a subscriber or institutional subscriber, you need to pay for access to the article. Jahungo, if you pulled up the full article, it is possible that you are on a computer at an institution or library with a subscription. Other people will just see the log-in page.
Hmm, sorry about that. I am on the network of an academic institution, but usually I have to go through the library portal to get access, whereas here I just found it through google, so I thought it would be similarly available to others. Whoops.
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  #13  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:15 PM
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A few comments after reading the paper:

The methodology is open-ended, unstructured interviews, rather than systematic sessions, and their results are rarely quantified in any way, and quotations are used to support arguments rather than numbers. I would say this is an interesting hypothesis-generation study, but this open-ended, subjective methodology is very prone to building false narratives, whether intentionally or not.

Their ultimate argument is that the term "slut" is used primarily as a barb against other social groups. "High-status" women (sorority members) used it to deride the habits of other groups that lacked "class," and the authors suggest that this may be related to preserving their high-status and justifying or protecting their own sexual experimentation by own labeling other practices as "slutty." In contrast, "low-status" women (who were excluded from Greek life and mostly but not entirely less affluent) used it to deride the "stuck up" high-status women, and the authors suggest this may stem from resentment of the high-status women as well as differing values and a different viewpoint that in part results from lack of access to the inner workings of the social world of the high-status women.

They say their results fit better with such a hypothesis better than a hypothesis of "defensive othering" (where women derided others as "sluts" in order to avoid an overall social stigma against female sexual promiscuity and the double standards related to it) or of in-group behavior regulation (where women act to regulate the behavior of a group by using this barb to criticize behavior they do not like). The major argument for why their results fits their hypothesis best is that the definition of "slut" is highly variable and differs across the different social status groups, as well as the fact that these two groups often seem to label the members of the other group as "sluts" (although they did it within-group as well). The fact that the term was primarily used privately, rather than publicly, also potentially agrees better with their favored hypothesis, rather than the behavior regulation hypothesis.

Last edited by Jahungo; 02 June 2014 at 09:42 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:31 PM
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So it sounds more like everybody's a slut, rather than that there's no such thing as a slut?
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  #15  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:35 PM
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You could say that. One of their primary arguments is that although the term "slut" is used ubiquitously, its meaning varies significantly between individuals and especially groups, and it is only very loosely defined by even by individuals, which you could argue renders it ultimately meaningless (although the Atlantic article emphasized this much more than the journal article). It also often seems to be used as a generic insult, used in a way that isn't all that strongly tied even to these loose definitions, and was flung transiently at others rather than being a fixed label applied to someone based on their overall behavior.

Last edited by Jahungo; 02 June 2014 at 09:44 PM.
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  #16  
Old 02 June 2014, 09:36 PM
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One could argue, though, that just like "special" and "beautiful," if everyone's a slut, then no one's a slut.
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  #17  
Old 02 June 2014, 10:16 PM
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I don't think it's everyone. Just women.
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  #18  
Old 02 June 2014, 10:28 PM
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Well, we did have that guy in here several years ago who insisted that he called men sluts as well. So there is that, I guess?
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  #19  
Old 02 June 2014, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I did not check. I just read this article and posted it.
Just FYI, a magazine or newspaper article about such a study never gives enough information to critique the methods of a study in an informed manner. Just one of my pet peeves, people critiquing study methods from a magazine article that doesn't even describe them in any detail.
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  #20  
Old 02 June 2014, 10:50 PM
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"Man whore" is the genuine equivalent I hear most often, which is rarely. The fact that you have to attach "man" to modify it shows its exclusivity.
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