24 September 2020

What (most) women (don’t) want

The Back Page

Gender studies researchers have uncovered a weird and confusing fact: NOT EVERYONE FINDS DICK PICS DISGUSTING.

I know… I know… you’re probably thinking that if you asked over 2,000 single people whether they find unsolicited dick pics flattering or entertaining, precisely zero would say yes.

Not true.

Researchers at Indiana University in the US have done the legwork; they surveyed 2,045 women of all sexual identities and 298 gay or bisexual men and found – SHOCKINGLY – that some people welcomed surprise photographs of male genitals.

The results are published in a paper called “Women’s and Men’s Reactions to Receiving Unsolicited Genital Images from Men” in the Journal of Sex Research.

Around 40% of heterosexual women and 24% of lesbian women in the study had “positive” reactions to receiving unsolicited genital images from men – so, dick pics made them feel “aroused”, “curious”, “entertained” or “flattered”.

The flipside to that is around 60% of heterosexual women and 76% of lesbian women felt “disrespected”, “grossed out”, “sad”, “violated”, “bored”, “confused” or “resigned” by what popped up in their inbox.

Gay and bisexual men tended to feel the opposite way – unsolicited dick pics were quite welcome in many cases.

The authors concluded that, in general, women tended to find unsolicited images of male genitals ‘gross’ and ‘disrespectful’ whereas gay and bi men did not.

“The fact that we found high rates of negative responses to receiving dick pics suggests that, in general, senders are not receiving affirming responses to sending these images,” the authors wrote.

“Nonetheless, sending images of one’s genitals is common. In the absence of a reinforcing positive response, it may be that sending a dick pic is more a function of the sender attempting to exert power and control by exposing the recipient to his genitals, rather than seeking a positive response that might lead to a sexual encounter.”

In the study, the academics defined “dick pics” as “explicit, typically self-generated, images of male genitalia that men send to recipients using the Internet and/or mobile applications (Salter, 2016; Waling & Pym, 2019).”

(Yes, the academics used references for the term “dick pics” and quotation marks like a pair of tweezers – bless them.)

If you see something stupid, say something stupid… Dick pics are never welcome. Send puppy pics to [email protected]

COVID-19 live update