Just Sociology

Exploring Sexual Inequality: Access to Pleasure and Decision-Making Power

The Radical Feminist Viewpoint on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence, defined as any physical or emotional abuse within an intimate relationship, is a prevalent issue in society today. According to the British Crime Survey (BCS), approximately 1.4 million women and 700,000 men experienced domestic violence in England and Wales in 2019.

Despite these high figures, domestic violence remains a largely hidden and underreported crime, with only a third of incidents reported to the police. Radical feminists argue that domestic violence is a manifestation of gender inequality and stems from systematic male dominance over women.

According to radical feminists, domestic violence is a product of a wider social structure of male privilege, patriarchy, and entitlement. Men, as a gender group, hold an inherent power built into social, economic, and political structures, which they use to dominate women.

Patriarchy dictates that men have access to greater financial resources, education, and job opportunities, which they use to maintain their position of power over women. Domestic violence is a form of this misused power, which men often wield over their partners to maintain their dominance.

Radical feminists argue that victims of domestic violence are overwhelmingly women, which indicates that the issue is rooted in gendered power imbalances. This domination and entitlement come from entitlement to women’s bodies and reproductive systems.

Male dominance has historically been based on the perceived inferiority of women and the belief that women are men’s property, leading to a sense of ownership over them. In intimate relationships, men may feel that they are entitled to dictate their partner’s every move, including their sexual behaviour.

Radical feminists argue that the belief that men have complete control over women’s bodies is a root cause of domestic violence. One criticism often levelled at the radical feminist view of domestic violence is that it fails to account for other factors that may contribute to domestic violence.

These factors include poverty, stress, and mental health issues. While domestic violence can be committed by individuals from all backgrounds, socio-economic factors, such as poverty or lack of education, may exacerbate the issue.

Domestic violence does not exist exclusively in low-income or working-class households; it occurs across all social classes. However, some critics argue that middle-class women, who have greater financial and social freedom, are more able to remove themselves from abusive relationships, whereas women from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more vulnerable.

Another criticism of the radical feminist view on domestic violence is their complete focus on men as perpetrators of domestic violence, and women as victims. While official data indicates that the majority of domestic violence is committed by men, it is also worth recognizing that men can also be victims of domestic violence.

In addition to men experiencing violence from female partners, incidents of same-sex domestic violence are also reported. Radical feminists argue that while men can experience domestic violence, this reflects a broader system in which men hold more power and resources than women.

Women’s Sexual Empowerment

Women’s sexual empowerment refers to the idea that women are entitled to make their own personal decisions regarding their sexual life without being judged negatively. This topic has generated a lot of debate in recent years, with opinions dividing on how much progress women have actually made in obtaining meaningful sexual freedom.

While women in tribal societies may undergo female genital mutilation and experience low sexual autonomy, women in developed countries enjoy greater freedom to explore their sexuality, due to a culmination of factors including the sexual revolution and contraception. In contemporary developed societies, women are increasingly free to talk about their bodies, sexual experiences, and fantasies, without the fear of being ostracized.

This takes the form of popular advice magazines, blogs, and podcasts that provide an outlet for women to share their sexual experiences and offer information about sex-related topics. Such discussions allow women to explore topics related to self-pleasure or question social expectations for heteronormative sex.

One important indicator of women’s sexual empowerment is the dynamics within intimate relationships. Research shows that contemporary relationships are more often characterized by equality.

While traditional wisdom defined the male partner as the head of the household, modern couples share more egalitarian power dynamics. In addition, many committed relationships are less possessive and give women more freedom to express their sexuality on their terms, which can lead to greater sexual satisfaction.

Moreover, in modern relationships, women are more likely to participate in visual porn consumption, which is indicative of women’s increasing agency in determining their own sexual path. There are, however, critics of the idea of women’s sexual empowerment who argue that women who make empowered choices are still susceptible to the male gaze.

Such critics argue that mass media outlets are dominated by male perspectives, leading to a limited understanding of women’s sexual preferences. Moreover, they contend that the emphasis on heteronormative sex still defines many relationships, and the freedom to express non-heteronormative sexual practices remains elusive.

In conclusion, both topics of Radical Feminists View of Domestic Violence and Womens Sexual Empowerment have gained attention world-wide, leading to plenty of discussions and varied viewpoints on each topic. While the radical feminist viewpoint on domestic violence focuses on men as perpetrators rather than victims, proponents argue that society has not done enough to counter the male-dominant culture that underlies domestic violence.

As for Womens Sexual Empowerment, society has quite significantly made strides for women to become more adept at understanding and commanding their sexuality. However, many challenges remain to be tackled in both areas, and conversations need to continue to progress towards solutions that bring about equality and justice in a multi-faceted, nuanced manner.

Sexual Inequality

Sexual inequality refers to the unequal treatment of individuals in sexual relationships. This can manifest in different ways, including unequal access to pleasure and enjoyment, imbalance in decision-making power, and the promotion of heteronormativity as the only acceptable form of sexual behavior.

The issue of sexual inequality has gained increasing attention in recent years, as advocates push for greater accountability and change.

Evidence Against the View of Equality in Sexual Relations

Despite significant progress towards greater gender equality in recent years, inequalities in sexual relations still exist. Women continue to face inequality in access to pleasure and enjoyment, with studies showing that women are less likely to orgasm during heterosexual sex compared to men.

This is partly due to the promotion of heteronormativity in sexual relationships, which often places a greater emphasis on male pleasure and assumes that male sexuality is the norm. Another factor contributing to sexual inequality is the stigma attached to sex toys, particularly vibrators.

Vibrators have historically been viewed as a replacement for a male partner and, therefore, as evidence that women are unable to achieve sexual satisfaction without the use of sex toys. This, in turn, has led to a culture of shame and secrecy, which discourages women from exploring their sexuality in this way.

The societal acceptance of male masturbation, on the other hand, paints a different story. Moreover, studies show that there are still significant disparities between heterosexual and homosexual couples when it comes to sexual equality.

Specifically, studies suggest that lesbian couples are much more likely to achieve orgasm during sex compared to heterosexual women, highlighting how the male partner, as well as the heteronormativity that surrounds sex and relationships, may be major contributing factors to the pleasure gap in heterosexual relationships.

Evidence of Equal Decision-Making in Relationships

While unequal access to pleasure remains a significant issue, there is evidence to suggest that some progress has been made towards equal decision-making in relationships. Studies found that pooling household income can lead to greater financial independence and decision-making power for both partners, compared to couples who keep their finances separate.

In addition, research indicates that couples who share responsibility for important decisions, such as child-rearing and household chores, are more likely to report greater relationship satisfaction. The pooling of household income is a significant factor contributing to equal decision-making in relationships.

This approach allows both partners to have an equal say in important financial decisions and reduces unnecessary friction between partners. Additionally, this approach can help promote joint responsibility, allowing both partners to have an equal say in household decisions.

In addition to financial independence, equitable gender roles play a crucial role in promoting equal decision-making within relationships. In households where traditional gender roles are upheld, in which the man acts as the breadwinner and the woman is responsible for managing the household, there is often a significant power imbalance that can lead to unequal decision-making.

However, in households where gender roles are shared, with both partners contributing to childcare and household management, there is a more equitable distribution of power. This can lead to more equal decision-making and greater overall satisfaction within the relationship.


The issue of sexual inequality is a complex one, with many factors contributing to the unequal treatment of individuals within sexual relationships. While progress has been made towards greater equality in decision-making within relationships, there is still a long way to go in terms of promoting equal access to pleasure and enjoyment.

As advocates continue to push for greater accountability and change, it is essential to engage in continued dialogue and reflection on this topic, further analyzing the factors that impact sexual equality and exploring insights on how to promote more egalitarian relationships. In conclusion, the topics of radical feminist viewpoint on domestic violence, women’s sexual empowerment, and sexual inequality are crucial as they impact individuals’ lives in a significant way.

The radical feminist perspective on domestic violence highlights the foundation of gender inequality as the root cause of domestic violence, and while significant progress has been made, there is still more work to be done in promoting women’s sexual empowerment and equality in decision-making within relationships. A deeper understanding of sexual inequality can help promote more conscious decisions towards building more equitable societies, allowing everyone to experience fulfilling, enjoyable, and satisfying sexual lives free from gendered norms and expectations.


Q: Can men be victims of domestic violence? A: Yes, although the majority of domestic violence victims are women, men can be victims of domestic violence.

Q: Do vibrators contribute to inequality in sexual relationships? A: No, vibrators themselves do not contribute to sexual inequality, but the stigma attached to them can create shame and discourages their use as a tool for pleasure and enjoyment.

Q: How do pooling finances contribute to equal decision-making in relationships? A: Pooling finances create an equitable distribution of power, promotes joint responsibility, and allows both partners to have an equal say in important financial decisions.

Q: How can couples promote equal decision-making in relationships? A: Couples can promote equal decision-making by sharing responsibility for important decisions, such as childcare and household management, and engaging in equitable gender roles in the household.

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