Women willing to give up sex for clothes

Women willing to give up sex for clothes

By Bessie King

It is no lie to say women love their clothes. The idea of women valuing dresses, shoes and accessories more than things like food is not hard to believe. But has this love for clothes supplemented a woman’s need to be loved?

According to a poll by Unilever, an international manufacturer of 400 leading brands of home, personal care and food products, the average woman would abstain from sex for 15 months for a closet full of new clothes. Furthermore, two percent of these women would go without sex for three years.

In 10 U.S. cities, one thousand women took the survey on the Internet. The poll also revealed 61 percent of women would choose not having sex for a month rather than lose a favorite piece of clothing.

Seventy percent of the women polled said they believe they can fall in love with an item of clothing, but only 54 percent believe in love at first sight – the kind between two people.

“I can understand the results,” said Theresa Cacnio, a sophomore communications studies major. “With clothes you can be satisfied and sometimes with sex you don’t have that.”

Northeastern seems to follow the results. A poll of 20 random Northeastern female students found 55 percent of the students would give up sex for a closet full of new clothes.

However, some professionals think polls like Unilever’s should not be taken seriously.

“Those kinds of surveys are exciting consumer goodies, [but] useless,” said Winifred Breines, a professor of sociology who includes women and society topics in her teaching. “Who are they surveying? What about class and race and sexual preference?”

Breines encouraged people to think about the context in which such polls are conducted.

Being in a stressful relationship, feeling pressure from sexual relations or feeling more comfortable with one’s look are just some of the reasons women may chose material goods over sex, Breines said.

However, a woman in a loving relationship would most likely choose sex, Breines said.

Age also comes into play, Breines said. The survey does not say whether the results are being compared between 16-year-old and 50-year-old women or women from the same age range.

While there are reasons one might choose to give up sex for clothes, for some, clothes are just clothes.

“I always value an experience over the material, so I’d much rather be with someone special than have something that won’t last forever,” said Jordyn Linsk, a middler communications studies major.

It is important to think about males even though the survey was focused on women, Breines said. If the survey had questioned men it is unclear whether men would have thought about the issue at all, said Lucas Marsh, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.

“I find it really interesting because there is no real connection between one or the other to me,” Marsh said. “I guess that if I were asked I would choose sex, but thinking about it I would first choose food seeing, that this is an essential necessity compared to the other two options.”

The survey exposed the greater value women place on clothing, but it is unrealistic to think women do not like sex, Breines said. She said they may just be coping with not doing it often. Some students agree.

“Getting clothes is less stressful than dealing with boys and sex,” said Sarah Scotland, a sophomore criminal justice major. “You get easier gratification, but it all depends on the person and their situation.”

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