Have you ever been to a strip club? I have, once. It was a decade ago during my bachelorette party.
And to be honest, it wasn’t my cuppa tea. It was an experience that left me well-aware of the differences between men and women when it comes to visual stimulus.
I saw both male and female strippers that night and somehow left the club feeling sorry for the ladies.
Even though the men were doing essentially the same thing, there seemed to be an almost sad energy around the ladies, almost one of numbness countered by desperation.
As you might have guessed, many female exotic dancers suffer from low self-esteem. According to researchers, this is at least in part due to the fact that theit jobs carry such a big stigma.
Recently, new researh was published by Maren Scull, an instructor of Sociology in the CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Scull has conducted research on the motivation behind male strippers commitment to stripping and the effect their occupation has on the way they view themselves. And her results were kind of shocking.
“Because stripping is a stigmatizing occupation, it has the capacity to negatively affect exotic dancers’ self-definitions,” Scull said in a press release. “I looked into what motivates men to continue dancing and found that stripping led to feelings of mattering, mastery and enhanced self-esteem.”
After spending two years studying male strippers, Scull realized something profound: though female strippers are most likely to continue their work for the money, it’s all about the confidence boost for the guys, who reportedly earn much less per shift than their female counterparts.
“Initially women who dance for men may experience a boost in self-esteem, but after time they suffer from a diminished self-concept,” Scull said. “My research finds that men who dance for women generally experience positive feelings of self-worth. So much so, that men will continue to strip even when it is no longer financially lucrative.”
She added that this could be due to the fact that men and women typically have different feelings about being objectified as sex objects. Men like it and take it as a compliment while women find it oppressive or stressful.
Shocked or not? Tell me in the comments section below. Let’s discuss.