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A sexually active man is admired for his virility and conquests (unless he is a cad, or picking only low hanging fruit), while a sexually active woman is more likely to be seen as being a trashy whore. For a man, the loss of his virginity is an achievement. For a woman, it is a surrender or, if outside of marriage, a filthy defilement. This probably has something to do with how a man can have hundreds of partners without any discernible consequence, whereas a woman in the same position would most likely be irreversibly changed into a mother forever.
This means that the leading lady will be in a monogamous "meaningful relationship", usually with the leading man, while the leading man will have a varied and adventurous sex life. Anyone knocking the chastity of the hero's girl is even more likely to get punched out than anyone calling the hero a virgin. It could sometimes look like The Hero can womanize happily to his heart's (or other organs') content, but his best girl will still wait for him. This is why Nature Adores a Virgin.
This is Older Than Feudalism, due to the historical sexual Double Standard. This is explained by mere biology. A sexually active but irresponsible woman is far more at risk than a man in a similar position. If she gets pregnant and daddy's just a Glorified Sperm Donor, she's the one stuck with a fatherless child. Plus, a man who is willing to care for his wife and children would feel rightfully screwed if finding out he isn't really the daddy.
In contemporary western society, the Double Standard isn't as strong as it used to be. It still remains very strong in most Eastern societies (though not as much in highly Westernized ones like Japan or The Philippines). A century ago there was a consensus, enforced by law, that it's okay for men but not for women to fool around, with a strong social division between good women to marry and bad women to use as toys. Today, we no longer have a consensus but much of society (if not most of it) more or less stick to the double standard, while others accept promiscuity or dislike male and female sluts equally.
- This trope is quite frequent in the Shojo genre. The male lead is usually a stud, a player, a ladies' man. He doesn't always sleep with other women (since for whatever reason, he gets a lot of girls but is not interested in sex or is only truly interested in the female lead?). However, the female lead will usually always be a virgin, at least until the end of the series where she slept with the guy who she likes, expect her to be utterly embarrassed from her first time. However, in less optimistic cases, it is considered Sex As Drama.
- Kaguyahime: Mayu can't stand the thought of Akira being "dirtied" and having sex.
- Kannagi had a meta version of this, after finding out Nagi had a boyfriend before, Japanese otaku were NOT AMUSED. The fact that the reveal was rather trollish and a Creator Breakdown (the author got sick, so the manga's on hiatus indefinitely) left an unresolved cliffhanger didn't help.
- A similar dust-up occurred with Love Plus when an official manga showed Nene kissing an unidentified boy under an umbrella.
- To a lesser extent the same thing happened when Katawa Shoujo came out. It revolved around Emi, who was quite confidently sexual with Hisao in her route, experiments with anal a few days after starting a relationship with him, implies she's done some sexual stuff before ("Most of this is new to me."), and is revealed to have had a boyfriend before. Most of the fandom didn't care, but even then it wasn't uncommon to see comments about her supposed 'easiness'. Because a 19-year-old enjoying sex with her boyfriend is so easy...
- Invoked in the Josei manga Paradise Kiss. It is revealed two boys and a girl ( Arashi, Tokumori and Miwako) were in a Love Triangle in the past. Around the same time, we also find out the guy who got the girl, Arashi, forced her to lose her virginity with him. This is a source of many issues for the couple, because along with the (understandable) massive guilt he feels for the act itself, he thinks by raping her he stole her chances to change her mind and get together with Tokumori instead (it's even hinted he did it as a desperate measure to force her to stay with him in the first place). Then again, this series loves deconstructing shojo cliches.
- Evoked in the (almost) hentai My Balls, where Elyse tries to convince Kohta that his love interest Minayo, in fact is a slut. Later that chapter, he is in a hotel room where Minayo is passed out (don't ask) and decides to test the theories on physical traits from the internet. He's then shocked to find out that the traits indicate that she really is. (It's later revealed she's a Bottle Fairy who is only a slut when drunk.)
- Enforced in Crying Freeman where Emu is required to keep her body for the Freeman only and, in case she was to be raped, to commit suicide rather than have another man sully her body. Of course, You the Freeman is free to gallivant to his penis's content.
- Tatsuya Kanzaki in Revolutionary Girl Utena has this attitude when it comes to his crush Wakaba Shinohara, confessing in the elevator that he's horrified she might have had any kind of relations with another guy. Whether him saying he still loves her even if she has makes it any better is up for debate.
- She Hulk in her current series sleeps with quite a few other supers (who else is going to survive, really? Woman of Gamma, man of Kleenex) and has some issues with this trope. She's very irritated whenever people ask about her night with Juggernaut, then a member of the X-Men but still a known a supervillain (this has since been retconned into her genuinely not sleeping with him). She also asks Tony Stark how he gets away with sleeping around (while in bed with him).
- More recently, she has sworn off Superhero bedhopping...and then "falls off the wagon". But, she notes, if you had to fall off the wagon, you could do worse than Hercules...who is stunned when she treats it as a one-night stand and not something more.
- Lampshaded in one issue, where She-Hulk is legally required, thanks to an odd lawsuit, to tell the court the names of all her sexual partners. This takes hours.
- Averted in Sin City. When Marv learns that his one and only one night stand was a prostitute, it surprises him but he doesn't really care. Dwight, likewise, apparently doesn't care that his on-again-off-again flame is a prostitute as well.
- Subverted in the Harry Potter fanfic Say you don't want it. Emma was definitely not a virgin before deciding to add Remus to her list. She became monogamous when she was in a stable relationship, though.
- Porky's 2: The Next Day: In the previous film, Pee Wee was so desperate to have his Sex as Rite-Of-Passage that he was happy to go with the easiest girl in the school and announce his new-found manhood with a Tarzan yell. Now he finds he likes her, and her reputation bothers him. "Before, I wanted it to be true, now I guess I don't," he says. Fear not, Pee Wee, Wendy's reputation was much exaggerated.
- The movie Tom Jones is a particularly good example of this trope taken to its extreme. It's more funny than offensive, though.
- The focus of two separate Kevin Smith films Clerks and Chasing Amy. Chasing Amy was loosely based on Kevin Smith's relationship with star Joey Lauren Adams. Kevin Smith's character goes into a monologue about how sexist, conservative, and double-standard this is, and how it mostly derives from fear.
- Test audiences of Starship Troopers all thought that "The wrong girl died", not because Diz was a good friend and comrade in arms to Rico while Carmen was a haughty career-driven ice maiden who never loved him, but Carmen deserved to die because she slept with another man. Never mind that Rico sleeps with another woman even though he thinks he still loves Carmen; death to the woman who dares fall in love with someone other than the leading man.
- Sita Sings the Blues (not to mention the Ramayana, the Indian story the movie is based on) has Rama refusing to take Sita back because she lived under the roof of another man... another man who kidnapped her, and with whom she specifically DID NOT have sex.
- In the original source, though, Rama's refusal of Sita comes to bite him in the ass HARD. He changes his mind, but Sita does NOT forgive him and asks the Earth to literally swallow her in front of Rama so she won't have to see him again. Rama could never get over it and was horribly depressed until his death and reincarnation.
- However, that happened when he doubted her the second time — the first time she's just like "okay, I'll leap into an open flame to prove I'm a virgin". Later, they go back to the kingdom, she gets pregnant, and then a random subject questions Sita's loyalty, causing Rama to send his pregnant wife into exile. Ten years late, he meets his twin boys and asks Sita to jump into the fire again because he can't bear to be apart from their sweet little faces, which is when she says screw you.
- In the original source, though, Rama's refusal of Sita comes to bite him in the ass HARD. He changes his mind, but Sita does NOT forgive him and asks the Earth to literally swallow her in front of Rama so she won't have to see him again. Rama could never get over it and was horribly depressed until his death and reincarnation.
- Olive, the heroine of Easy A, is ostracized at her high school when she develops a false reputation for promiscuity and prostitution. Her love interest, of course, never doubts her chastity.
- Total Recall. Quaid's "wife" is Richter's girlfriend.
Richter: I want that fucker dead!
- This is the attitude of effeminate cowboy Elmer in Undead or Alive, who doesn't seem to realize that his fiancee is the town prostitute. This leads to him attacking Luke when he sees her getting flirty with the newcomer near the beginning of the film.
Elmer: "I'm not gonna just sit there and watch you soil my Princess!"
- Pretty Persuasion. Kimberly has a boyfriend who persuaded her to have anal sex with him then dumped her because he felt she had degraded herself by allowing him to do that.
- Just about every Bollywood Movie in existence to the point that a female lead who isn't a virgin until marraige would be considered a subversion. It would be easier to note exceptions here. Subversions are becoming more common in recent movies, however.
- Bollywood movie — Patiala House. The heroine takes care of a boy and everyone assumes that the boy is her son. They have a scene that is introduced for the sole purpose of telling the viewer that the boy is not her son, and yes, the heroine is a virgin.
- Bollywood movie — Subverted in My Name Is Khan. The heroine is divorced, and has a son who plays a major part in driving the plot.
- Bollywood movie — Subverted slightly in Guzaarish. The main character's caretaker is separated from an abusive husband. She divorces her husband in the movie and in the last scene marries the main character and fulfills his wish of euthanasia the day after the marriage. Of course, no hanky-panky here, because the main character is unable to have sex.
- Pretty much the whole plot of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Angel even defends Tess as a possible wife to his parents by basically emphasizing how chaste and pure she is (he's got a lot of convincing to do, as Tess has neither money, land, nor family connections to recommend her).
- This later backfires, when Angel finds out on their wedding night that Tess was raped, and despite having just admitted that he once slept with a prostitute, claims he cannot have an (even accidentally) impure woman as his wife and runs off to South America with another woman.)
- The main subplot of Dennis Wheatley's The Satanist. Barney comes around and marries the girl in the end, though.
- Older Than Feudalism: Odysseus of Homer's The Odyssey slept with both Circe and later Calypso (although it may not have been voluntary, as he is described as trying to fight her desire, but she "compelled him") without any criticism from other characters, the gods, or the narrators. Back at home, Odysseus' wife Penelope remained faithful for 20 years, which was sort of the minimum acceptable behavior for a woman — the unfaithful women in the story, Helen and Clytemnaestra, are viewed as responsible for some pretty major tragedies. After Odysseus returns he goes as far as killing all of the maids who slept with the suitors even though they just worked for him. Plus, you have three virgin goddesses (Vesta, Athena, Artemis) but definitely no virgin gods. Calypso even complains about this double standard — male gods take human lovers all the time, but they object when a goddess does the same.
- Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad takes Penelope's point of view, and starts each chapter with poems from the maids, lamenting their unjust deaths. Though in the case of the maids, it's less about sleeping with the guests (which was a part of their work, and not frowned upon), and more about them spilling them vital information that could've gotten the kingdom as a whole in trouble, which equalled to high treason. One of the girls told one of the suitors about Penelope's Batman Gambit to buy time through the veil she sewed and then destroyed each night to keep the guys away from her.
- The story of Penelope's cousins Helen and Clytemnaestra is a little more complex. Helen may be considered partly responsible for the Trojan War, but is not punished, but reinstated as Menelaos' queen, with the prospect that both of them will not die but travel directly to the Elysian fields. Of course it helps that Helen is Zeus' daughter. Clytemnaestra is not just guilty of cheating on her husband with Aigisthos — the murderer of her husband's father — but also Aigisthos' accomplice in the murder of Agamemnon and herself the murderer of Cassandra and her children. And the way things were presented in the Odyssey (there are various non-Homeric alternate stories), Odysseus as a mortal could not prevent goddesses Circe and Calypso having their way with him, but did refuse the offer of mortal Nausicaa's hand in marriage.
- In one version Clytemnestra's first husband was Tantalus, King of Pisa (in the western Peloponnese)(not to be confused with Agamemnon's ancestor Tantalus.) He was killed by Agamemnon. Agamemnon then took her as his wife forcibly and also murdered her infant son. And then comes the part that every version agrees of: he sacrificed their daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis after telling Clytemnestra he was going to marry her off to the hero Achilleus. Doesn't make what she did alright, but double standards are working here too. No old myth would have questioned a man's right to turn axe happy after being crossed repeatedly and so cruelly.
- This issue is danced around in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Though Ginny's older brothers take issue with her "going through boyfriends awfully quickly" and Ron gets upset with her kissing Dean in public, Ginny herself will have none of it and stands up for herself, quickly accusing Ron of just being jealous cause he's never kissed anyone himself.
- On the other hand, fandom took this and ran away with it FAR more than canon. One of the biggest reasons of the hate against Ginny that goes on among fans (specially if they're Hermione/Harry fans) is her supposed "sluttiness" and wanton ways of having... 3 boyfriends in 2 years (and actually marrying the third one)!
- This trope is invoked completely straight by Simon Snowlock in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, when he discovers that Princess Miriamele, for whom he has been pining, slept with a Nabbanai nobleman while she was held captive on his ship. Heedless of the fact that he'd been trying to make time with various girls throughout the story, he gets so angry that he nearly gets both himself and Miriamele killed. For his part, this is justified as his culture (a Fantasy Counterpart of medieval Europe) has a very strong Double Standard. Miriamele doesn't help either; she's so determined to push Simon away that she fails to mention that Aspitis practically raped her. Fortunately, they get over it and marry in the end.
- This trope is at the centre of Samuel Richardson's 1740 novel Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded. It's the story of a woman who's sexually harassed by her boss, and when she rejects him he falsely accuses her of having sex with a clergyman. No matter how he torments her and pursues her, she always rejects him to protect her "modesty." Finally, he's so impressed with her, that she gets a reward — she gets to marry him!
- And Henry Fielding hated Pamela so much that he wrote two parodies of it — a subversion called Shamela and an inversion called Joseph Andrews. Joseph Andrews is about a man who's sexually harassed by his woman boss. Characters make constant declarations on the value of male chastity throughout, and the novel draws most of its humour from this role-reversal.
- In most of Agatha Christie's novels, nearly every woman who has sex outside of marriage is unworthy to be a wife (and is also more likely to be the killer than anyone else), while the men can sex it up with all the women they want before marriage and still be wonderful husbands. Justified, given the time period her novels are published in, and the general attitude towards pre-marital sex in those days.
- Yet, Eileen Rich, a respectable schoolteacher from Cat Among the Pigeons (1959), has an illegitimate child and is among the most sympathetic characters in the novel. Honoria Bulstrode, her headmistress, does not hold this against her, provided it does not become public knowledge. The novel ends with the implication Bulstrode has chosen Rich as her eventual successor.
- Then again, in And Then There Were None, Miss Brent is charged with the murder of a girl in her charge — the girl had gotten pregnant and committed suicide when her family and Miss Brent had both cast her out.
- Poor Margaery Tyrrell of A Song of Ice and Fire. Claiming that she's a virgin despite her two failed marriages did NOT work well for her...
- Used in the Night Huntress books by Jeaniene Frost. Cat is a virgin when the saga begins. Bones is a "former-gigolo-turned-promiscuous-vampire". His former lover puts his score in the tens of thousands, in the two hundred and twenty years he's been alive. However, once they start dating, neither one cheats. Which is fortunate for their would-be lovers, since vampires are territorial and either one of them would cheerfully murder the other's paramour.
- Comes up in the Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews. Kate doesn't date. When Raphael flirts with her, she mentions that it's been two years since she last got laid. Curran has had a "parade" of girlfriends.
- The Psy Changeling novels by Nalini Singh can't decide if they are this or not. On one hand, the narration tells us that sex is healthy for both sexes, and changeling women are very sexually liberated. On the other hand, every single hero has been wildly sexually experienced, while every heroine has been virginal or had a cold, unfulfilling love life. The one woman (Tally) who has had other lovers before the hero is berated by him for "selling herself so cheaply" — despite his own sexual experience. The trope becomes so pervasive that it leads to a literal virgin mother. Her marriage was a sham concocted to explain her test tube baby.
- YMMV Talia's sleeping around is a direct result of abuse as a child and later books have women just as active as the men. Only the Psy are virgins and thats for other explained reasons
- The Undead and Unwed books by Mary Janice Davidson. Betsy's friend keeps a calendar of her sexual activity to try and encourage her to get more action; Sinclair has daily orgies with his three girlfriends on black silk sheets.
- Averted in the Dante Valentine series by Lilith Saintcrow — in Working For The Devil Danny casually mentions that she doesn't know the escort houses in an unfamiliar town well enough to use them.
- Brutally dissected by the Marquis de Sade; his book Justine reveals a cavalcade of disasters that befall the "virtuous" Justine; her sister Juliette, meanwhile, is a bigger and more vicious libertine than her male counterparts, and has a grand old time... even going so far as to rescue Justine from the perils of her own attempted virtue.
- Subverted with glee in Atlas Shrugged: Hank Rearden is successfully blackmailed over his extramarital affair with Dagny Taggart by Dr. Ferris, who says that the shame of their affair being made public would be hers, not his. However, when the same information is used to blackmail Dagny, she proudly confesses to having slept with Rearden.
- Probably a case of Author On Board as Ayn Rand was famous for her views on total sexual liberation and free love. (Something forgotten by many of her modern fans...)
- In Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a woman is chastised by her husband and beaten by her mother for not being a virgin on her wedding night, and her two brothers feel compelled to murder the man who allegedly took her virginity away. Said brothers, meanwhile, spend most of their time hanging out in a brothel with no repercussions (there's even a Hooker with a Heart of Gold who's a major character)!
- This trope is played straight with the protagonist of the novel Youth in Sexual Ecstasy and also discussed in the opening chapter:
"Everyone learns to drive on a used car, but for the life's car that's gonna be nice and reliable, only a madman would buy a used car."
- In the original novel Devdas the titular character is initially disgusted with Chandramukhi for her profession as a courtesan. He eventually marries her, but only after she gives up her profession to be with him, and he's always dogged by his feelings for Proper Lady Paro.
- Wang Lung's father in The Good Earth believes it's better to be an ugly girl's first than just one of the many who's slept with a pretty girl.
- Desperate Housewives. As soon as Edie Britt is introduced, her promiscuity is presented as a negative thing to make the viewers dislike her
Susan had met the enemy and she was a slut"
- Mike Hammer can do whatever he likes; Velda will still be there for him.
- Patricia Holm was always ready to wait for The Saint in his early adventures, too.
- Played with in Goodness Gracious Me, the skit show from the people who later made The Kumars At Number 42. A Pakastani woman is telling another that she heard the other's son was sleeping around. The other begins to defend him, but soon changes tactics — "My son is a stud!" — and goes on to describe his manly sexual exploits.
- Brutally subverted in Krod Mandoon in that the sidekick Action Girl Aneka will literally do everything that moves.
- The Fixer. Government killer John Mercer is clearly attracted to Rose Chamberlain, but her role as the unit's Honey Trap tends to deter him. "Says the man whose trigger finger is still warm," as she puts it.
- Utterly demolished — almost! — by Sex and the City. Even the "prudish" Charlotte beds more men than some women meet in their lives. Sexual hook-ups are seen as empowering (if often problematic) behavior, not shameful crimes or dysfunction. This trope does crop up in the constant reflection/ wangsting of the main characters, and may be reaffirmed at the story's end by placing all four women in monogamous relationships. Still, the women are not punished in the "traditional" sense for their sexual freedom or desires — said desires and freedoms being the whole point of the series to begin with!
- Except that there was an episode called Are We Sluts? were the characters questions whether they are too promiscuous and Charlotte worries because "nobody wants to marry a whore" and in another episode she's reluctant to try anal sex because "men don't marry up-the-butt girl."
- In this article on Doctor Who we are quick to be reminded that Our Girl Is Very Sexy But Isn't "Slutty" At All Because That Would Be Bad.
- Good Times plays with this trope. When Florida finds a term paper called "Sexual Behaviors in the Ghetto", she assumes that it's dirty and thus belongs to JJ. JJ denies it. When Florida tells James, he gives JJ an "attaboy" and pats him on the back and is proud of him. However, when it's revealed that it belongs to Thelma, James goes beserk and basically puts her on lockdown without allowing her to explain that it belongs to her boyfriend who wrote the paper for his master's degree program. Florida sets James straight, but he is still angry until the boyfriend reveals that Thelma is still a virgin because she has a good support system at home and a strong father.
- No Angels Callum tells Anji he doesn't want a girlfriend who is a "slag" despite him cheating on his girlfriend.
- Married... with Children. Bud frequently mocks Kelly for being easy despite the huge number of girls he's hit on.
- Farscape has John Crichton having sexual relations with women other than Aeryn Sun, but Aeryn gets an entire episode all about how it's only ever been John since they met ("Prayer.")
- Not "other women," exactly: Crichton only got past the flirting stage with one woman other than Aeryn Sun during the course of the series, a single night of "tomorrow we may die" sex with Peacekeeper spy. Also, Aeryn was notably a bit screwed up about men at the time, since although she'd had plenty of sex partners before they met, she'd had only one "lover." It ended badly.
- It also averts it with the Beta Couple — Chiana has a sexual history that easily trumps D'Aargo's. No one has a real problem with it except when she's unfaithful.
- Subverted in M*A*S*H. While never explicitly shown, it's clear many of the nurses willingly sleep around. The nurses are never portrayed as sluts, and the only characters who sometimes object, Frank and Margaret, have more problems with the unequal ranks of the couples than that they see the females as sluts.
- Angela Montenegro of Bones really subverts this one: she has more sex than anyone else on the show, but doesn't get punished for it. Neither does Brennan, who isn't precisely chaste herself.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Terms like 'slut' and 'ho' are used to describe female characters while promiscuous or woman-chasing men get no criticism for their behavior. In fact when Buffy and Xander spy a couple of teenagers dancing provocatively Buffy calls the girl — who turns out to be Dawn — a slut but says nothing about the boy. Similarly Cordelia called Faith "slut-o-rama" for dancing flirtatiously with a man but said nothing about him except about his fashion sense.
- The whole Parker storyline certainly looks like a pretty hefty critique of promiscuous men; while female characters do have such slurs used against them in conversation more frequently than men do, the usages are generally fleeting, not malicious, and not particularly damaging to the recipients. Parker, however, makes a habit of bedding as many women as possible, and ends up being insulted immeasurable times, punched once, nearly burned to death, and knocked out with a branch twice before being promptly Put on a Bus. Meanwhile, Buffy, who was one of Parker's brief flings, is told firmly by Xander that she is not a slut and is supported through the painful experience by all of her friends.
- Pacey in Dawson's Creek almost ruins his relationship with Audrey because he can't handle her past promiscuity though it turns out she wasn't that promiscuous after all.
- Auf Wiedersehen Pet. Oz tells Neville that he can't get involved with a woman because she is a prostitute despite him and several of the other characters happily attending brothels.
- The women of Friends use the word slut as an insult to other women and — occasionally — each other but never give Joey any flack for his promiscuity and sex obsession unless he appears to be mistreating a woman.
- Phil Hunter in The Bill criticizes his daughters mother saying she'd have sex with anyone despite the fact he is constantly chasing women not caring if they are married or in a relationship (or if he is).
- On the Buses. Jack commented that he won't take a girl out twice if she's a nice, i.e. chaste, girl
- Everybody Hates Chris. In the episode Everybody Hates A Liar Chris gets respect in the neighborhood when everybody thinks he hooked up with a new girl called Tasha while she worries that her reputation is ruined. He eventually tells everyone nothing happened and Tasha wouldn't do anything like that because she's a "nice girl."
- The Secret Life Of Us. Kelly feels like a slut for having sex with a man she is dating too quickly naturally she doesn't worry that he's a slut for having sex with her to quickly.
- Family Matters: "Rumor Has It ..." that Laura Winslow slept around with her boyfriend, Ted, and now Laura is eager to have sex with the rest of the school (except Urkel, of course). Of course, that rumor was completely incorrect, but Ted's buddies — thanks to his inability to set them straight — are led to believe he and Laura went all the way. Laura thinks Urkel is lying when he heard the three discuss what happened on the date, but then her friend Maxine reports hearing the same rumors. Laura tearfully cries on Harriet's shoulder, prompting her to want to call Ted's parents to force the truth. Instead, Laura recruits Urkel and big brother Eddie to get the truth out in the open, that coming in the school hallway between classes. As thus, Eddie's action becomes "My Sister is Not a Slut."
- Step by Step: In the season six episode "It Didn't Happen One Night," the trope becomes My Sister Is Not a Slut when Karen grudgingly decides to defend her sister Al, after she had gotten a reputation at school as being "easy." Earlier in the show, Al and the school hunk, Kyle, had gone on a date, but when they began to share a kiss, Kyle used a trick seat to jump on top of Al; she fought him off, but the next day at school, Kyle brags that the two had sex, leading to Al gaining an unwanted reputation as a slut, and her emotional breakdown at school. Karen's way of getting to the truth — when all of Kyle's friends and (ex) girlfriends are around — is similar to the "Rumor Has It ..." episode of Family Matters, and in the process averts Al's threatened nervous breakdown.
- The Sopranos. Almost all the gangsters cheat on their wives and have sex with prostitutes while expecting 100% faithfullness from their wives — a rumor of infidelity leads to one woman being brutally beaten while already injured from a car crash — and viewing prostitutes as worthless.
- Merlin plays out the Lancelot/Guinevere/Arthur Love Triangle by having Morgana resurrect Lancelot from the spirit world as her mindless slave. He's sent to seduce Guinevere on the eve of her wedding to Arthur, and when she doesn't reciprocate, Morgana and Lancelot Mind Rape her with the use of an enchanted bracelet. Arthur catches her making out with Lancelot and all hell breaks loose. Eventually, Lancelot (on orders from Morgana) commits suicide and is given an honorable funeral while Guinevere is banished from Camelot on pain of death.
- 7th Heaven has an episode where Robbie takes Mary out for a romantic Valentines Day. He offers to have sex with her and she punches him in the face.
- Usually averted, however. Eric expects his sons to remain as pure and chaste as his daughters, to the point where Simon becomes the black sheep of the family in a later season when Eric and Annie find out he's been having casual sex with a girlfriend at college.
- Gender Flipped in the mini-series Dis/Connected in which the character Ben is referred to as "a little slut" and a "panty-sniffer" and "a dirty boy" by female characters that he tries (and fails) to bed.
- In a second-season episode of Boy Meets World, the whole school mistakenly thinks Cory had sex with Topanga when they spend the night in the school's AV room editing a video about love and sex. Cory is hailed as "the man" while Topanga's reputation takes a hit. Topanga takes matters into her own hands by coming over to the Matthews house and ripping Cory a new one for perpetuating the rumors, and he ends up telling the truth and apologizing to her in their video.
- Openly criticised by Christina Aguilera's song "Can't Hold Us Down"
The guy gets all the glory the more he can score
- Any time female rapper Khia's sexually explicit song "My Neck My Back" is put on Youtube, the comments are full of people calling Khia a "whore" for daring to release a song about a woman's desire and demand for sexual fulfilment. A few reasonable people will always point out that Khia's lyrics are hardly any more shocking or explicit than any number of songs released by male rappers.
- A rap "Spit Your Game" by a teenage girl called OG Niki got a similar response.
- The Weezer song "No One Else" is pretty much about this — completely unrealistic expectations by the man in the relationship. For what it's worth, the next track (which Rivers Cuomo has said is essentially from the viewpoint of the same male character) is about how the chick dumped the guy.
- The J Geils Band track "Centerfold" has the singer freaking out after seeing his teenage crush from years ago naked in Playboy and angsting about how it's ruined his fantasy memory.
- Eventually, however, he accepts it...and even embraces it.
- Eminem rap Superman:
I'd never love you enough to trust you, we just met and I just fucked you...
- Subverted in Avenue Q with (who else?) Lucy The Slut.
- Shakespeare has a number of cases of assumed infidelity although none show a double-standard in that the males aren't implied to be sleeping around either:
- In A Midsummer Night's Dream, while Demetrius is thoroughly repulsed by Helena, he still argues with her to go back to safety because the danger of rape is too great.
- In Troilus and Cressida, Cressida is traded to the Greeks in a hostage exchange and when Troilus comes to rescue her, he suspects her of having cuckolded him with Diomedes (with no real evidence for or against in the play) and leaves her there.
- In Cymbeline, Posthumous Leonatus is informed (falsely) that his wife, Imogen, has cheated on him and immediately sets forth events to have her killed.
- And, of course, everyone knows what happened to Othello and Desdemona...
- Averted in College Roomies from Hell!!: Roger didn't realize that his new girlfriend, Diana, was a prostitute, even after paying her for sex (it had been a bit of a misunderstanding, from him being Blind Without'Em...), but when the truth finally comes out, he decides to stay together with her and even begs her forgiveness for the way his friends treated her.
- This Loserz strip.
- Averted in Family Guy with Lois, who has in the past known members of the Rock band KISS very well... in the Biblical sense, and Peter is actually proud. In addition, she's slept with Bill Clinton in-series. So, eventually, did Peter.
- Though played straight otherwise as Peter gets insanely jealous whenever he meets one of Lois' ex-boyfriends who aren't famous rock-stars.
- South Park. Cartman's mother is called a slut and a dirty whore for selling sex and being promiscuous while Chef gets no negative labels for the same actions. Though part of the slams against the former is also the boys' way of digging at Cartman whenever he's being a dick.
- Subverted when Kenny is overjoyed (to the point of dancing around and cheering) to hear that his new fifth-grade girlfriend is a "notorious whore," as Cartman puts it.
- Spoofed on King of the Hill, where Bobby asks Hank about pre-marital sex, specifically "why is it okay for a boy to do it, but not okay for a girl?" Hank responds, "It's called the double standard. And don't knock it, we got the long end of the stick on that one."
- In an episode of The Cleveland Show, the hypocrisy of this trope was the main plot point. While Cleveland didn't want to have his step-daughter to have sex at all, he encouraged his son to get rid of his virignitiy as soon as possible with anyone. He even becomes extremely embarassed and angry when his son makes an oath of abstinence in public.
- On The Simpsons, when devoutly religious and squeaky-clean Ned starts dating Edna Krabappel, he finds out she's been with just about every single man in town (and Patty). He's horrified at this revelation, but when he tells her he "forgives her," she's offended because she's not the least bit ashamed of her own past.
- The Catholic Church has elevated several female murder victims to the altars either for being killed by their rapists after they refused to have sex with them or for choosing torture and martyrdom rather than getting married to pagans and breaking their vows of virginity, referring to them as "virgins and martyrs of chastity" and "examples of purity and loyalty to God for younger people". Subverted in that their standards for chastity apply to men too. Examples are:
- First case: Saint Maria Goretti, Blessed Pierina Morosini, Blessed Carolina Kokzovna, Venerable Albertina Berkenbrock.
- Second case: Saint Philomena, Saint Agnes, Saint Lucy of Syracuse, Saint Agatha, Saint Barbara, Saint Christine, Saint Wilgefortis, etc.
- There's also the fact that the Catholic Church maintains that Mary, the mother of Jesus, remained a virgin her entire life. Other Christian sects maintain that she had other children.
- The Magdalene Asylums which imprisoned women and young girls for life (unless two men signed them out) and used them as slave labor were originally designed to rehabilitate prostitutes (naturally no rehabilitation was seen as necessarily for the men who paid for them). Over the years the only requirement for a woman to be incarcerated in one was to be a "fallen woman" which could mean anything from having flirted with a man, being rumored to have had sex, being raped or having a baby out of wedlock. The justification for locking up females but not males was that it is a womans role to refuse sex and not to "tempt" men.
- "Video Vixen" (aka music video model) Karrine Stephans. While there are many autobiographies by male celebrities especially rock stars bragging about their conquests and being admired as players for them, Karrine Steffans who wrote Confessions of a Video Vixen received hate mail, death threats and a great deal of slut shaming for writing about her celebrity conquests.
- Subversion, from a Something Awful Dark Family Secrets thread:
Wife: I slept with Isaac Asimov!
- The Code of Hammurabi states that men could have sex with whoever they want but women had to be faithful.
- Which really only leaves the unmarried women for them to philander with...
- Tony Curtis writes in his autobiography about being a serial adulterer but when his 2nd wife Christine Kauffman got her own back, he had the cheek to complain that she "betrayed" him.