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First of all I'm rather uphualed by the demonizing of men and the over use of sexual stereotypes that permeate our culture. For the moment I will lay aside the obvious angst I am feeling currently and try to answer the question as I originally intended prior to reading the first two comments. I would like to state that I don't totally disagree with the first comment only to the point that it over emphasizes the male role in adultery. I don't need stats to know that every sexually adulteress affair requires, by its nature, both male and female. The failure to endure temptation is equal on both sides. Unless one is suggesting rape but that's not the purpose of this conversation. I happen to know of more extramarital affairs where the female of the marriage was at fault where the male was not. Two out of the three that I know personally were with single men. Which in my stats means that 66% of adulteress affairs are propagated by married women towards single men. But then 85% of all stats are made up on the spot to make a point. So to answer the question. "Why is sexual temptation a bigger problem for men than for women?" It's not. It's it not harder for men. Sexual temptation is not harder for men. In a way I believe it is harder for women. Men are constantly attacked and their sexual triggers are exploited by media and marketing. The sins of man are prevalent all over because they are very external. But that is the very thing that makes them easier to spot and easier to resist, if one chooses to do so. The temptations of women are harder to spot because they are hidden in fantasy and tied to emotional needs. The amount of romance novels sold to lonely women is outstanding. Daytime soaps are rittled with intrigue and scandal. Women get easily caught up in a fantasy world the paints an emotional standard that real life cannot measure up to. This leads to trying to get those unreal expectations met by someone who can satisfy temperary emptiness. Women, as well as men, need to recognize the traps that draw us away from Gods intention. They are ALL sin. I believe that is exactly why Jesus mentions lust in your heart. A women lusting for the idea of an ideal man in a novel is just as sinful as a man looking lustfully at a scantly dressed women walking by. The difference is a man is publically chastised while the women goes on deceiving herself into justification. Neither are acceptable and both are very dangerous. As married couples we need to understand each other's weaknesses and we need to fill the deep desires of our spouses. I, as a husband, need to recognize my wife's need for deep emotional connection and try to guard against unreal expectation. She, as my wife, should recognize my need for visual and sensual stimulation and choose to fill that need while I guard against temptation. One last note: I have also overstated my case and used stereotypes to make my case. These temptations are not in every person the same. Each of us are individuals and need to be known as such. I only painted with a broad brush but we should never assume these concepts are universal. They are typical but not universal.
Quite aside from all the arguments above, i would add two points: 1. Women have more to lose, or did before birth control, in being adulterous. Birthrights, or carrying on the family name, was imperative. Unless barren, a woman was taking a heckuva chance being unfaithful. 2. Culturally, in the bible, men had prostitutes, concubines, wives to satisfy them and sex was promoted for them more than for women. 3. Women were seen as property, a responsibility of a man, not conversely the same for men. While these social norms do not prevail (necessarily) the effect of them in society does. Men think about sex more than women, but women are still tempted just not in the same way. As time goes on and satan gets his way tho... more and more women will become active with pornography and to be frank, i already see a generation of women post sexual 'liberation' who are obsessed with sex as entertainment. God help us all.
I agree with the answer given by ebible. In addition, men have the propensity to continue to conquer the opposite sex probably in the erroneous effort to confirm the headship given to man by God. In this drive man seeks to sexually subdue as many women as possible in his lifetime. They are armed with a sexual equipment that is naturally external and so exposed to stimulation by the slightest contact; with a mentality that seeks immediate gratification of these sensations and the power of independence ascribed to men by many cultures of the world, man becomes an easy instrument at the hand of the devil for the perpetration of sexual sins. Again I am of the view that although God told the woman that "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee" God endued women with a special kind of resilience to external and internal influences. That is why they are probably more patient than men in dealing with emotional issues, and they can bear physical pain more that men (the Italian scientist Spiegler proved that the highest threshold of pain on earth is the pain of childbirth). This is probably God's way of providing a way of escape from the declarations of Genesis 3:16.
I don't believe we know for a fact that sexual temptation is a bigger problem for men than for women. This question assumes that women, "made from scratch," are designed with either a weaker sex drive than men are designed with, or a stronger will to resist sexual temptation, neither of which I believe to be factual. There are many questions of this kind. Some people are assumed to be more dishonest, lazy, violent, smart, athletic, industrious, truthful, and the list goes on. A woman can be as dishonest, violent, smart, athletic, industrious, truthful, and, yes, sexual as any man can be if she has a mind to be. The Bible describes all people to be the same spiritually. All have sinned... Rom 3:23. Death spread to all men... Rom 5:12. There is neither Jew nor Greek,.... there is neither male nor female, for you all are one in Christ Jesus.. Gal 3:28. This scripture doesn't lead us to believe we lost our gender identity upon being born again. It teaches that we are all the same after conversion no matter how we identified ourselves and others before becoming a new creation in Christ. We were also the same before conversion: LOST. Men are no more "made from scratch" to sin sexually than women are. To believe that God made men weaker to sexual temptation than He made women to be is to flirt with believing that homosexuals are "made from scratch" to be homosexual instead of becoming confused about their gender identity by their life experiences. I believe men are products of our upbringing and the culture we celebrate and the same is true for women. Today, women are encouraged to be the person they see when they look at themselves, not the person they've been told they should try to be. That's a change from the past when girls were raised to be very different from boys and sexual guidance was a major part of the discipline they received. Conversely, men are today who we have always been, sexually and otherwise, only in greater numbers than before. Whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.Gal 6:7. Men are who we are due to cultural design, and the same is true for women. Some people think there's been an increase in the homosexual population in the world, but I don't think so. Solomon said "there's nothing new under the sun...", and I believe him. His point is that there can be a new understanding of what was there all along but not a new phenomenon. Women have always been as sensual as they portray themselves to be now, they kept it cool due to a desire for societal acceptance. That bar has been lowered so the result is what we see today. They aren't losing their minds as some proclaim, only the box they kept it in.
In Matthew 5:28, which refers exclusively to men lusting after women, Jesus was largely speaking to his disciples - all of whom were men. If His 12 disciples were all women, He may have made emphasis to women rather than men. Also, He may have perceived, by the Holy Spirit, that some of His disciples were in fact lusting at young women at times, so this teaching may have been a sharp rebuke to them.
My opinion is that men struggle with this more than women is because God has wired us this way. He wants us to be the initiators in a heterogenous relationship. He ensures that this happens because of our strong attraction to women. Once secured in a marriage relationship, God still wants us to be the leaders.
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