Question: “Why is sexual temptation a bigger problem for men than for women?”
Answer: While women are by no means immune from sexual temptation, men struggle with sexual temptation to a much greater degree. Far more men commit adultery than women. In premarital relationships, men are far more likely to seek sex from their partners than women. This is perhaps hinted at in Matthew 5:28, which refers exclusively to men lusting after women. While lust is sinful for both men and women, the fact that the passage only speaks of men committing “heart adultery” implies that sexual temptation is primarily a male problem.
Why is this? Why is sexual temptation a bigger problem for men than for women? The Bible does not seek to answer this “why” question. Instead, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that sexual immorality is always a sin (Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13, 18; 10:8; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Jude 7). The fact that overcoming sexual temptation is more difficult for men is definitely not an excuse. “It is so hard to resist” is not an explanation God will accept from a man, or from a woman for that matter. Again, sexual immorality is always a sin. Therefore, sexual temptation is to be overcome (1 Corinthians 6:18), whether the temptation is strong or mild, and whether the person tempted is a man or a woman.
Since the Bible does not specifically give an answer as to why sexual temptation is a greater struggle for men than for women, we can look to biology/physiology for insight. Physiologically, men typically have a much stronger sex drive than women. Men naturally think about sex more often and desire sex more frequently than women do. Especially when sexual intercourse has not occurred recently, the male body has a greater desire for the release that sex provides. This is then compounded by the fact that men are far more easily stimulated by sight than women are (which also explains why men are far more prone to look at pornography). Simply the sight of an attractive female is sometimes enough to trigger a male’s sex drive. If a sexual thought is not immediately forsaken (with God’s help), it can become a cascading river of sexual temptation, very difficult to resist.
Again, let it be said, the male sex drive is a fact, not an excuse. If a man gives in to sexual temptation, he has no one to blame but himself. First Corinthians 10:13 declares, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” If we do not take advantage of the divinely provided “way of escape,” we are without excuse. Sexual temptation can be powerful, and sexual sin is among the most devastating (1 Corinthians 6:18). But, with God’s help, sexual temptation can be defeated. This is equally true for men and women.