Sugar daddy arrangements demeaning, harmful to women

Opinions Columnist | Journalism Senior

Women who are considering becoming involved in sugar daddy/sugar baby relationships should consider how these men perceive them as well as how this type of relationship will affect their self-image and capacity for love.

The number of college-aged women seeking and engaging in sugar daddy arrangements is slowly increasing. ABC News reports that college student membership on the website SeekingArrangement.com increased 58 percent from 2011 to 2012, and that many of these women are looking for money to help pay their tuition.  

Examiner.com discussed statistics released by SeekingArrangement.com in 2010, showing that 51% of sugar babies registered on their site were between the ages of 18 and 28 years old. SeekingArangement.com is merely a sample of the sugar baby population. There are many other websites women can utilize to seek out a sugar daddy.

I have asked several of my male friends about how they would feel if a girl they were interested in has had or currently has a sugar daddy. Each of them responded negatively, and expressed concerns about what the girl’s true intentions may be. Men want to know that they are loved and appreciated as a person rather than being used for their income. A woman who has previously used a man for his money brings up concerns about what she is after in a relationship.

Having a sugar daddy not only looks bad to men, but to the rest of the world as well. These women are perceived as having little or no work ethic, and as bimbos who only rely on their looks to get what they want. Whether or not these statements are true, being a sugar baby is not a good look for women. It is a degrading way to receive money, and it reinforces the stone-age mentality that women need men in order to thrive in the world.

Sugar babies conforming to these stereotypes are furthering the problem. The sugar baby dynamic contradicts the progress and discrimination women have been fighting against in regards to things like professionalism in the workplace and intellectual capacity to hold the same positions as men.

Another serious problem sugar babies may face is self-image. Being a sugar baby can be detrimental to a woman’s self-worth and self-image, because it may cause women to feel as though they need a man, or a man’s approval. A woman’s confidence and feeling of self-worth, even through college and the struggle of paying for it, is not dependent on a man. The argument can be made that an arrangement with a sugar daddy is nothing more than some extra cash to make ends meet. However, to a woman in her 20s, having sugaring as part of her identity can easily lead to obstruction of one’s true self and a harmful self-image.

Women should think before becoming sugar babies. Not only does it affect the way others, including potential life-mates, see a woman, but it also affects her ability to be successful and live a happy and healthy lifestyle.