In this article, we’ll look at some extremely common gender stereotypes – that for better or worse, have become attached to men and women respectively. The below items piqued my interest, so I trawled the Internet to look for proof and statistics. Hopefully by the end, you’ll understand why I’m calling these stereotypes bullshit. And how stereotypes never help in building relationships.
1. Men cheat a lot more than women
Here’s the usual variety of responses I get when one of my female friends hears about a guy cheating on his partner: “Men are such cheaters”, “Men aren’t trustable”, “Men are dogs”, or the classic “Men~” with a disapproving tone and dismissive shake of the head. I suspect that the vitriol poured out would be even harsher if it was an all-girls outing.
The truth: Statistically, men do cheat more than women. However, the gap isn’t as big as you think it is. Below are two reports debunking the myth that men cheat a lot more than women from hellobeautiful (which goes on to say that women are cheating more and more, but haven’t actually overtaken men yet) and abcnews.com.
Based on the surveys, the number of men admitting to cheating is around 20 percent, while women aren’t far behind around 15 – 19 percent. The worrying trend is that while the men percentage has remained fairly stagnant over the years, the percentage of women cheating is rising quickly.
Note that on a more local front, (and if you believe a Durex survey) – 39% of women in Malaysia admitted to infidelity while only 33% of men did.
And that’s probably before you even factor in the less straightforward permutations of cheating like emotional cheating.
If you ask me, men cheat more in caveman, unsophisticated, massage parlor-happy ending ways.
And we just get caught more often.
2. Men are hornier than women
There’s a common saying that men think about sex every 7 seconds. It adds to the gender stereotype that we’re all horny dogs just looking for the next session of humping.
Research has shown however, that women are just as sexual. But centuries of sexual shaming and society’s unfair expectations have made women believe they need to behave a certain way.
Women are sexually repressed. In fact, this study showed that women don’t always answer surveys honestly but tend to bow to social expectations of their sexual behavior. In the study, 3 groups of men and women were asked to answer a survey about sexual behavior. One group gave answers while connected to a lie detector machine, while another group was told that their answers would totally be anonymous. The final group was told that their answers would be monitored. What do you think happened?
While the men’s answers didn’t vary much between the 3 groups, the women’s answers between the 3 groups were significantly different. For example, women connected to the lie detector reported an average of 4.4 sexual partners, but those who thought their answers would be read reported an average of 2.6 sexual partners.
Women are just as horny as men. It’s just less socially acceptable to be so.
Besides, look at it from a biological point of view. Men have a refractory period between ejaculations. Women on the other hand, have no such limitations – they are (barring certain medical conditions) designed to have multiple orgasms.
So, who do you think would be hornier?
3. Women talk a lot more than men
The American comedian Rodney Dangerfield once quipped: “I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her”.
And then there’s the oft repeated statistic that women talk about 3 times as much as men in a day. Thankfully, due to the wonders of Google and modern day research, we can safely debunk this gender stereotype. Here’s two scientific articles that not only question the veracity of the “a woman uses 20,000 words a day compared to a man who uses only about 7,000” myth, but also provide statistical evidence that men speak just as much as women.
Read them – those articles are university papers with small fonts, lots of references and advanced statistics that will have you believing, just because you don’t understand the math. And just in case you’re a stereotypical Internet user who doesn’t like math and statistics, the summary from the above two articles is: men and women use around the same number of words a day.
Here’s the other thing I’m very sure about. A woman is also extremely good at choosing times to have deep, serious conversations. Like when her husband is in the midst of watching an exciting English Premier League live telecast and doesn’t want to talk.
Believe it or not, women don’t actually talk more.
Source: Language Log
4. Women are better at multitasking than men
When I was a young boy, my mother would come home from work at about 415, immediately set the house in order, get everything prepared, and cook a delicious dinner meal for 5 people by the time dad got home at about 5pm. All this while balancing the headache of having 3 hyperactive kids at home. I’m still impressed.
It’s widely believed that while men can do better at things they’re focused on, women through centuries of evolution have learned to handle multiple things at once. Especially with the babies. Recent evidence has shown however, that this is likely a myth, no doubt perpetuated by feminists who want men to understand how difficult it is to raise children. There’s a lot of evidence for both sides of the story, as seen here and here. So who’s really better at multitasking? I think we’re all equally good at it.
Maybe men just generally don’t like household chores. “Sorry honey, this urgent work is going to take up all my focus. You’ll have to take care of the baby today. You know how men can’t multitask right?”
5. Women want commitment more than men
Men want sex, and women want commitment right? That’s why you don’t jump into bed with a guy on the first date, cause he might just bolt after getting what he wants. Not so simple. The romantic social networks match.com and Zoosk reported surveys where men wanted commitment more than women. This is attributed to factors like women becoming more financially driven, career driven and choosy in settling with a partner. It also means that there are a lot of lonely, single guys out there looking for committed love. No more complaints about how all the men are taken or players, OK?
Personally, I’ve found that men want commitment just as much as women. It just takes them longer to get to that stage. So while a woman may want to get settled down, get married and have kids at 25, Mr. Player only grows up and wants to have a family at 35. That actually might be a good thing. After all, you know how older guys are sexier right?
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Stereotypes are useful… if you’re a stand-up comedian. They’re not so great for getting to know people though. I’m sure all of you know a woman who can’t drive or park for nuts. Does that mean all women are terrible drivers? That’s like saying women aren’t capable to lead companies, because the majority of executives in companies are still men. Or that men are generally stupider than women because there are more women in universities.
What I’ve learned is that people aren’t one dimensional characters that the media portrays them to be. Get to know people as individuals, instead of believing broad generalizations. If you can do this, it’ll open up your mind so much more, and make your relationships more meaningful. More significantly, I also believe this is the cure for racism.
If you stereotype people, you won’t have time to love them.
*The original version of this article first appeared on Emmagem
Pic credit: “Bruno + Rafael” by danielmviero