Both Sexes get Jealous but over Different Things

jealousy

Both Sexes get Jealous but over Different Things

Most people agree that just a smidge of jealousy can be a good thing. It shows how much you mean to your partner and vice versa. But we have to be careful in the quest for recognition, rekindled desire or appreciation. Some use jealousy as leverage to dislodge these emotions from our lover. But we should not play with the heart of another too cavalierly. Such machinations often make matters worse. The only good jealousy, the kind that leads to positive change, is taken in small doses. In larger forms, possessiveness and covetousness are destructive forces that ultimately tear two people apart. Both sexes experience jealousy, but they do so differently and over different things. That’s according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Chapman University’s David Frederick in conjunction with UCLA’s Melissa Fales conducted this study. They decided to try to use big data to see if a phenomenon in a previously conducted study was supported or torn down. The finding was that the majority of men are outraged by sexual infidelity. This is true even when no emotional connection is involved in the act. Women on the other hand are torn up over emotional infidelity even in instances where no sex takes place.

The researchers reviewed a survey taken by NBC.com back in 2007. 63,894 participants took that survey. The questions in the survey surrounded dating and relationships. One section in particular was of interest to these researchers: “Take a moment to imagine which of the following situations would be MOST upsetting or distressing to you.” The first answer, you found your partner in a sexual relationship with someone else, but they have not fallen in love with that other person. The second was you found out your lover fell in love with someone else, but had not slept with them. 54% of men said a sexual affair was the most egregious transgression. This same answer was selected by 35% of heterosexual women, 34% of gay men, bisexual men 30%, bisexual women 27% and lesbian women 34%. Researchers believe these gender-specific responses have evolutionary roots. Men’s concern over sexual infidelity stems from the need for assured paternity, for supporting one’s own genetic offspring. For women, pair bonding is the issue. From an evolutionary standpoint, a woman wants to know the guy will be around to help raise her vulnerable young and provide for them.

The problem is this programming helps us survive a Stone Age world that no longer exists. Does this sort of ingrained thinking help or hurt our aims in the modern love sphere? How our current needs and these ingrained processes interact is a point of concern. How does this pan out with couples who don’t want children or can’t have them? What about countries where gender equality has nearly come to pass? What role do messages from advertising, our culture and the media play in our selection of a mate and how do these interact with our Stone Age subconscious? Researchers say the results aren’t exactly cut down gender lines. In fact, there was a little more variance among different nations in the world. The cultural and contextual factors are important and play a significant role. Although there is an overall pattern, individual men and women also have different perspectives. But this research doesn’t take such nuances into account.  Sorting it all out however is complex. We may never have a formula for how human jealousy works, or how human relationships should be conducted in the modern world, for that matter. But further insights such as these can help us know ourselves better and figure out how best to negotiate the modern needs of love with those that inhabit our subconscious from our ancient past. For more on the evolutionary roots of love pick up a copy of, Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare: How Evolution Shapes Our Loves and Fears by Gordon H. Orians.

Men are caught in Gender Roles says study

gender roles

Men are caught in Gender Roles says study

Today society allows or even encourages women to take on traditionally male roles such as working outside the home. There are lots of households where for the first time the woman makes more than the man. However, according to a new study, men are caught in gender roles and it may be to society’s detriment. There has been tremendous change for the charge of feminism. We have seen dramatic transformations in American attitudes toward homosexuals. However, our concept on heterosexual masculinity hasn’t changed. Though we are seeing more stay at home dads, they make up only 1% of marriages. Men continue to be rare in traditional female industries such as childcare, nursing or secretarial work. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 51% of Americans believed that children were raised better if their mother remained in the home. Yet, a scant 8% said this about fathers. Even wanting time off was considered less masculine according to a study out of the University of Florida.

In our overtly masculine culture, even though gender roles have changed for women, any boy who exhibits feminine behavior is still ostracized. Sociology professor Barbara Risman of the University of Chicago said of this phenomenon, “If girls call themselves tomboys, it’s with a sense of pride. But boys make fun of other boys if they step just a little outside the rigid masculine stereotype.” Global Toy Experts did a survey and found that over 50% of women wouldn’t give their son a doll, but only 32% said the same thing about giving a toy truck or car to a girl.

Boys don’t veer off from masculine toys. Those that do, try on dresses, wear pink or like Disney Princesses are maligned by their peers and thought of as weird or strange by adults. Some students are even threatened and ridiculed. A story recently in the L.A. Times talked about a Los Angeles couple who was slurred on the internet because their son preferred traditionally female toys to male ones, even though he self-identifies with being a boy. Though between the years of 1971 to 2011 women have flooded into male industries such as law, finance, business, and the hard sciences, only 2% of men have gone into education, the arts and so on. How will this play out as our society progresses? Will we see a loss of femininity in our culture? Or will men become more feminine? In the decades to come even more sweeping changes are bound to shift our society. For more on this topic, read Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine.

Fidelity and Promiscuity; Evolutionary Adaptations found in Both Sexes

INFIDELITY

Fidelity and Promiscuity; Evolutionary Adaptations found in Both Sexes

Conventional wisdom states that men always have a wandering eye. Though many settle down to healthy, monogamous relationships, it is believed that they are still prone to promiscuity and always wanting sex. For women, however, they are supposed paragons of fidelity. Once a woman finds a man she wants to settle down with, her heart is his. She won’t stray unless he treats her terribly, or so it is thought. At least these are the messages we are fed through the media, our families, and our cultural superstructure. But is it true?

Practically, we’ve probably all observed a “one woman man” who makes a great husband and father and wouldn’t dream of cheating. We also know women who would prefer not to settle down and see their love life as one unending adventure. So what’s going on here and what does science tell us? A recent study out of Oxford University is illuminating our view on the sexes and how fidelity and promiscuity play a role in our evolution. Oxford researchers believe that the faithful and the not-so-much are actually pretty evenly distributed throughout the sexes. What’s more, each person’s position fulfills a specialized role.

To conduct this study, Dr. Rafael Wlodarski and his Oxford team combed through data from two other studies. One was called the “sociosexual orientation inventory.” Here 600 people answered a questionnaire which investigated their tendency to enter sexual relationships without commitment. The other study measured the length of people’s index and ring fingers. 1,300 participants took part in total. The length of one’s ring finger in comparison to the index means more exposure to testosterone in the womb. This finger phenomenon holds true for all primates, and is associated with higher levels of promiscuity. Men were in fact more likely to engage in promiscuity than women. Dr. Wlodarski and his colleagues weren’t surprised by that, but what researchers wanted to know was if each sex had a separate sexual strategy that they engaged in. Researchers found, however, that being promiscuous or faithful were strategies that both sexes engaged in, and have genetic underpinnings.  Dr. Wlodarski and colleagues believe our sexual strategies are in fact phenotypes.  They are the outward expression of underlying genes. Here’s where natural selection comes in. Perhaps genes that promoted successful mating strategies were passed down from one generation to the next.

Phenotype differences between men and women are surprisingly similar. For men, promiscuity to faithfulness was expressed in the ratio of 57:43. For women, promiscuity was outdone by faithfulness but only by a slight margin 53:47. What’s shocking is both of these ratios are really close to 50:50. During the Stone Age, childbirth was dangerous business and a child under four had a low chance of survival. The more women were inseminated the more likely our species would survive. Also, the greater gene variety, the healthier our species would become. Therefore, in a mere evolutionary sense, men and women benefited to a certain level of promiscuity. The faithfulness part comes in as a young child requires both parents to survive in the wild. Therefore, the expression of faithfulness and continuity between parents helped children and our species continue.

Biologists have considered this in theory, but Dr. Wlodarksi’s findings add weight. That theory is called evolutionarily stable strategy. This theory states that those behaviors that helped the species survive become more prominent, whereas those that did not became less so. But what does this mean for the state of modern love and marriage? In the future will doctors be able to genetically test a person and tell them which pattern of love fits their makeup and who is their best match, be they faithful or promiscuous? Does this mean that certain couples would fare better with an open relationship while others would naturally be more monogamous? Science is still a long way away from helping us engineer or hack our love lives. But it certainly is food for thought. If you want to know how science can make your love life sweeter read, Principia Amoris: The New Science of Love by John Mordechai Gottman.

Common Pitfalls of Attracting a Bigger Girl

biggirl

Common Pitfalls of Attracting a Bigger Girl

Are you interested in a lady whose shape doesn’t exactly fit the type on the covers of magazines? The truth is everyone is attracted to different things. As many know society and the media project unfair body images which make many women feel bad about their bodies. But the truth is lots of men love a woman with curves. In fact, many men prefer a bigger girl to a skinny one. There are lots of rumors about voluptuous girls on the internet. If you are interested in attracting a curvier woman don’t fall prey to the common pitfalls and stereotypes associated with attracting a bigger girl. For instance, there is a rumor floating around the internet that a fluffier girl is easier to attract as she has lower self-esteem. This isn’t true at all. There are women of all sizes that have high or low self-esteem. It all depends on the particular girl, not her size.

Women of all sizes have come to terms with and love who they are, just as women of all sizes have not. If you are approaching a girl whom you think is easy to pick up or attract only to realize that she isn’t, you’re going to be in way over your head. Instead, approach her as you would approach any woman, with class, humor, sophistication and an air of mystery. Some say that a bigger girl can defend and stick up for herself more, while a skinnier girl needs her man to defend her honor. The truth is women are women regardless of their size. If she has been offended you should stick up for her no matter her size. This is an unfounded stereotype.

When you approach her, don’t try to say things you think she’d like to hear due to her physique. For instance calling her cute is of course alright, but cute and cuddly should not be said. It’s actually offensive. Instead, tell her what you would tell any other woman. Tell her you love her eyes, her hair, or her smile. Tell her she’s beautiful, alluring, and special or however you genuinely feel when you approach her. Do not tell her that she’s got such a pretty face. It sounds like a dodge. Is it only her face you think is attractive? You are calling attention to her weight and could possibly make her feel self-conscious. But you want her to feel attractive. Just tell her she’s gorgeous or even that you love her curves.

Don’t tell her you are into big girls or that you like big, beautiful women. You are making her a fetish instead of liking her for the incredible person that she is. And is that all she is to you? Her size? Don’t objectify her. Celebrate her for who she is. Flirt with her. Dance with her. Ask for her number. Smile at her. Taker her out. Get to know who she is and compliment all the things you like about her. Don’t feel awkward dating her if others make you feel that way. If you really like her be yourself, be proud of dating her, and show everyone who you really are, how you feel about her and don’t worry about what others think. Love her for who she is. If she’s the right woman she’ll do the same for you. For more advice read, Big Big Love: A Sex and Relationship Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them) by Hanne Blank.

Liberate yourself from “Good Girl Syndrome”

Sad girl sits at table

Liberate yourself from “Good Girl Syndrome”

Many women at all different ages had it inculcated into them as children and teens to be “good girls.” This generally means being polite, having nice manners which are good but also being a perfectionist, bending over backwards to help others and suppressing aspects of one’s own unique personality for a façade deemed socially acceptable. Lots of women in the baby boomer generation tried to mold themselves into good girls and ended up divorced.

Today, many young women, supposedly liberated via the feminist movements of every historical age, most notably in the 1970’s, still try to fit a cookie-cutter mold of the perfect woman. Polls have shown that women today are actually less satisfied than they were in the 70’s. The reason? It’s harder for women to juggle family and career responsibilities. They also, like everyone else nowadays but perhaps more so, have little to any time to themselves. Many older women particularly of the baby boomer generation have regrets of trying to fit the “good girl” mold. Trying to please everyone makes you end up not pleasing anyone. Lots of women in this age group feel it took them years, even decades to pull free from this stereotype.

Lots of women for instance seek parental approval. But what they have in their hearts may be very different from what it is that their parents want. Changing out of a people-pleaser is hard, but living a lie even harder. It’s true that age plays a factor as well. All a teen wants is to be socially accepted. In our twenties we seek to find our adult identity. This may last into the thirties when we are trying to find our adult selves and build our adult life. But as we grow older we start to care far less about what others think about us or how we are perceived. Women especially shed the insecurities they had as younger versions of themselves. They start to form opinions about what things are really like and who they really want to be. This of course can shove up against the “good girl” persona.

In their love lives they may pursue someone whom their friends or family approves of but who they themselves don’t feel a strong connection with. This is a big mistake a lot of women make, and it ends up in a loveless marriage or a courtroom. When you reach a certain age it can feel very liberating that you aren’t obligated to please anyone but yourself. It’s important to love yourself and stick up for yourself, though in an appropriate manner. Be secure, firm but polite. Be direct but allow whoever it is to say their piece. It’s important to be true to yourself. If you ignore it, it will not go away. But if you listen and speak with that little voice inside you, you will never know such freedom and joy. For more advice read, Overcoming the Good Little Girl Syndrome: How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser by Linda Ellis Eastman.