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.

The Type 76% of Women Prefer

man feeding woman

The Type 76% of Women Prefer

The fairy tales aren’t true. In books, movies, TV shows and more, we see a man’s man, a strong, self-assured hero storm the castle and sweep his lady love, a poised, feminine princess, the damsel in distress. It seems that these gender stereotypes though they make for great storytelling, are much farther from the true life relationships and what we look for in a mate than previously thought. According to a recent study by EliteSingles, a U.K. based dating website (www.elitesingles.co.uk), 76% of feminine women prefer feminine over masculine men when it comes to settling down and even dating.  Does this have anything to do with women today being more educated and better able to support themselves economically? Those who were more masculine on the scale also preferred to keep company with those more like themselves. 59% of masculine men preferred having a lady in their life that was more masculine. 68% of women who described themselves as more masculine said that gender identity was a big part of who they were attracted to. Only 26% of feminine women chose masculine men and only 25% of masculine men picked feminine women.

The study’s lead researcher Dr. Wiebke Neberich said that there were two theories accounting for the type that others are attracted to. Common wisdom separates these two categories into “opposites attract” and “birds of a feather flock together.” But according to Dr. Neberich, those who are more alike have a “more realistic” chance of staying together and flourishing. Men and women who have similar personalities understand each other better. They are more likely to have similar needs, are more emotionally compatible, have similar perceptions of the same issues. Therefore they will be more supportive and understanding toward one another than those who are in an “opposites attract” relationship. Though these results are interesting and make perfect sense, it still doesn’t clear up that unquantifiable “it” that most couples are longing for, namely chemistry.  Do couples who have a similar gender style, be they more masculine or feminine, experience more chemistry between each other? Perhaps this study alludes to it. Certainly however there is plenty of nuance between having so much in common and having chemistry. It can take quite a balancing act between the two to make the perfect relationship, a difficult sweet spot to achieve. And even when a person finds someone who is in that sweet spot, that perfect balance between familiarity and newness, there can be other factors that stand in the way of happiness. Surely, this study gives us lots of insight but few concrete details as to how to find lasting love. For more on this topic read, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love by Diana Kirschner.

The Role your Name Plays in Attraction

couple-talking

The Role your Name Plays in Attraction

When you’re getting ready for a date you fix up your hair, pick the right clothes, make sure your perfume or cologne is alluring, you even put your pregame face on pumping up your personality, confidence and charm. But there’s one thing that plays a role in the game of attraction that you can’t improve, alter or change, your name. Amy Perfors, a researcher at MIT came across this phenomenon with a recent study. She posted profile pictures on rating website hotornot.com and asked participants to rate each photo. What she found was astonishing. The person’s name affected how each photo was rated. What factor indicated whether a name made the person attractive or not? It all came down to vowel sounds according to Perfors. Linguistics classifies vowels by the position in the mouth where they are made. There are back vowels such as the ‘o’ sounds, both long and short. And front vowels such as the ‘i’ in hit or the ‘e’ in heat. In the MIT study guys whose names had front vowel sounds such as Rick, Dave or Ben were more attractive than those with back vowel sounds like Charles, Tom, or Luke.

For women the opposite was true. The back vowel sounds were the most attractive, found in names like Robin, Laura or Carmen. Researchers also considered how masculine or feminine a name sounds in relation to its owner’s attractiveness. Androgynous or feminine sounding names such as Jamie were less attractive to women than very masculine sounding names like Steve or Darren. For the ladies it didn’t matter whether the name was very feminine like Brittany or masculine like Sam. But androgynous names like Lee were considered less attractive. Though researchers don’t exactly know why the feminine names have this rule about androgyny but are more accepting of male sounding names. Perfors hypothesizes that tomboys and more male oriented traits in women are acceptable in our society, while more feminine traits are not acceptable when it comes to men. Don’t rush out to the courthouse to change your name if your original moniker is deemed unattractive by this study. If you have two guys side by side who have similar traits but one has a more attractive name, statistically speaking he wins out. But if one of them is George Clooney, his attractiveness will outshine his name.  For advice on becoming more attractive, read YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Attraction by Voice

MEN-WITH-DEEP-VOICES

Attraction by Voice

What kind of voice do you find attractive? Some men like a deep voice in a woman. But most prefer the high pitched, baby doll kind. Women usually prefer a deep male voice. But this isn’t just preference. There is biology at work here. According to a new study, men prefer a high voice and women a low one as the sound of someone’s voice gives the speaker’s body style away. Birds, other animals, and even humans can perceive the speaker’s intention and their body size from the quality and frequency of the speaker’s voice. Lower sounding voices allude to a bigger body and therefore dominance and the ability to protect the mother and her young. High pitched frequencies allude to a smaller body size, submissiveness and the need to be protected.

This study was completed at University College in London. Processor Yi Xu had male participants rate a female human voice for attractiveness. When he altered the quality, pitch and spacing to signal a smaller body type he found that this was the most attractive sounding to participants. Men also preferred a breathy, high pitched voice with lots of spacing between words. He did the same thing for female participants only this time it was a deep voice with less spacing that correlated with the most attractive. One surprise researchers found was that women also preferred a breathy quality to a man’s voice, indicating a softness under the aggression of a large body mass. Although we are far advanced compared to other creatures in the animal kingdom, it seems that we still have many biological qualities that are an integral part of the courtship process. You can find this study online in the journal PLOS ONE.  For advice on how to improve your voice, read Set Your Voice Free: How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want by Roger Love and Donna Frazier.

Men Prefer More Feminine faces in Certain Places

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Men Prefer More Feminine faces in Certain Places

If you, as other men do, prefer a more feminine face you probably grew up in a certain place, a healthier country according to a new study. Men who were raised in countries with lower infant mortality rates and longer lifespans are more attracted to women with finer features, as opposed to those raised in unhealthier conditions who prefer rougher features, so say researchers out of the University of Turku in Finland. Biologist Urszula Marcinkowska wanted to know if all men found the same things about women attractive or if culture played a role. The findings make researchers believe that evolution plays a role. They think that men living in harsher conditions select women that are more likely to bear offspring that will survive. Other studies have shown that women living in unhealthful conditions such as poverty and a high murder rate find more masculine men attractive. Marcinkowska and her team created an online survey that was translated into 16 different languages and taken by 1,972 male respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 in 28 different countries. There were 28 images of white women’s faces used, one with a more masculine looking face similar to one with finer features.

Men all over preferred a woman’s face that was seen as more feminine. That said, in countries that were less healthful men had less of a preference. The national health index which measures the overall well-being of people in every country correlated with the photo data. The findings appear in the online journal Biology Letters. Another reason for the findings according to the study’s author Marcinkowska is that “Women with more feminine features have, in the past, been found to be less socially dominant and less effective at competing for resources.” Over a period of millennia tougher women helped men survive and so were the better option in harsher conditions as mates. One reason Marcinkowska gave for this was that these men also had lower testosterone levels. Higher testosterone inhibits the immune system. In areas where disease is prevalent men often have lower testosterone levels, adding to their ability to have this preference for not as fine features. As Marcinkowska said, “Unfortunately we couldn’t measure participants’ testosterone levels in this study. However, I think this explanation is very plausible.” There is one conflicting study that finds certain pathogens actually increase male preference for fine features. But future studies will be able to see what is really going on and how the two interact.  To learn more about what men find attractive in a woman, read The 7 Irresistible Qualities Men Want in a Woman by Bruce Bryans.