Do Women With Endless Childhoods Prefer More Feminine Men?

Instapundit links to a story about a study that found that women in countries with a cradle to grave style government and taxpayer funded healthcare have a tendency to favor pictures of men which have been subtly “feminized.”  The researchers posit that masculine men are favored for being more resistant to disease, but they are also (to the researchers) “uncooperative, unsympathetic, philandering, aggressive and disinterested in parenting,” therefore, it is beneficial to women to drop the desire for he-men as soon as reasonably possible. 

Setting aside the quibbles that there is no real reason to believe that tougher-appearing guys are poor father candidates or “uncooperative, unsympathetic” etc. (my experience is quite the opposite) and that evolution just plain doesn’t work that fast, I’d like to posit a different explanation, based on the ultimate sample: me. 

When I was younger, I was attracted to more girly-men.  I thought Johnny Depp was dreamy.  When I was 17-18, Leonardo DeCaprio was simply the epitome of sex appeal.  I deliberately sought out things like long hair and soft facial features. 

Leo and I aged at the same rate (he’s six years older than I am).  How come now he looks like a little boy to me?  No amount of viewings of Titanic or Romeo + Juliet can bring back the previous lust (Yes, I realize those are really obnoxious movies that inspire strong feelings.  But I was a teenaged girl and I loved them).  But now, Keifer Southerland?  Oh my, my. 

So, here’s my explanation for the researcher’s findings: Maturity.  Simple as that.  As I went from a girl to a woman, I began to appreciate men, not boys. 

Now, I may not have a bunch of fancy “research” to back this up, I may be missing some silly things like “sample size” or “scientific training,” and my idea lacks an obvious evolutionary basis, but think about it.  Women in these countries are children of the state for their entire lives.  Cradle to grave, it’s all the same.  They never grow up; they never have to.  And, perhaps, their preferences reflect that.

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3 Responses

  1. Leo seems to be losing that boyish look lately. He still has a face that I’m envious of…

    I think your characterization of women in countries with universal healthcare as childish is unfair and inaccurate. Why is going without healthcare synonymous with ‘growing up’?

    As for the study itself, any sort of study involving these gender ideas is suspect. I doubt that bias can be removed. Assuming it means anything at all; of course no one wants to put up with the dbag they described. Come to think of it your conclusion sort of infers that not putting up with his dumba%^ is what makes them childish. I get it now. You’re saying that to ‘grow up’ is to suck it up and deal with some jerk that you hate in order to ensure financial stability??

    If giving women state insurance means men have to stop acting like tough guys, let’s do it. the arbitrary ‘man’ character in this society is like a damn cage and the sad thing is most people can’t even see the bars. Move an inch and you are getting called ‘girl’ or ‘fag’; course the best part of that is the assumption that the traditionally feminine qualities are an insult! How far human expression has been limited by the gender ideals is sickening. And every generation we keep churning out more and more boys, their thoughts always governed by the most important lesson dad ever taught them.. ‘Be A Man’. ‘Be a man’ is the longest running and most powerful case of groupthink in history; if state insurance will cure it, let’s have it. I for one am f$%^ng sick of people telling me who I am.

    Anyway, your reasoning eventually winds up being sexism; these women are childish for being attracted to perceived feminine qualities; valuing the feminine is childish; they identify as women and so must percieve those same qualities in themselves; valuing the feminine is childish. Sort of a vicious circle?

    anywho, I’m done.

  2. Whoa, simmer down there, Sugar. I never said going without healthcare was synonymous with childishness, I said that having the state provide for its citizens like a parent keeps those citizens in a state of perpetual adolescence. Hence, (maybe- it’s just an idea, not science) they have the same desires as children, rather than those as adults.

    “Feminized” physical features are also youthful- boyish, round faces, larger eyes, shinier hair. Maybe I wasn’t clear on that (I thought it was just common knowledge).

    It was the researchers who stated (based on, as far as I can tell, pure stereotyping) that manly-appearing men were jerks. (BTW, I cleaned up the language there a little bit to make sure that it was clear.) I specifically stated that my experience was the opposite- in my life, the “sensitive,” post-gender, liberal’s dream types were generally jerks, while the manlier men treated me with respect, listened to me, accepted my quirks, and generally acted like they cared. I have no doubt that they would have made better fathers and husbands than the girly-men.

    Even so, this was only about physical attraction to a picture (hence, my examples based on celebrities). I never said anything about actually sticking with a fellow who was a jerk. This study was merely about a knee-jerk hot-or-not reaction.

    As for the “be a man” “cage,” I’m sorry you feel that way. I think that many people misunderstand what it means to be a man. It means taking responsibility for yourself and your family, defending them, providing for them as necessary, and generally being an adult. It’s certainly not a trait that I want removed from society. (There are a hellalot of women who could use a lesson in being a woman, as well, but that’s besides the point).

    And nobody here’s telling you who you are. Not even sure where you got that one from.

    So, yes, valuing feminized features in men is childish, in the sense that is associated with childhood. It’s not sexist, except perhaps in the broad, hetronormative sense of the word. Men who are treated like, and therefore act like, children would be sexist, too, but this study was just about women.

    And Leo has done no more than grow some pervy facial hair. He still looks like a kid.

  3. Ok if the discussion is limited exclusively to appearance it is still unfair to infer someone’s appearance should have descriptions percieved as negaive attached to it. Poor leo.. he was so good in blood diamond..

    Maybe I’m just hearing figurative echos from that guy’s article that you posted a couple of months ago where he kept coming back to a straw-metrosexual whose imaginary political ideas were so clearly demonstrated in a random superbowl commercial. His ‘be a man, use plastic bags’ rhetoric annoyed me and I’m taking it out on you. sorry. I think he’s the same one that invoked the image of a 75 man gangbang to make a crack about health reform, which I found sort of distasteful seeing as how those sorts of ‘economic
    opportunities’, so readily available to young women in this coutry, are actually justification FOR state health insurance. but I’m getting off topic..

    “and nobody here’s telling you who you are. Not even sure where you got that one from.” any discussion that alludes to the running controversy over ‘metrosex vs man’s man’ just immediately bugs me. There are a lot of people out there seeking to define ‘man’, most often to sell something, but sometimes in an attempt to manipulate values and lifestyles. Like that article I mentioned above, the writer used imaginary gender ideals to appeal to self-image with the goal of getting people to be like ‘yeah we will NOT fret over paper vs plastic, we are real men’! I realize you weren’t doing that particularly but something in the subject and tone reminded me… must be post crappy article syndrome. lol poor joke. ok sorry i’ll stop badmouthing your fav writer now! thanks for responding. talk to you later.

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