Yesterday, I had an interesting chat with my friend, Kym McBride. She made the comment that women had various levels or gradations of love, whereas men seems to be more simplistic, either in-love or not. I wondered if that were true.
I’m sure that there are macho guys who only “love” women when they derive pleasure from their bodies. There are men who are entirely focused on their toys and consider women to be part of their collections. However, I have known many men who don’t fit in either category. They see themselves as a part of their family and focus their minds, hearts and activities around providing the greatest benefit to their wives, children, parents and the families of their siblings.
Is there a fundamental difference between men and women when it comes to love? Or is our sexuality learned? I decided to research this.
One aspect of the question is Romanticism. A romantic is someone with an idealized view of love and romance—one true love for me, soul-mates, etc. There have been multiple studies that compared men and women. The women were never found to be more romantic than men. This seems to suggest that women are more realistic about men, or, the other way around, that men are less realistic about women. Studies have shown that women are more enthusiastic about romance than are men. I think that matches my experience; women have created endless romance novels and a seemingly infinite market for them. There isn’t a corresponding market for romance novels aimed at men.
There is a belief that men are more attracted to sex than to romance. This isn’t supported by the research. Men and women are both attracted to romance. Introverted men are found to be more attracted to romance than are extroverted men. So, perhaps it is introversion that is more of a factor than the gender of the person. One conclusion might be that a romantic woman might be better off with an introverted man than an extrovert.
It seems that the majority of the differences between males and females are learned. Read this article on sexual roles in Denmark: https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/posts/love-and-relationships-in-the-happiest-country-in-the-world It seems that the Danes have a culture that promotes similar attitudes in men and women. Denmark is considered the happiest country in the world. They also have a 45% divorce rate. Apparently divorce doesn’t affect their happiness too much.
So, after a bit of reading, I’m convinced that the differences between the sexes are more cultural than biological. I admit that there may be a natural tendency in men to copulate promiscuously, but this can be controlled through cultural training. There is also evidence that women are more relational due to their instincts associated with raising children with complex needs. Whatever our primal biological needs may be, culture seems to be the deciding factor.
Regardless of biology or culture, we need to train little boys to treat girls with respect. We need to train little girls to insist on respect.
Love to all,