They aren't all hard-wired to spread their seed, and other important truths you need to know.
When I set out on a quest (for my book, Are All Guys Assholes?) to prove that guys aren't actually as bad as we assume, I thought women would embrace the message as good news. "Guys actually want relationships and care about more than just sex? That's awesome!"
Instead, many of them have wanted fight me on it. I've been met with an army of "evidence" seemingly suggesting that my own research is wrong, and that the stereotype we have about men being commitment-phobic, sex-fiends is firmly rooted in scientific fact. The problem is, many of these so-called facts have been used to jump to faulty conclusions. What 47 Years Of Marriage Can Teach You
These are five scientific lies we've been told about men:
Fact: On average men get married later.
Not a fact: It's because they don't want to commit.
Yes, on average men are about two years older than women when they get married. Is this because they begrudgingly go into marriage and want to hold on to their "glory days" as long as possible? I doubt it. 5 Reasons He'll NEVER See You As 'The One'
Last summer, I interviewed over 1,000 guys about sex, love, and dating, and spoke with many of them about marriage. 95% of them said they wanted to get married some day, but more importantly, many spoke about the pressure they feel to be financially secure before taking that step. Also, consider the fact that until a guy is more stable (and possibly more mature), he may have a harder time finding a girl who would be willing to marry him in the first place.
So, maybe men do wait a little longer to get married ... but that's not necessarily because they are avoiding commitment!
Fact: Evolutionarily speaking, guys are driven to reproduce.
Not a fact: This means they are driven to "spread their seed."
Guys have a hard time staying faithful and committing because evolutionarily they're driven to spread their seed. How often have you heard that one?
First of all, this is a widely publicized (though weakly supported) theory. That is, it's someone's idea, not a proven scientific fact. Depression: A Family Affair
Humans are driven to reproduce. That much is true. But why assume that men's best reproductive strategy was to mate with as many women as they could find? I'd argue their best strategy was to show their commitment to provide for and protect a family with one woman so that she will allow him to reproduce with her in the first place. It's not like there was only one man for every 20 women and women were desperate for sperm donations.
As if our ancestors were huddled around a cave waiting for all the men to run in and grace them with their genetic material. Our cave man sisters had a say in this process too. And if a guy wanted to be able to find a woman to carry his offspring, he better be able to provide food and protection ... not just a one-time ejaculation.
So, evolutionarily speaking, I'd say men are driven to be good providers and committed partners, because the ones who weren't would be left spilling their seed behind a bush.
Fact: Females have a biological clock.
Not a fact: This means guys have the upper hand in dating relationships.
It's true that a guy could impregnate a woman when he's 70 (though there's research suggesting his 70-year-old sperm isn't exactly the cream of the crop). But beyond the fact that not many men actually want to have kids at age 70, if a guy wants to start a family, he needs a woman.
Yes, we women can only have children for a limited time period, but we can have them on our own (see above re: sperm donation). Women may have a limited amount of time to pull the trigger, but the gun is in our hands. If a man wants to have kids, he has to be chosen by one of us to do it.
Guys don't have the upper hand in relationships because our clock is ticking, we have the upper hand because we have a clock in the first place.
Fact: Some studies show men have had more casual sex/cheat more than women.
Not a fact: Men are completely driven by sex.
The difference between men and women's sexual behavior isn't actually that significant. Almost a third of women have had more casual sex than the average man. And the newest studies suggest that men and women are cheating in almost equal amounts. Navigating Life's Big Changes With Ease
The problem with these numbers is that they're all based on self-report. We're not following around men and women and documenting their sexual behavior, we're asking them to tell us about it. And in a society where it's not as acceptable for women to be promiscuous, can we expect women to report their numbers accurately?
According to some studies, no. Many women fudge their numbers lower to avoid being judged. The point is, the measureable difference between men and women's sexuality is small. And even that difference can likely be accounted for by cultural standards rather than innate differences in sexual desire.
Fact: Men's brains look different than women's brains.
Not a Fact: These differences explain why men just want sex/are communicative idiots.
According to one neurobiologist who studies sex differences in the brain, "It’s impossible to prove how these structural differences would account for different feelings, attitudes, and behaviors." Basically, just because men might have a bigger or smaller brain part doesn't mean you can jump to the conclusion that it has anything to do with the way guys think or act.
Again, we can create a theory based on a scientific fact and our stereotypes about men (e.g. that they can't communicate), but even though the theory includes a fancy sounding brain part, that doesn't make it true. Are You Ready To Start Dating Again?
The point is, even science is not free from stereotypes. And if, culturally, we're sold on the ideas that men value sex but not commitment, we can find a way for numbers to back up that case. But really all those numbers are proving is that we have a stereotype in the first place, not that the stereotype is necessarily accurate.
Like this article? Learn more about what guys are really like in Amber Madison's book, Are All Guys Assholes? Confused about a dating situation? Determine if the guy you're dating is an A-Hole using the A-Hole Tester App built off the data collected for her book. For more information visit, www.AreAllGuysAssholes.com