October 17th, 2014
Are you a macho man? Or a girly girl? Well, this may be a good thing if you want to have a long and exciting relationship with your partner. Researchers from the University of North Carolina have shown that coupling and sexual behavior are related to our gendered behavior.
What they found is that couples who are showing highly gendered behavior (so highly masculine men and highly feminine women) more often select one another as sexual partners and have intercourse more quickly, compared to couples who show less distinct gendered behavior. The latter are the slowest to have sex and the quickest to break up. The authors argue that the distinct gender differences between highly masculine men and highly feminine women may be needed to incite, and maintain, (sexual) interest in a relationship.
So, your love life may just be the result of how much of a macho man or a girly girl you grew up to be. And although this is for a large part biologically determined, as the researchers explain in their article, let’s not forget the influence of socialization. Gender differences seem to be fading. Men are becoming more feminine and women more masculine, and this is largely influenced by socialization (think feminism and the “rise” of the metrosexual). However, we may have to take a closer look at how this could affect our love lives. Opposites attract, after all.
Udry, J., & Chantala, K. (2004). Masculinity-Femininity Guides Sexual Union Formation in Adolescents Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30 (1), 44-55 DOI: 10.1177/0146167203258840
Photo: Raymond Larose/Flickr