They mainly sat at tables talking with other men. The occasional interaction they had with women was not flirtatious or touching, like it was between men and women of the other group. Socially, these men were not competitive and did not attract women. However, these men were easily approachable; if women were attracted to men who were not competitive, aggressive, and self-assured, they would be easily approachable. In this case it appeared that women chose to associate with the former group rather than the latter. The implications of this observation are that women set the standard for what is attractive and desirable and men who wish to garner their attention fulfill this role. It is further questionable whether men would continue to act in a loud, aggressive, competitive manner if they had little to gain -- and in fact a lot to lose in the way of female attention -- if they stopped.
Study 4 surveyed twenty-four college students in a Freshmen-level English class. This class was chosen because it contained about the same number of male and female subjects (11 male, 13 female) and a variety of college majors were represented. Additionally, the entire class consisted of college Freshmen in their first semester of school. These individuals would have little experience with college so far and are likely to react to their instinctual feelings or values when answering the survey questions.
The survey contained fifteen questions, focusing on what traits and activities are expected in women and men. The results indicate the women and men both accept certain traits as "male" and others as "female." Many of the traits indicated are those that appear to contribute to the objectification of women as well as competitiveness in men. As a result, both men and women who act on their feeling of social acceptance are likely to fulfill the roles that cause women to be objectified and men to become competitive and aggressive. The results of Study 4 are shown in the table below. Both numbers and percentages are available under each column heading, so that it is obvious how many or what percentage of each group answered the question yes or no. Questions were chosen based on subject material suggested by a literature review of similar subject material.
1. Do most women like muscular, aggressive men?
2. Do women need men to defend them or protect them / their honor?
3. Are women attracted to men they see physically fighting other men?
4. Do most women like men to take charge and tell them what to do?
5. Do most men value the opinions of women?
6. Do most women value the opinions of men?
7. Is physical appearance more important than personality when trying to attract a member of the opposite sex?
8. Would you lose respect for someone who was willing to have sex with you after just meeting you?
9. Are men who play sports more attractive to women?
10. Do most women enjoy men fighting over them?
11. Are men by nature competitive?
12. Does losing a fight or a competition make a man less desirable to women?
13. In a relationship, is the man "in charge"?
14. Do men need to act respectful to women to get dates or "hook up"?
15. Is there pressure for men to be masculine?
Table 1. Study 4 Survey results from 24 Freshmen college students: 11 male, 13 female
Question 1 asked survey participants is most women like muscular, aggressive men. The majority of both male and female subjects said yes, with 91% male and 62% of females answering in the affirmative. The 38% of female subjects that said no may relate with Female B. In Study 1 in that they enjoy nurturing and healing men and so may be more inclined to like men who are not as muscular and aggressive. Nevertheless, the female survey subjects were mainly in agreement that muscular aggressive men are more attractive to women. All but one of the male survey participants believed that women like muscular, aggressive men. This opinion seems to be indicative of most college-aged men.
Question 2. Asked whether women need men to defend or protect them or their honor. Just more than half (64%) of male survey participants thought that women need men to defend or protect them. Oddly, only 23% of female participants agreed. This may be due to how the question was phrased; women may feel that they do not need men to defend them but they likely want men to defend them. Alternatively, women may feel similarly to one of the survey participants in Study 2 in that they think it is stupid to fight over girls but would still find it flattering if men fought over her.
Question 3 asked whether women are attracted to men who they see in a fight. This question is closely related to Study 1, where both male and female subjects were interviewed following a fight between two male subjects. A close percentage of men (73%) and women (77%) agree that women like men who they see in a fight. This is consistent with the other studies, both interview and observation.
Question 4 asks whether most women like men who take charge and tell them what to do. This behavior was illustrated during observations of women and men in the bar in Study 3; women were expected to fetch beer for the men they were with and not participate in conversations that were male-dominated. Additionally, the women in Study 2 swayed felt comfortable with men taking control. A similar percentage of men (64%) and women (69%) agreed. These behaviors are consistent with traditional values where men are breadwinners and in control of the relationship and the household, whereas women had little power. Even in today's social situations this appears to be true.
In Question 5 respondents were mixed across the board as to whether most men value women's opinions. Just more than half (55%) of men said no, while slightly more women (62%) agreed. This indicates that a large portion of both men and women do not think that men value the opinions of the opposite sex. For men, this illustrates that they feel justified in using women or discarding them for someone else. For women, this implies that they enforce the poor actions of men by not expecting their opinions to be valued. Since most women continue to date and have sex with men, this means that they are doing so knowing that most men probably do not value their thoughts or opinions. In a drastically different answer set, Question 6 indicated that both men and women agree strongly that women value the opinions of men. In fact, 100% of female survey participants agreed. This may indicate that women are very attuned to men's opinions, perhaps to win favor. The 82% of men who agreed are obviously aware that women value men's opinions, perhaps aleving them of any concern for their (women's) needs.
Women and men again answered similarly in Question 7 when asked if physical appearance was more important than personality in attracting someone of the opposite sex. Again, 100% of all female participants said yes. All but 1 male participant agreed. Despite individual claims that personality is important, both sexes have clearly stated here that physical appearance is more important in attraction of the opposite sex. Had the question included what was more important in a relationship, answers may have been different.
Question 8 illustrates one of only two questions answered the same for all male survey participants: would you lose respect for someone who was willing to have sex with you after just meeting you? All men answered yes. Only 38% of female survey participants agreed, showing a disparaging difference. Women who are attracted to men on sight, such as in Study 1 during a fight at a party, may not realize that their willingness to have sex with someone they barely know may cost them the respect of that person, since they themselves see it differently. Conversely, men feel that their use and disrespect is warranted since they lose respect for women through the actions women take. In other words, women who are "easy" do not gain the respect of men.
In Question 9, most female and all male survey participants agree that men who play sports are more attractive to women. Since men who play sports are usually more muscular, competitive, and aggressive, a preference for these traits is apparent in women's desire for these men. The survey results also indicate that, again, men are aware that women have a preference for these traits and likely act accordingly in order to become attractive to many women.
A similar number of male respondents (64%) and women respondents (69%) agree and answer yes to Question 10: So most women enjoy it when men fight over them? Though some women may not…