Girls Can Now Be The Princess On the White Horse
February 16, 2013

Girls Can Now Be The Princess On the White Horse

Oh, how the gender roles have changed!?! Recently, reveled its latest study about gender roles. It found that while most courtship conventions of the past have changed, some of those old traditions still hold on… although in a bit of a different way.

Today, men and women see dating differently than years past. Whereas a scant fifty years ago, men were expected to lead the dating realm, today many women either take the reins or at least share them. The prince on the white horse might just be a princess today.

In fact, Queendom found that a vast majority of both men and women felt that either gender could initiate the date: 77 percent of men and 70 percent of women. Furthermore, 65 percent of women have asked a man out or would be willing to do so. In fact, most of the statistics were pretty close like this.

For instance, 26 percent of men want full control of how the relationship plays out in terms of the number of dates, the speed at which the relationship moves, and even when to meet each other’s family members, while 27 percent of women want to make these decisions. Thirty-nine percent of men preferred women to lead, and 31 percent of women preferred men lead. And 35 percent of men and 43 percent of women wanted the lead to be mutual.

Those are pretty close, which means that as far as leading the relationship goes, men and women feel mostly the same about who makes these types of decisions.

This means that women no longer have to be submissive or demure in their role. They can and do speak their minds and contribute to the decisions of the relationships. As President of PsychTests, Dr. Ilona Jerabek, noted, “This doesn’t mean that men are off the hook and don’t need to put an effort into romance anymore. The modern woman still likes romance, but it’s now a shared endeavor, with both genders putting an effort into the relationship.”

Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the study came in the form of generational differences. Younger men and women held more traditional courtship views than older generations.

Here are just a few of these generational differences:

  • 60 percent of men under 30 and 76 percent of men over 30 feel that a woman should be able to propose to a man.
  • 64 percent of women under 30 and 72 percent of women over 30 think it’s ok to be the one to
    ask a man to marry them.
  • 26 percent of men under 30 and 14 percent of men over 30 believe that it should be the man who asks the woman out, not vice versa.
  • 66 percent of women under 30 and 71 percent of women over 30 have either asked a man out or would consider doing it.

I really can’t help but wonder if this is more a result of maturity and confidence than one of true value beliefs. I teach college students, mostly under the age of 30, and I think they would be embarrassed.  Not because they did not believe that either men or women were equal, but more so because they are young, oh so young. Maybe I am wrong, but I really think that with a bit more time to mature and find confidence, these under 30 stats will look more like those over 30 ones.

What all of this says to me still is that chivalry is not just a male thing anymore. We all want to be wined and dined, and most believe that this progress contributes to a healthier and more balanced relationship.

So, go buy your boy a single rose wrapped in ribbon or take your girl for a romantic picnic under the stars. Maybe just initiate a slow dance in the living room with your husband or show up at your wife’s work and surprise her with a lunch. Whoever takes the lead role, definitely show each other the love.

Image Credit: Angela Hawkey / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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