December 31, 2012
Insecure, Delusional Men And Female Chauvenism
Women: You can’t live with them; you can’t live without them. A new study proposes that men’s insecurities about relationships could lead some to adopt sexist views towards women.
The delusions of gender are apparently rampant among insecure men.
A new study at Union College, led by Joshua Hart, assistant professor of psychology, “suggests that men’s insecurities about relationships and conflicted views of women as romantic partners and rivals could lead some to adopt sexist attitudes about women.”
Hart and his co-authors surveyed over 400 heterosexual men to get their takes on questions about their attachment styles, hostile and benevolent sexism, and their views on romance.
Some explanations are required to make sense of some of the terms:
Attachment style refers to how people relate to one another when it comes to intimate relationships. Attachment styles are defined by two personality traits: attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance. Each of the two traits reveal different kinds of relationship insecurities. People who are low in both traits are deemed to be secure in their attachment style.
Hostile sexism portrays women as mean-spirited adversaries whose sole goal in life is to dominate men while benevolent sexism respects them as objects to be adored, but also fragile and needy of chivalrous treatment.
“Previous research has found that some men view women as offering the possibility of romantic fulfillment, but also competing with them in areas such as the workplace, where both vie for similar resources.
Hart’s study found that anxiously attached men tend to be indecisive sexists—both hostile and benevolent—whereas avoidantly attached men typically endorse hostile sexism, while rejecting benevolent sexism.”
In a nutshell, those men deemed anxiously attached can’t make up their mind on whether to adore the objects of their affection or hate them. They alternate based on their emotions or how they deem they’ve been treated-“acting like a knight in shining armor when she fulfills his goals and ideals about women, but like an ogre when she doesn’t”, said Hart.
With the gender lines being blurred more and more every day, as I explored in November, and research like this being published, women are no longer the objects of adoration that they once may have been.
Also, the lines are being blurred in the household and workplace, as I explored earlier this month, so based on my blogging alone it’s pretty clear that the gender roles in America are changing drastically.
I can’t be the only one taking notice; I don’t just make this stuff up.
I like to think of myself as a secure man, as I’m sure most do, but I can’t help but compare myself to the research.
When things are going my way, and my wife’s fulfilling all of my expectations, of course I’m nicer to her and all full of chivalry, and the same can be said for the opposite circumstances. When things aren’t going my way, everything’s her fault, and I probably treat her like a real jerk, so this research doesn’t seem like much of a surprise in that sense.
That is to say, it makes absolutely perfect sense. (To me, that is.)
The findings highlight exactly how individual personality traits could predispose men to become sexists, according to Hart. This information could help couples build stronger relationships, particularly those participating in therapy.
Image Credit: Alexander Tihonov / Shutterstock