"It's not spiders I dislike, just people." -Petra
Question #91815 posted on 11/19/2018 12:36 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Do most masculine manly men end up with feminine girly girls?

-Broey

A:

Dear Bro,

I don't know where to get any data on this, so any answer I could give you would be speculation. It seems to be a common trope that this is true, but personally I'm skeptical as to how wide spread it actually is. Also, this depends heavily on how you define masculinity and femininity. Like, if you think it's super manly to live out in the mountains, scaling cliffs, then my guess would be that a guy like that would end up with a girl who loves those same kinds of activities. And if a girl who loves living out in the mountains doesn't sound super girly and feminine to you, then the answer to your question is no. 

But this brings up another point: is masculinity and femininity defined by what we do or who we are? Personally, I think it's the latter because honestly, I don't think that activities are inherently masculine or feminine. There are definitely social constructs that cause us to associate different activities with different genders, but that's ultimately dependent on culture and not the activities themselves. However, defining masculinity and femininity to be based on who we are raises the question as to what aspects of our personality/character/being actually make us masculine and feminine. While this is something I've thought about a lot, I haven't come to any solid conclusions. The most I can say is that there are times where I seem to instinctively sense masculinity and femininity, but it's the same way that I seem to sense beauty: I seem to just inherently know what it is, but can't wrap any words around it.

Anyways, none of this answers your question, but you're welcome for bringing up more questions.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Broey, 

While perfect statistical data doesn't exist to answer your question (because there is no real way to measure masculinity and femininity,) I can tell you that there have been lots of sociological studies done about marriages and relationships between people with different gender role ideologies. In fact, right now I'm working on designing a study about marriage satisfaction in connection with gender role expectations. 

The two big patterns I've learned from my readings: 

1) Women who have a more egalitarian view on gender roles are generally less happy when they are in relationships with men who have more traditional views 

2) Couples who share views on how gender roles ought to be in their relationship are happier because their viewpoints are more harmonious.

Now, what I can't tell you is that "manly" men always end up with "girly" girls. Why? Because I don't think there is actually a trend. Maybe there was in the past because anything but traditional gender ideologies was frowned upon... so nearly everyone that got married followed the 'manly men' - 'girly girl' stereotype. But times are a-changin' and new wave feminism, gender politics, and individualism have transformed the way we think about personal identity, which in turn drastically changes how we understand relationships. So in 10-20 years, I highly doubt that the trend will exist anymore -- if it even exists currently. 

That being said, people with more compatible gender ideologies are more likely to be in long-term relationships and be happier in those relationships because they agree on the division of labor and responsibilities within the relationship. So maybe 'traditionally masculine' men with traditional gender ideologies probably are more likely to end up in long-term relationships with 'traditionally feminine' women and vice versa. The relationships where people aren't fighting over their roles are probably going to last longer. 

Summarized, I don't think it's fair to say manly men end up with girly girls, but I do believe that people who share gender ideologies are more likely to gravitate towards each other in relationships. This can mean that girly girls and manly men end up with each other, but only if they also believe in 'traditional' gender roles that fit the characteristics of the other person. 

And of course, as with all sociological data, this is a general trend and agency of all people still exists and people can love whomever they choose. 

Cheers, 

Guesthouse