How Men Relate to Women
and the Relationship Train Wreck
Richard Driscoll, PhD
Opposites as Equals
Richard Driscoll with Nancy Ann Davis
Gender Relationships Head South
Ill will abounds
33% of women report being typically resentful of men
14% of men are typically resentful of women
Resentment runs twice as high among women
40% of children born to single mothers
The traditional family is now an alternative lifestyle
Women report increasing unhappiness
(over 35 years, compared to men).
Be It Proposed that:
Vast differences can be identified between men and
(inherited from our ancestors through natural selection)
Combine with current circumstances
>> Explain our differences and help identify solutions.
?? How many here believe that important differences are
The Nature of Lust
Young males are more interested in casual sex
And any culture, primitive or industrial, past or present,
anywhere in the world.
In many animal species (with only a few exceptions).
Tomcats go through rain, sleet, and snow, like the postman…
U. of Hawaii study
Students were approached by an attractive confederate,
flattered, and then invited for a tumble. How many agreed?
Of the young men,
Of the young women,
Who has sex more frequently and with more partners,
men or women?
Logically, since it is a joint activity, men and women do it on
average at the same in frequency and with the same number of
Men compensate women
By principles of supply and demand, since men are more eager,
sex with women becomes the more valuable commodity.
So women are in a better position to require compensation for
their sexual favors.
Evolution and parental investment
Since males may invest much less in each youngster, male genes
proliferate through opportunistic sex.
Since females invest more in each offspring, female genes do better
to go slower and choose more carefully.
Nature + Nurture
Individual qualities are from inheritance + experience
30% or more of individual qualities are inherited
If we realized how important genes are,
we would be more careful about who we let into ours.
Eavesdropping on Arguments
John Gottman at U. of Washington observes couples in
his "Love Lab."
Helps couples identify an "area of concern."
Asks them to work together to find a resolution.
Naturally, of course, they argue.
Video cameras and stress indicators record reactions.
The method is multiple observations of actual arguments,
and then analysis.
Women more often initiate arguments, argue harder, and have the
Men are more apt to avoid arguments when possible or concede,
placate, or withdraw from confrontations.
Women are more comfortable in arguments and recover faster
Men are more highly stressed, intimidated, and confused and feel
trashed and bitter longer afterward.
"In the sea of conflict, men sink and women swim."
While we expect men to dominate, the findings are just the
Men want to appear stronger, and women to appear more
understanding, so we pretend we are as we wish to be seen.
Men who acquiesce or otherwise avoid offending women have
more mating invitations and more offspring.
Women who insist and berate require more of a commitment and
thus gain more support for their offspring.
Marriages are better when men and women participate
To better resolve conflict, you must learn to be more comfortable
with it. Recognize that it is normal for women to be more easily
upset and irritated than men, but that women also get over it
faster. Do not interpret it as a great catastrophe when your mate
is bothered about something.
Stay involved, and try to talk it out.
You might realize that men are more vulnerable in conflict than
they appear and slower to recover from it.
Be careful to accurately gauge how much stress your
accusations inflict, and make allowances.
High stress in arguments predicts poor outcomes
We can reduce stress in multiple ways.
"Shield Out Hostility" training reduces stress
Shields against anger, criticism, contempt, manipulation
Involves physical sequences combined with protective images
80% of participants report benefits
Available at: stressbusterCDs.com
"Personal Shielding To Deflect Hostility."
Men and women have favorite weaknesses:
Men are more inclined to casual sex (lust)
Women are more inclined to casual resentment (anger).
Women hardly understand why men lust.
Men hardly understand why women fuss,
"I have become increasingly angry, as the alternative is depression."
Feminist pioneer Gloria Steinem
"Choosing to be angry… means you're feeling fully alive."
Use Your Anger: A Woman's Guide To Empowerment
Support for Men Promotes Equality
Men are not bound and gagged in arguments with women.
It just seems that way.
Traditional standards act to remedy an emotional
imbalance, promoting more egalitarian relationships.
Patriarchy and the traditional support for men have fallen out of
Yet patriarchy calls upon women to soften their superior
emotional firepower and to listen to their husbands, so that men
might have a place in families.
In the absence of a counterbalance, women complain and men
withdraw, leaving relationships emotionally barren and families
the Invisible Comptroller
Regardless of ideology or geography, affluence, race, creed, or
color, or liberal or conservative philosophy…
We can agree that men ought to support and protect women
and not harm them or allow others to do so.
Refers to the tendency for men to support and protect women.
Is considered a flimsy folktale and seldom mentioned.
Is found to be universal and involves intense passions.
Is the invisible standard between men and women.
Chivalry provides advantages.
Champ Chimpski rescues fair damsel
Males who support females against
offending males gain mating opportunities
Males who support males against females
leave a smaller genetic footprint.
Chivalry amid Famine
Among Rhesus monkeys in Calcutta, females and a males ate
while adolescent males starve
Among famished rats at Rutgers, females ate 60% of the
Amid shipwrecks, such as the Titanic, women and children are
saved while men are sacrificed.
It is human nature to sacrifice males so that females might
Men take the risks
Inga, Org, and the snake.
Chivalrous genes are invited into the next generation
Of the 10 most dangerous occupations, all are
Cell tower repairman tops current lists.
The most dangerous is
War sacrifices men
In Iraq, women comprised 15% of the American military,
but mercifully, only 2% of fatalities.
A glass of whiskey in your face
Is an assault by a man,
but merely a rebuff by a woman
If a man stabbing a woman to death is a 10 (truly heinous).
A woman stabbing a man is a …
6 (serious, but perhaps understandable) .
He is a menace, and hardly a man at all.
She is still a woman, and very much available although perhaps a
In physical altercations
Men and women grab, push, slap, and worse, at about the same
frequency (in 11%–12% of relationships)
Women report such violations 10 times more often than
(what sort of fool would hand his wife over to other men, infuriate
her, and maybe loose her forever, over a few hits?)
We hear more and are more concerned about men
harming women , producing biased impressions
The Master Illusionist
Being openly critical of women is socially improper now, as it
always has been, while being publicly critical of men is more
readily tolerated and increasingly prevalent.
The combination of feminine firepower and chivalrous sympathies
turn public attitudes against men.
" A man defending husbands vs. wives or men vs. women
has got about as much chance as a traffic policeman
trying to stop a mad dog by blowing two whistles."
Supporting women and criticizing men, but suppressing
the opposing arguments, creates a substantial bias.
As we look at only one side of the story, our chivalrous
biases morph into an absurdly lopsided sense of reality.
Nobody has ever suggested we can understand each other by
hearing only one side of the controversies.
Suggestion: Be careful about how much of the propaganda
Why men earn more
We hear commonplace accusations that women earn only
76% or so of what men earn:
Several analyses show men work tougher, riskier, less pleasant
jobs and work more hours.
Of mothers with professional degrees, fully 54% choose not to
work full time.
Such repetitious accusation suggests extreme prejudice,
and spreads ill will toward men.
Men who earn less than women are considered slackers.
Equal treatment before the law helps stabilize marriages
and softens the ill will when couples do divorce.
Researchers found that states that moved toward shared custody
arrangements had falling divorce rates over the next five years,
compared to states that maintained residential custody for
mothers and visitation for fathers.
When fathers want to remain involved, a strong preference for
joint custody should be a no-brainer.
Yet chivalrous sympathies run high, and most courts award
custody to mothers while fathers fade into occasional visitors.
Suggestion: agree now to share
All Inequalities Are Not Created Equal
Some inequalities are so firmly ingrained in human nature
that it makes no sense to argue for or against them.
Could we be comfortable risking women, as in war, when men can
take the risks instead?
Can we be honest about chivalrous standards?
Possibly. Maybe. It is worth a try. Good luck!
Why do women berate? Why Now?
Women have more emotional firepower
Our chivalrous natures support women against men
Now integrated into broader society, women influence
Our social masquerades ignore vast, innate differences.
Are women oppressed?
Answer: Who wants to argue against angry women?
Feminism Harms Women
The feminist agenda has made tremendous inroads into American
culture over the last 35 years.
The General Science Survey shows that happiness among women
declined a substantial 4½ percentile compared to men, over these
Feminism generally holds that women are oppressed but can
accomplish wonderful things once the oppression is overthrown.
How might ideological feminism contribute to unhappiness?
Wounding Its Own
Feminists are indifferent to the satisfactions of motherhood.
In spite of widening workplace opportunities, women find that it
is not easy to accomplish great things, raise a family, and still have
a free moment to oneself.
The ideology of oppression increases bitterness among women.
The false sense of being oppressed can be as harmful as actual
Note: "The problem that has no name" is called existential angst,
rootlessness, superficiality, the human condition.
It is not an index of oppression and not peculiar to women.
Oppressed by your imagination
Believe they work more hours, while research shows men and
women work about the same.
Are paid for their accomplishments, the same as men.
Are increasingly fearful of being assaulted, while violations go
both ways about equally.
Are increasingly worried about being molested or raped
Are increasingly resentful and harmed by their own resentments.
Are increasingly immune from the constructive criticism which
might improve their outlooks.
Is common among birds but rare among mammals
Began 1.7 million years ago among our hominid ancestors
Fatherhood doubled the resources available to a family
Provided support for increased intelligence, innovation, and from
Fatherhood is losing out to "choice for women."
Fatherhood is the goose that laid the golden egg.
Cooperation Yields Mutual Benefits
A committed marriage introduces meaning and purpose
amid the confusion and rootlessness of life.
Married men become more responsible, and are healthier.
Married women are safer and better off financially.
The best solutions benefit not just one or the other of us
but men and women jointly and about equally.
Lucky in Love
Download power point slides at:
"Opposites as Equals" and "Personal Shielding" are
A facilitators guide (draft) is available for small group
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