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Friday, May 12, 2006

Do the Sexes Really Have Secrets?

It would seem that I'm am going downhill for the last few weeks. Since the end of my semester, I have become a bit of a tv junkie. Not that I don't watch tv at all during the semester...I stopped doing that my senior year of college, but I have indulged a bit more than I normally do. Last Friday night, my kids were gone with their dad, and I was free to watch "grown-up tv." Some of you remember "grown-up tv." It's that stuff you watch when your kids aren't around.

No, I didn't watch the Chippendales..stop laughing...really!

Instead, I watched something really cool and mildly educational about...the sexes. Yes, I am a boring person, but this series I saw on PBS really rocked! It is a three part series called, aptly, Secrets of the Sexes.The first episode, "Brainsex" questions whether men and women are really, really different. For those of us "out in the field," this is a no-brainer sort of questions. The answer is yes, we are different! Scientists being scientists, however, need more proof,and apparently, so did BBC. So they did a survey and actually brought real people into a lab for deeper investigation. While I expected them to find things that we already know to be true, it turns out that maybe we don't know as much as we think about the other sex. My favorite study was the one they did on promiscuity. It's pretty widely accepted that men are pigs concerning sex, that they think about it often, and that they are only interested in sex, while women are less concerned with sex.

Not so, say the amazing BBC scientists!

According to their work, which included surveys and brain scans, women think about sex about as much as men do. So much for that idea that men are libido driven monsters. The scientists have discovered our female secret!

The second episode is called Attraction, and is by far the episode I enjoyed the most. The BBC scientists are at it again as they set up a speed dating service for twenty young singles (I didn't see a one of them that were old I tell you), and after some study, they attempted to match the singles to other singles in a scientific manner. I thought for sure the scientists would succeed. They did things like discover what woman is actually men's ideal (turns out Queen was right...men dig fat bottomed women), and what man is actually women's idea (the guy looks like a mix between Superman and Aquaman...muscular, but not overly so, and a nice chiseled look to his face). They also theorized that we often choose partners that have similar facial structures. All of this is rather news to me.

In this episode we also meet some of the twenty participants. One was a young woman I couldn't believe was dateless, but anything is possible. There was also a man my age that was an anthropology lecturer at one of the open universities, I think. He was either Welsh or Scottish--I think Welsh. He felt that he was not that attractive. The scientists dressed him in his usual clothing, put him out on the street to talk to women...and no one would give him the time of day. Then they changed his clothes...he was wearing a nice leather jacket, dark sunglasses, and nice clothes. Suddenly, womeon were interested in him. The funny thing is that later on, during the speed dating, many women thought he was sweet, but none of them were really interested in a relationship. They liked him, but not that way. I thought it was sad because he was actually quite attractive, funny, and seemed like a genuinely good guy...but he was passed over.

What I found most amusing is that all the hypotheses set by the brilliant BBC scientists were off base. Only one couple they'd matched up actually got together, and then it didn't last long. For all the wonders of science, it still can't define how we fall in love. In a way, that's a comforting thought. I kind of like the shroud of mystery and magic that hovers around falling in love. If all it took was a little science, we'd all find our mates with only little trouble.

The final episode was on love. It primarily focused on couples having issues and blocking love. I liked it, but having been at that place where you can't save a marriage, it was tough to watch. Still, at least one couple was helped by therapy and a little science. The cool part is that the participants were able to learn how they deal with things differently and that sometimes the way your spouse acts in certain situations is based on chemistry as well as personality and love. It was a bit of an eyeopener for me and it explained a lot about how I respond to certain things, and how I can change how I reaspond.

So do we have secrets? It would seem that we do...let's all revel in those differences, and instead of worrying about what the other has, let's find ways we can be together, work together, and ultimately, love together.


  • At 8:28 PM, Blogger Bill, the Wildcat said…

    One of my online friends is a young actress in New York. For some reason, our conversations were usually very frank with each of us willingly "spilling the secrets" so to speak of the other sex. We discussed the ability of men and women to be faithful in a relationship, and it was interesting. In some ways, it did sound a little like women find this easier, but not as easy as I might have thought. Always made for an interesting conversation.

  • At 1:01 AM, Blogger JessN said…

    I think faithfulness has a lot to do with several things that are going on inside a person:

    1. personal belief
    2. personal insecurities with the relationship they are in
    3. personal ability to control desires

    I think women do find it a little easier as well, but I'm not sure why.


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