One always has this picture of men being ‘commitment-phobes’; scared of saying the two most dangerous words on this entire planet – “I do”. Remember the Chris O’Donell and Renee Zellweger starrier movie The Bachelor? It has a scene that has Chris O’Donnel in a black tuxedo running for his life from what looks like all the single women in the world wearing a wedding dress. That scene perfectly describes the ‘slippery bachelor’ phenomenon to you.
However, a survey funded by Match.com throws a completely different light on this matter. It was found that single men are about just as likely to want marriage as single women. Single men seemed to have far more open minds than women when it came to issues such dating people of different religion or race, desire to start their own family, and eagerness to combine bank accounts. Do I hear women choking over themselves and the men chortling in glee at the manner in which they’ve been vindicated?
Of course you’d say that a study that has been sponsored by Match.com is bound to have a skewed perspective on this matter. After all they do have a vested interested in the whole affair. They would go around propagating a rosy picture of relationships – they make their money by bringing the partner-less together. However, with bigwigs like Helen Fisher, anthropologist at Rutgers University and social historian Stephanie Coontz associated with this research, there is no scope for any hanky-panky at all.
This study involved 5,200 people in the age group of 21-65 years, either engaged or in a serious relationship. It was found that just as many men as women wanted to get married. Younger men (21-24 years) and older men (50 years and above) approached the institution of marriage quite favorably. However, when it came to women, they seemed to lack the enthusiasm to marry in the years between 25 and 50, when the demands of their uterus’ is the most!
In fact this difference between the sexes seems to only widen in other issues. While 50% of the single men in the age group of 21 to 35 years wanted kids, only 46% of the women in the same age group expressed this desire. As age progressed, 16% of the women with no children but with the biological ability to produce them wanted kids whereas this figure among men was 27%. Finally more women than men could state confidently that they’d like to skip parenthood altogether.
Says Helen Fisher “Women are likelier to want to have their own bank accounts, their own interests, their own personal space and solo vacations, even if they’re in a committed relationship.” The same idea is reinforced by Mark Regnerus, a sociologist at the University of Texas at Austin who believes that growing economic independence has led women to view the institution of marriage in a different light. “For them more than men, marriage has to be good or it’s not worth trading their new-found independence for.”
So, whose being slippery now? There’s dead silence from the woman’s side but I can still hear the men chortling away to glory.