Male Initiation and Female Passivity In The Dating Game

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by Xaos, Mar 16, 2014.

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  1. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Why do most straight relationships form by the male doing the asking out and the female waiting to be asked out?
  2. Twocky61

    Twocky61 Banned Member

    It is to do with tradition Xaos - same as the 29th February in a leap year being the one day in four years a female can ask a male out or propose - Daft I know; though I don't think it really applies now in this modern age of women being more outgoing & independent
  3. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    I've not really stumbled across any females asking any males out - it may just be one of those unexplained things.

    Confidence in doing so is key - regardless of whichever way it goes - and to me, it doesn't actually matter who asks who out. I think there's more knowledge of females being slightly more emotionally receptive towards rejection for what I do know, so I would possibly see that playing a part (not saying guys don't fear rejection - they do - I just haven't seen as much of that offline as I have the other way).

    One last thing - For all the women I've dated I've made the first move... And so far - the one that's lasted the most is the one I pursued for 6 months prior to starting. Who turned out to be my son's mum. So there's a decent possibility this one i'm now in will last a fair while too (not putting a guaranteed split or not on it... )
  4. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    I guess a woman doesn't want to come off desperate or too forward.
  5. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the responses, shame this topic didn't pick up, was hoping for more opinions on this curious gender norm.
  6. JohnADreams

    JohnADreams Well-Known Member

    There's always a lot said in evolutionary psychology about this subject but if you want the long story short then....males risk and females choose. It's perfectly fine for a man to be an evolutionary dead end as this doesn't damage the next generation in any significant way. It also doesn't provide much risk from a social standpoint as (worthy) men will not be shamed for enacting such a risk bit if any men are harmed, they are expendable enough to be beyond concern.

    Men must be willing to be shamed through feeling rejection to have any kind of romantic connection and, in contrast, women are shamed for not rejecting enough.
  7. Growing Pains

    Growing Pains Well-Known Member

    It's actually very easily explained if you look at it from a sociology perspective.

    Society basically hard wires most of us to behave a certain way. If we don't, we stand out like sore thumbs. This is what defines mental illness. In fact, some traits that would get one labeled with a psychological disorder in the DSM in our society, would not be considered a psychological disorder in another society! For example, some cultures consider it perfectly normal for one to speak to spirits. Whereas, in our society, it would most likely be labeled 'psychosis'. This is, of course, going a bit off topic. But there is a point to my rambling.

    As a transgender, I have grown to believe that the difference between sex and gender is that sex is how we are born, gender is how we are socialized. Without socialization into a specific gender, I would even argue that gender - as we know and think about it - would not exist. This is why someone can be transgender. Because gender is more a socialized trait or a mind frame than a biological trait. According to societal norms, men and women behave differently. Many feminists will argue with you until they're blue in the face about this, but one could say that they merely go against the societal norms.

    From the day we're born pretty much, we are 'hardwired' to be male or female. Typically, females are expected to be nurturing. Since most people who are labeled 'girl' at birth will grow up to have children and a husband (certainly not all, but definitely most), society expects them to possess the traits that make for a nurturing female. These include passivity (as you put it), submissiveness, docile, gentleness, kindness, caring, etc. Psychology and sociology alike acknowledge that women are often socialized to behave as such (and may be a bit pre-programmed to, but that would be getting into nature vs nurture). Even philosophy acknowledges this, by pointing out most women have care morals, while men have judge morals (men tend to value justice over caring, women are the other way around - interestingly, I scored in the middle when I took the test in my philosophy course - I am transgender, so my gender is a bit more fluid, so this isn't surprising - most of the other students scored as expected.. women, caring. men, justice). Because of what is expected from women in most societies, they will seldom initiate a conversation with a potential date. However, if you actually pay attention, you will be able to tell when a woman is interested. Looks, stares, smiles, etc. Men, on the other hand, are expected to be workers in most societies. As such, they are expected to display traits that would make a valuable worker. Strength, forwardness, things of the like. As a result, they are expected to make most of the decisions. This makes sense when you consider dating. If men are expected to make decisions in society, and women are expected to be passive, the man is usually going to initiate in the dating game.

    I realize this is perpetuating gender stereotypes, but ignoring that they exist is ignoring sociology and psychology alike. They only exist, though, because we are reared in a society that makes them exist. Women are taught that rejection is terrible, and that being desperate is bad. They are taught that being forward makes them too easy. Whereas men are taught the opposite. It shouldn't be this way. People should be able to initiate a potential date with whomever they want. Interestingly, people like myself, are kind of socialized the 'wrong' way. I take on many 'male' gender traits, yet still possess some 'female' ones. I often think this is because I'm the only sibling in my family who never had a steady father role. I don't date, though. When I did... I often initiated it, interesting to note.

    ETA: The post above me brings up good points, too. It's always important to consider both the biological/evolutionary perspective and the socialization one when discussing anything that has to do with society, culture, or psychology. Makes for very interesting conversations when you do.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 9, 2014
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