Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Misunderstood Male Quiz - The Answers

I was supposed to post the answers to Monday's quiz on The Misunderstood Male, but I got busy with homework and forgot - so here are the answers (source).


1. Men understand women better than women understand men. TRUE
Long ago men accepted the fact that there is no way they are ever going to understand women. They understand that they don’t understand them. Women, however, still believe that they understand men—and they don’t. Women tend to believe if a man were (1) more mature; (2) mentally healthy; and/or (3) in touch with reality—then he’d be more like a woman. Expecting a man to be like a woman is the first step to misunderstanding men.

2. Women talk more than men. FALSE
The earlier studies that indicated that women talk more than men (e.g. one showed that men use 7,000 words a day and women use 20,000) have now been overturned and invalidated. Men talk just as much as women—when they feel connected. Connection is the key.

3. Men need more touching than women. YES, YEP, AFFIRMATIVE, CONFIRMED.
When two people touch oxytocin is released. This is the bonding chemical that makes you feel close and want to snuggle. Oxytocin is also an amnesic, i.e. it makes you forget the bad times and disappointments. Estrogen enhances the effects of oxytocin and testosterone offsets the effects of oxytocin. Because the average man has more testosterone than the average women, they need more touching to feel close and bonded. Most men are “touch deprived.” Many women miss this important fact and fail to take advantage of an easy way to get closer to a man.

4. Men hate to talk. FALSE.
Men don’t hate to talk it’s just that they don’t get high from it like women do. If you look at the brain activity of a woman when she is talking, the pleasure and reward center is lit up like a Texas football field—they get off on it! It’s not that way with men. For eons women have used bonding and staying in communication as a primary coping mechanism, even more than the traditional strategies of fight or flight. Because of the survival value of talking, she is reinforced with feelings of pleasure and reward. A smart man knows one way to a woman’s heart is through conversation. A smart woman knows connect first; talk second.

5. Men aren’t as in touch with their feelings as women. FALSE
In fact, there is evidence that men feel as deeply, even more deeply, than women. They do tend to use fewer emotional words than women which can lead women to wrongly believe that a man isn’t in touch with his feelings. To accuse a man of being insensitive and unfeeling is not only wrong—it’s rude.

6. Relationships aren’t as important to men as they are to women. SO VERY FALSE
This is well beyond the truth. If you look at research, when a man gets divorced or loses his mate: depression goes up; drinking goes up; suicide goes up; unemployment goes up; his salary goes down; his health goes down. Relationships are vital to men in every way!

7. Work is the most important thing in a man’s life. FALSE
While it is true that a man (as well as society) judges a man by his ability to provide via work, a man will tell you that work has meaning because of the important people in his life. A woman may argue, “Well, he would go to work if I weren’t in his life!” And she would be right—but it wouldn’t have the same meaning. The woman in his life gives his life meaning over and above everything else. If you can get this one fact firmly anchored in your psyche, you will be one giant step toward understanding men.

8. Men think about sex more than women do. TRUE
All embryo are female until the 8th week of gestation when a flood of testosterone turns females into males. The primary result of this hormone bath is killing off of brain cells in the emotional language center and increasing brain cells in the sex and aggression center. So, yes, men do think about sex more than women, but this only applies to about 2/3 of men; the other 1/3 are more sensitive and emotional and need intimacy and relationship contact to think about sex, much like 2/3 of women.

9. Men are more aggressive than women. FALSE
If you factor in female ways of aggression, i.e. words and relationships, women are just as aggressive as men; in fact, there is some evidence that women are more aggressive than men.

10. A man’s greatest vulnerability is fear of control. FALSE
Men are far more susceptible to shame than to fear. The greatest vulnerability of a man is appearing weak, inadequate or failing at being a protector, provider, parent and/or lover. Generally speaking, women do not understand how important it is to a man to please his partner as well as the people he loves. This is why a loved one’s unhappiness and/or criticism have such a devastating effect on a man.

11. You connect to a man the same way you connect to a woman. FALSE
Women connect more through talking; men connect more through touching. If you want a man to talk, connect with him first. Women talk to connect; men have to connect to talk. Touch him; affirm him; ask for his help (“Honey, would you just listen to me for a couple minutes while I figure something out?”) Men love to help, they love to please; they also need and want connection.

12. A man’s favorite words are “Honey, we need to talk.” FALSE
However, it could be if most of your conversations went something like this: “Honey, do you realize how much I love and appreciate you? I realize I don’t always say it, but you make me so happy in so many ways. I just don’t tell you this enough. That’s all I needed you to hear. Thanks for listening!”


10-12 correct answers - The men in your life have just voted you woman of the year!
6-9 correct answers - Adjusting your perceptions for gender uniqueness is going to make your life 100% easier!
5 or less - Now you know why it’s been so difficult; understand him and you’ll be surprised at how quickly he’ll appreciate you!

Seriously, though, this offers some useful information to help couples understand each other better.


Marsha Lucas, PhD said...

This is great. And I did remarkably well, for a woman. ;)

I'd love a reference for the oxytocin/estrogen/testosterone finding in #3. DO you have any leads?


william harryman said...

Hi Marsha,

I think it's pretty established that touch increases oxytocin levels, so I looked for the connection between oxytocin and hormones:

Effect of oxytocin on testosterone production by isolated rat Leydig cells is mediated via a specific oxytocin receptor -

Oxytocin—its role in male reproduction and new potential therapeutic uses -

The effect of oxytocin on oestradiol-17{beta} and testosterone secretion by cultured human granulosa cells -

It seems that the presence of oxytocin actually increases testosterone levels (touch = arousal in men?).

Region-specific effect of testosterone on oxytocin receptor binding in the brain of the aged rat -

But it also appears that restoring lowered levels of testosterone in aging rats also increases and normalizes the number of oxytocin receptors.

It seems that the relationship works in both directions, i.e., that the body-brain tries to keep testosterone and oxytocin within a specific range/ratio to each other.

However, there are also a lot of studies showing that men with higher levels of testosterone are also more likely to cheat - so maybe what they need in their primary relationship is more non-sexual touch to increase oxytocin levels?

Hope that helps!