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Comments about the Opposite Sex Homework


Comments by Men

HOMEWORK INSTRUCTIONS Due date: Next class session. WORTH 10 POINTS

This is a writing assignment. Please do not write your name on your paper; instead, put the last 4 digits of your student ID # at the top of the page. Use a word processing software program (such as MS Word) to write your paper.

You comments will remain confidential -- I will not match your paper with your name.

Your paper should be between about 2 to 5 pages long. It will not be graded -- you will get full credit as long as you take this exercise seriously.

Print a copy of your paper, and give it to me at the next class session.

Later in the semester, we will review and discuss the comments.

Please write as thoughtfully, clearly, perceptively, and honestly as possible. Your classmates will read your anonymous comments, and some of your comments may be selected for inclusion in a book I am writing. (If, for some reason, you do not want your classmates to read your anonymous comments, or you do not want your anonymous comments included in the book, please write a note indicating this at the top of your paper.)

There are no "right" or "wrong" answers. Simply describe, as honestly as possible, what you feel and think. Again, all of your comments will remain anonymous.

In contemplating the traits of the opposite sex in general, as a group, write one or two paragraphs to answer each of the following questions. You do not need to include the question itself before your response. Also, think about what you actually like or dislike about the opposite sex IN GENERAL, not about the specific characteristics of one or two people you have known.

Also, you are writing about how you think the opposite sex actually is, not how might like them to be. Be honest -- don't try to censor your thoughts or worry whether they are politically correct.

When you are finished with your paper, save and print it.

Then you will need to also include your comments about the opposite sex with those of your classmates at our class wiki web site (see: http://drmillslmu.wikispaces.com/ ).

Log in. Click on our class, Psyc 310, and then click on Homework Assignment 1, (women's or men's responses, as appropriate.)

Click the "Edit This Page" button at the top of the page. Then scroll down to each question to paste in your response to that question, followed by the last four digits of your student ID. Click "Save" when you are done.

Note: If you are doing the "Reactions to the Comments by Men" homework, do NOT insert your results below. Instead insert them in the Reactions to Male Comments file. Due to the small number of men in this class, insert your responses with the comments from several men in previous semesters of this class:

#1. Think about the previous interactions you have had with the opposite sex. Has a situation ever occurred with someone of opposite sex that you found deeply puzzling and/or incomprehensible? And which you also think is somehow a function of that person's gender (not just the specific individual involved)? If so, think about what happened, and the behaviors, cognitions, motivations, or emotions of the opposite sex that you found particularly puzzling

1. There have been many instances in the past in which my girlfriend has expressed sudden jealousy and anger when I give attention to other people. Obviously, one could expect interactions with other girls to be a problem, with fears of undue flirting. However, this also occurs when I am giving attention to my male friends as well. While this could possibly be due in part to personality, I am convinced that it must mainly be an issue of gender. For one, I have had similar experiences with other women in my life ( e.g. my mom). Also, I cannot think of any male friend, family member, or acquaintance who has ever remotely displayed such a reaction. The most puzzling part of this is that these bouts of jealousy seem to often occur right after moments of pure contentment or intimacy between my girlfriend and I. It literally feels like there is a switch on the back of the head that turns on the bad vibes. With my mom, it seems to be more of a surpressed indignation over the family's general lack of appreciation for her efforts as a provider and organizer. When times are good, there's no mention of any problem. However, as soon as a dish is broken, or a trash bag is not taken out, there is hell to pay for how hard she strives to help the family "survive", and how little I or my father do to assist in the campaign. (0645)

1. A situation that has been confusing to me, with the opposite sex, is when you are out with a female and they get offended or upset when you make a comment about another female or just look at another female. It makes me wonder if they are really that insecure about themselves that they have to be made to thought they are the only female in the universe the moment they are with you. The thought process which females have puzzles me. What could they possibly be thinking that they think they are not guilty of finding other people attractive, they are also just human. The only difference is they don’t say anything and may observe someone of the opposite sex more discretely. When it comes down to it all I can think of to explain this is that they would rather just not know what we really think and just want to know and see what makes them, feel secure. Personally I don’t mind a female looking at someone else or making a comment, this make me feel more trusting of them since they don’t feel the need to hide things. (6163)

1. It seems as though women drop very subtle hints as to whether they consider you a friend or as something more. Most of which are ambiguous and difficult to decipher. I feel as though I must make the move and interpret them correctly as males must be viewed as the aggressor in pursuing a relationship. It’s hard because you don’t want to overstep your boundaries and make things awkward. I think women don’t ever want to be the aggressor and so must send out subtle hints to not appear that way. They also tend to date assholes. (4073)

1. I have a friend who may be the sweetest girl in the world. She is very smart and usually gives my friends, male and female, good advice about dating and relationships. However she has a propensity for falling for guys who are complete assholes and who treat her like shit. She currently likes this guy who a majority of our mutual friends feel is a douche bag. He is rude and inconsiderate not only to her but to us as well. The kicker is that this guy is not even particularly attractive. I think this just goes to show that even the best girls have a thing for arrogant, rude assholes. I just can’t comprehend why women are attracted to men who treat them so badly. (7737)

#2. In general, what do you like about the opposite sex? What do you dislike? Again, think of the opposite sex in general, as they actually are, not how you might like them to be different.

2. Overall, I think the most admirable trait of the female gender is its ability to love and care for others. Women seem to tap into these wells of thoughtfulness and consideration that try as I might, I will never find. The women in my life are always remembering my birthday (and furthermore give me gifts for it), calling to say "hi" because they miss me, and often deferring their own plans or pursuits to help me out when needed. In terms of dislikes, it seems that women have a tendency to over-analyze situations. Not only can this be annoying as a male who does his best to not "sweat the small stuff", it can sometimes be outright dangerous in a relationship with a woman, romantic or otherwise. In terms of annoyance, you can always count on a girl to have an hour-long soap opera story about how her friend told her such a thing, and how your friend cannot determine whether this has a hidden meaning and implication for their friendship or not. In terms of danger, one can never know when an impending arguement with a girl is incoming because of the most insignificant action or word on your part. For example, telling a female friend that you will call her when your group of friends goes out for dinner and forgetting, may take more than just a simple "sorry" to remedy. Also, offering to help another girl with an errand might be a declaration of war to your girlfriend. It sometimes seems that female cognition is almost wired completely differently from males. (0645)

2 .There are a number of things that I like about females. The sex appeal they have to me is one of the top things. Also, the maternal instincts they have are also something I like a lot considering my close relationship with my mother. They often bring a very different point of view of a given situation that their male counterpart would not. I dislike the way that they can be very “catty” with other females. I feel males see other males as competition to better them self whereas females just see other females as threats so they try to tear them down with words and assumptions of them. I also dislike their need for constant commitment even before any real relationship status has been established. (6163)

2. I like how different women are then men. They think differently by looking at the world with a more empathetic view and motivate us to be better. I also think women are objectively better looking. I dislike that they complain about problems but don’t ever feel the need to solve them. Any suggestion on what to do usually warrants a negative response. I also feel as though they blow a lot of situations out of proportion by over analyzing them. (4073)

2. I like the fact that women are generally clean and well groomed. Cleanliness and good hygiene are things that are important to me, and I can appreciate the effort that females put into themselves. I also like how women generally have sweet, caring, and nurturing dispositions. I like when women are like this with me, but I also like it when they extend this compassion to others, even strangers. I also admire the fact that women are strong and independent despite the obstacles they are met with. I dislike how women can be ridiculously stubborn and how they can hold grudges for obscene amounts of time. I also dislike how materialistic they can be. I especially dislike how women can be extreme feminists and act paranoid and project chauvinistic qualities on men simply because that’s what they expect or that’s how certain men have treated them. (7737)

#3. What is the one thing that the opposite sex most misunderstands about your own sex?

3. The opposite sex seems to believe that all men care/think about is sex. Yes it is true that men very often think of sex, but that is not the most important thing to men nor is that all men think about. I believe that women think about sex just as much as men do but women either do not like to admit it, do not know how to handle their feelings or fail to act upon their emotions/urges to protect their reputations/image. (7753)

3. The stereotype about men and emotions seems to be one of the biggest misunderstandings. In general, it seems that women either believe that men are emotionless or do not care for emotions. This is in fact untrue, and I believe I can say this not just for myself but even for the most "macho" kind of male. I know that I do my best to surpress displaying sadness or insecurity, admittedly sometimes because of the cultural pressure to be masculine or for other reasons. However, I know that I am also very much in touch with my emotions, and have even been complimented as being emotionally intelligent. I believe women are looking for certain benchmarks of emotion, such as sharing all our problems or insecurities with them, and asking how their day went. When these certain criteria are not met, they mistakenly assume that emotions are simply not the male forte. Guys care, and think about emotions a lot. We just do not always need to express them. (0645)

3. The most misunderstood thing about males is that females believe we are emotionally simple. This is far from the truth males just have different emotions provoked by certain things and even when the same emotions are provoked the way of dealing with said emotion is different for males. Males are just different, not simple. (6163)

3. Women think guys just care about sex. It may be true in some guys, but not all. And Ironically if a guy isn’t crazy about sex they feel as though the male isn’t interested in them or something is wrong with him. (4073) 3. I believe that the one thing that women most misunderstand about men is that the actions and flaws that they complain about us having are actually, whether they realize it or not, reinforced by how they treat and interact with us. Women complain about men being shallow and insensitive and treating them badly. However women are just as shallow in their dealings with men, and they are the ones who put up with and who are even attracted to men who treat them in these ways. If women didn’t date assholes then maybe they wouldn’t complain about their boyfriends treating them like dirt. I’m not saying that women who make mistakes like this deserve men treating them the way they do. No one deserves to be treated badly. All I’m saying is that women have a lot more control over the situation than they think. (7737)

#4. Think about a time when you found yourself particularly attracted to someone of the opposite sex. What characteristics of that person do you think attracted you? What was the most important factor that attracted you to this person, e.g., physical appearance, personality traits, self-confidence, social status, friendly gestures toward you, etc.?

4. When I first met my girlfriend, the first attraction was purely physical. I was struck by how pretty her face was, and then secondly attracted to the shape of her body. However, what made her stick in my mind was her "cool" almost aloof manner. She did not give me a particularly warm "girly" greeting. Instead, it was a polite greeting, and a general sense of disinterest in me. I am not sure if this made me crazy about her because she seemed so unattainable, or something else. However, my attraction to her deepened when I was informed by a friend that in fact she was incredibly attracted to me, and was attempting not to over-play her hand. (0645)

4. The physical characteristics that attract me to a female would be their breasts, butt, waist, face, and eyes. As far as personality goes humor and self confidence and being low key are very important. I would say the most important factor would be, prior to meeting physical attributes, after meeting demeanor and mannerism around me. (6163)

4. I have to be attracted to a girl to be interested in her. But she doesn’t have to be beautiful or gorgeous, just interesting. I know plenty of good looking girls who I’m repulsed by their behavior, beliefs, and lifestyles. I would take a cute girl with a great personality over an extremely attractive woman with a shitty personality. So on top of her physical attractiveness she has to be confident, intelligent, easy going, and have similar goals and ideals. (4073) 4. I’ll admit that I notice girls’ physical appearances when I meet them. However it takes much more than a girl’s looks for me to actually like her. I’m attracted to girls who are sweet, caring, compassionate and honest. I like girls who are all around good people and who treat others, be they male or female, with respect and dignity. Though I notice girls’ appearances, I’m by no means a shallow guy. Two things that typically catch my attention more than looks are eye contact and a genuine smile. (7737)

#5. In your opinion, what are the strengths and weaknesses of the opposite sex?

5. Females are for one, very caring. They are excellent at taking others' problems and internalizing them as their own to assist in helping to find solutions. Also, they tend to be much more organized than men. I rely on the women in my life to keep me on track with my appointments and cleaning of my room. Finally, women are very generous and will express their generosity even when it is not neccesary. For weaknesses, women tend to think emotionally, rather than logically. Also, while they are very detail-oriented it can sometimes bog them down with seemingly useless facts or analysis of situations. Also, constructive criticism can easily be interpreted as a personal attack to them. (0645)

5. Females are very good at being nurturing and compassionate, in general. Despite being emotional at times when big emotionally hard times come up they can be very strong and keep their composure well especially in front of others. Weaknesses would be their need to be complimented and reassured of their physical and personal characteristics constantly. Their unstable emotional extremes are also a weakness, they seem to run very hot and cold. (6163)

5. Their strengths are their ability to be empathetic, give an alternative perspective, and ability to communicate once in a relationship. Their weaknesses are their constant need for validation of their qualities and over analyzing of things. I would say they can be a bit too emotional. (4073)

5. I think women’s strengths are their ability to caring, understanding, and compassionate. Women are generally more in touch with their emotions and are better at reading other people’s emotions. Since they are good at recognizing the emotions of others, women are extremely good at empathizing with other people. I think women’s weakness is their ability to let their emotions get the best of them. When a woman is hurt, whether she is angry, sad, or any other mood, she tends to act impulsively and irrationally.


#6. Can you think of any instances in which you have personally been treated unfairly by the opposite sex? If so, give a brief description of what happened.

6. During my summer internship, my girlfriend was convinced that I was constantly flirting with other female interns. One time, I mentioned the accomplishments of one particular intern and foolishly mentioned that I thought they were rather admirable. I had only brought this up because I specifically wanted to share my internship with my girlfriend. However, a few days later, we ended up having a fight about my comment. She accused me of admiring another girl while not admiring her enough. It was useless to explain to her that my intentions in mentioning the other intern, was to comiserate and joke a bit with each other about how unaccomplished we were in our careers. I felt that she was jumping to conclusions and not thinking very logically. (0645)

6. For a friends birthday we were having a party and my female friends took it upon themselves to plan it all take care of food and cake and stuff and told me just go get the alcohol. There was no discussion or even asking if I wanted to do something else they just gave me the easy thing they though I wouldn’t mess up despite it being for my closest friend. (6163)

6. I’ve been dumped for not doing anything wrong. She left for an older guy who was an asshole. After a couple years she apologized and admitted I wasn’t in fault and that she just had an urge to date a different type of guy and that it was a mistake. It seems like girls don’t know what they want until later in life. She was burned out on the asshole guys and wanted to start dating again. (4073) 6. When I was with my ex-girlfriend we would get into arguments and her friends would treat me rudely or ignore me even if they had no idea what the fight was about. (7737)

#7. Can you think of any instances in which you have been treated particularly well by the opposite sex, simply because of your (or their) gender? If so, give a brief description of what happened.

7. I was sitting on a couch at a VIP booth in a night club at Las Vegas. Two girls came up to me and grabbed me off the couch and starting dancing with me. One of them started making out with me because she thought I was a hot guy. (7753)

7. Whenever I am having a bad day, or seemed stress, my girlfriend is always there to support me. Whether it's a hug or a back massage or just sitting me down and asking me to tell her what's wrong, she is always being the perfect supporter and personal cheerleader for me. While I can find support from male friends, she can give me comfort in a way that no one else can. (0645)

7. At work once a female co-worker assisted me in unloading the weekly delivery of boxes of paper instead of assuming I would do it just because I was the male. Having someone assume a task is yours simply because of your gender gets old after awhile and it’s a nice change when a woman expects equality but also grants equality. (6163)

7. I can think of many instances were I’ve been treated nicely by the opposite sex just because of my gender. Its usually for lifting things or fixing things. (4073) 7. Just the other day three of my female friends came up to me and were acting particularly friendly and nice. It turns out they wanted me to help them with their groceries. The funny thing is they didn’t have very many and they weren’t even particularly heavy. (7737)

#8. Describe an instance, or instances, when you have been rejected by someone of the opposite sex to whom you were attracted. How did they reject you? Was their behavior inconsiderate, rude or insensitive? How did it make you feel? How might they have done it in a more considerate way?

8. In one instance of rejection, my 8th grade girlfriend broke up with me when I called her to plan a date. Although she was not particularly rude, I was rather hurt that she chose to do it when I had called her. However, she did not seem spiteful, but more matter-of-fact about it and a bit apologetic. I suppose in the long-run it was good of her to just be honest, instead of waiting for our date to break the news to me, but at the same time, she could have been more proactive with contacting me about the issue, rather than waiting for me to walk into it. (0645)

8. I was rejected when I approached a girl in high school to go out sometime and she was really rude about it just blowing me off and acting as though I had wasted her precious time just by asking. It pissed me off and she ended up apologizing later on for how she behaved and explained she had just broken up with her boyfriend and she was with all her friends when I asked but after this I probably went about things the wrong way by telling her it was ok I know why her boyfriend broke up with her and thanked her from saving me my time. She could have done it in a better way by saying she wasn’t ready to start going out with anyone yet but maybe we could hang out at a party sometime or something. (6163)

8. There have been times where I’ve been rejected respectfully and there have been times where I’ve been rejected in a rude manner. The respectful way was able to salvage something and have a great friendship. The disrespectful way lead to no friendship at all. The respectful way was just being upfront about not being interested. (4073)

8. I’ve never been rejected in a particularly rude or insensitive way. The girls I’ve been rejected by were all generally kind about it which hurts in its own way I suppose. There have been times when girls have ignored or avoided me for a while after they rejected me, but I suppose it’s understandable because it’s usually an awkward situation all around. (7737)

Imagine that you have known someone of the opposite sex for about a month. You have dated this person several times, but so far there hasn't been any kind of physical intimacy (holding hands, kissing, etc.) between the two of you. Now, you are out on a date with this person again.

How would you try to influence this person in each of the following circumstances:

#9. Situation 1: The date has been going very well and you feel very physically attracted to this person. How would you influence this person to become physically intimate, and to go as far sexually as you wanted to go?

9. I would probably find excuses to have physical contact with the girl, such as putting my arm around her shoulder, or holding her hand, etc. Her responsiveness to this would help me gauge how interested she is physically. Also, I might try to direct the conversation towards a more sexual topic, possibly with light jokes about sex. (0645)

9. Go out to dinner then to a movie and get close and make some kind of physical contact during the movie (e.g. hold hands, arm around her, hand on her leg, etc.) Upon leaving the movie theatre walk to the car, open the door for her but before she gets in kiss her and see where the night goes from there. (6163)

9. I would probably try to sit close and then read her body language. I’d start by either putting my arm around here or holding her hand. If she responds positively then I’d contemplate taking it further. I would let her dictate how far she would want it to go. (4073)

9. I would probably just try holding her hand or try sitting closer to her. I would then gauge her response and enthusiasm and go from there. I would definitely let her determine how far the physical intimacy goes. (7737)

#10. Situation 2: The date has been going well, but you do not feel particularly physically attracted by this person. However, you can tell that this person is really turned on by you. Still, you know you're not interested in physical intimacy, and/or the subsequent involvement or commitment that might follow. How would you influence this person to avoid becoming sexual?

10. I would be sure to keep my interaction with her kind and interested, but not overly engaging or intimate. In other words, I would do my best not to give her a false green light to be come physical with me. I would keep the conversation away from sex, romance, or intimacy at all costs, and I would avoid any unneccesary physical contact. If contact did occur or she made a move on me, I would find a polite way to excuse myself, or simply be honest with her that I am not physically interested if I cannot get out of the situation with another reason. (0645)

10. Start acting like you were hanging out with an old friend making dumb jokes and treating her like one of the guys. Worse comes to worse bring up problems about another girl and throw out the whole “it’s nice to have a FRIEND to talk to” line. (6163)

10. I would talk about things very blatantly to insure she doesn’t make the move. I would mention maybe someone else I’m seeing even if I’m not seeing anyone. (4073)

10. I would probably tell her that it isn’t going to work out between us or that we should see other people. I would try not to tell her that it’s because I’m not physically attracted to her but if she were to insist on knowing the reason I wouldn’t lie to her. I would just tell her in a kind and sensitive way. (7737)


For each of the following sentence fragments, complete the sentence, and, if you wish, add a few more sentences to complete your thought. Do not include the sentence stem in your response--only your answer to it.

#11. In general, it seems that the opposite sex has a tendency to become "insanely" jealous when...

11. …they recognize another woman’s attraction towards someone they like. (7753)

11. they feel ignored (0645)

11. a guy is friends with a girl she doesn’t get along with or has bad history with. (6163)

11. You make friends who are girls. (4073)

11. Their boyfriend has other friends who are girls. (7737)

#12. When it comes to initiating sexuality for the first time, the opposite sex...

12. …is either immediately into it or goes with the flow after a little coaxing and persistence. (7753)

12. can be insanely stubborn about waiting for men to make the first move, or surprisingly aggressive at taking the reins. (0645)

12.gives mixed signs a lot of times and expects a guy to make the right move. (6163)

12. Rarely does it. (4073) 12. Expect guys to make the first move. (7737)

#13. The opposite sex seems clueless about...

13. spotting gay men (0645)

13.When a guy wants to be left alone he really doesn’t want to be around people, he isn’t using code talk like a female. (6163)

13. Being direct with people. (4073) 13. The fact that not all guys are shallow and only interested in sex. (7737)

#14. Being romantic is something that the opposite sex...

14. …acts as if it is important. (7753)

14. was born to do. (0645)

14.Emphasizes to much. (6163)

14. Loves to do (4073) 14. Demands of men while not necessarily putting in an equal amount of effort. (7737)

#15. Sometimes it seems that the opposite sex puts their boyfriend/girlfriend through a series of relationship "tests" by...

15. …making them choose between them or their friends. (7753)

15. picking fights, mentioning taboo subjects and watching our reactions, taking us to meet the parents, asking us what we think about children, pretending they are pregnant, leaving a room messy or trash out to see if we'll clean it up... (0645)

15. Expecting to be number one priority over everything even when they really know its not realistic. (6163)

15. Asking questions and playing games (4073)

15. By not always saying what they mean but expecting their boyfriend to know exactly where they’re coming from and how they feel. (7737)

#16. The opposite sex seems to support equality for the sexes except when it comes to...

16. …chivalry such as expecting men to pay for dinner and give them the whole princess treatment. (7753)

16. asking men out on dates, being treated to food/outings constantly. (0645)

16.Chivalry. (6163)

16. Paying the bill or making the move. (4073) 16. Making the first move or paying for dinner. (7737)

#17. Possessiveness is something that the opposite sex...

17. …can not over or even fake. (7753)

17. can get a little too intense about sometimes. (0645)

17. Shows in relationships. (6163)

17. Sometimes has, depending on the person. (4073) 17. Critizes men about but has no problem with when it comes to themselves. (7737)

#18. When it comes to physical attractiveness, the opposite sex...

18. is objectively way more asthetically pleasing to the eye than men are. (0645)

18. Holds it important for themselves to look good but when a guy wants a girl to look good she thinks he’s being shallow (6163)

18. Superior (4073)

18. Is just as shallow as men are but doesn’t seem to get as much shit for it. (7737)

#19. Money and status is are things that the opposite sex...

19. react differently to. Some women are validated by their ability to buy things and influence others. Some are extremely down-to-earth. (0645)

19.Want in their future. (6163)

19. Are attracted to (4073)

19. Holds as a priority whether they admit it or not. They may be able to overlook these things in the short run but when it comes to long term, serious relationships a lack of either one of the two can be a deal breaker. (7737)

#20. It hurts me most when the opposite sex...

shows insecurities (9701)

20. …acts towards me in a negative way because of prior experiences with guys that treated them poorly or because of untrue assumptions that they have about me. (7753)

20. Is hypocritical about what they think about me. (0645)

20.Doesn’t trust me to be honest.

20. Disrespect themselves by being promiscuous. (4073) 20. Ignore me or treat me like a douche bag when they don’t even know me. (7737)

#21. I feel best about the opposite sex when...

21. …I find out that they are really into me or that our attraction is mutual. (7753)

21. They use their charm and talent for care and consideration. (0645)

21. They go out of their way to support something that I am taking part in. (6163)

21. Do things that I cannot. (4073)

21. Are truly open and honest and allow me to be the same. (7737)