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Comments about the Opposite Sex Homework


Comments by Women

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 Women" homework, do NOT insert your results below. Instead insert them in the Reactions to Women's Comments page.


#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. Men are incomprehensible at times due to their hidden feelings or emotions. For example, I heard that he liked me, yet, he is not showing me those feelings and is instead hiding them at times. I have noticed that men tend to express their emotions less. I have also found that they are very clear and direct in what they have to say. Certain times they can act or be very “cocky” to show off. It is extremely puzzling that they like girls are hard to understand.(6553)

1. The other day, I asked my guy friend to help me move my mini-fridge from my car to my room upstairs. Of course, he was more than willing to help. However, he would not let me help him carry it. I only asked him for help in the first place because I thought it was a two-person job. But he insisted on carrying it himself, even though it was not an easy task. This situation was confusing to me and I think it reveals several aspects of the male gender’s characteristics or tendencies. I believe that males feel the duty to take care of women and to assist them in things that they cannot do themselves. This is common enough, and is generally just referred to as good manners. However, I also believe that my friend would not let me help because it would demasculinize him in a way. I think males always have to be the stronger gender, and that this is an extremely important and vital necessity that must be met in order for the male to feel secure with their identity.(2541)

1. After my boyfriend and I broke up, and decided to be friends, he did this thing where he closed himself off and treated me like I was more of an acquaintance than a true friend. Since we had been together for a while, I learned to recognize the difference in his tone and type of questions/responses when in conversation with people that he barely knew as opposed to people he had known for a long time. For example, with people he knew well, he would be more playful, make more jokes, and maybe even tease a little. With people he didn’t know well, he would answer and respond as though he was in an interview—very formal and humorless. The whole reason we decided to be friends (from my understanding), was that we when we were dating, we thought of each other as a best friend, in addition to a romantic partner. And we (or maybe just I) didn’t want to lose that friendship. When he started talking to me like he didn’t even know me, I was very puzzled. (0544)

#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. I like that men are protective and strong which provide a sense of security. I like that they are generally more honest and loyal to friends. I like that they are strong and their physical features. I do not like that they are messy. I don’t like that they don’t show their emotions although they have emotions. I also do not like that they don’t pay attentions to little yet important details about the girl or anniversaries.(6553)

2. I like that males are stronger than us. I like that they are overly confident, sometimes to a fault. I like that males can throw on shorts and a t-shirt and be ready for the day. I like their boyish energy – always running, jumping, diving, sweating, laughing. I like males’ metabolisms. I like how males are significantly funnier than us. I like that males don’t care. I like how males don’t worry about the myriad of things we worry about every day. I dislike that males fault us for “being such a girl.” Other than that, I can appreciate the faults that males have.(2541)

2. I like that they can lift things, and that they need to prove their manliness through lifting things. This way, when I am in a group of people of both sexes, and something needs to be lifted, they will automatically do it.

I also like that they don’t understand the art of saying one thing but meaning another, so they are not able to use it. Either they think that they are good at pretending to be fine when they aren’t, or they just say things more directly. For example, when my ex was talking to me like I we had just met, he clearly had an issue with being real friends. Yet he thought that he could cover up that issue up with talking to me like he talked to acquaintances. If a woman were pretending to be real friends with a man when she really didn’t want to, she would do a better job.

I dislike that they do not understand the value of sharing feelings. I have found that a lot of men are extremely opposed to actually talking to about what is bothering them. Instead they just push away all of their problems and try to pretend like everything is okay. But since everything isn’t okay, they are more irritable. Their sadness from their suppressed problems turns into anger towards other people that do not deserve it.

I also do not like that they have such difficulty asking for help. Men in general do not seem to understand that everyone needs help sometimes. The stereotype about men not wanting to ask for directions is true. Furthermore, it can be extended to a metaphoric interpretation of men not wanting to ask for directions in life. Everyone gets lost sometimes, and women will usually reach out and ask someone to help them figure out where they are going or what they should do next. But men will just keep wandering aimlessly. (0544)

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

3. Men do not understand our wants and needs. They are usually looking for sex while we are usually looking for a meaningful relationship. They don’t completely understand that we want to them to be romantic once in a while and show their emotions. They at times don’t understand why we want or prefer them to make the first move or initiate the relationship. Men have trouble understanding why women are so emotional and sensitive to so many things.(6553)

3. I think the one thing that males most misunderstand about females is that they are usually just trying to get attention from the opposite sex. (2541)

3.Men think that when women say something, they mean it. When this is only true sometimes. I understand that this can be confusing, and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t make it any less true. One of the best examples I can think of to epitomize this phenomenon comes from a Taylor Swift song. In her song The Other Side of the Door, she sings, “I said leave, but all I really want is you to stand outside my window throwing pebbles screaming, ‘I’m in love with you!’” Obviously this is very confusing, but as a woman, I understand exactly what she is talking about. Most men probably do not understand that we do this or why we do this. (0544)

#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. What most attracted me to my significant other was his personality. I was definitely attracted to and love his sense of humor and that he can always make me laugh even when I am really upset. I am attracted to his determination and ambition, which are great traits. His smile and defined facial bone structure are physical features that I am attracted to. His ability to make me laugh is really important. (6553)

4. Thinking about the last time I was attracted to the opposite sex, I realize that the main characteristic that attracted me to him was his confidence. First and foremost, the guy must have the confidence to approach me and show me that he is comfortable enough with himself to not be nervous talking with me. His confidence has to provide the relaxed and natural atmosphere that I want when talking to a guy. After I realized that this particular guy that I met had self-confidence, I also recognized that he was funny. Actually he was hilarious, and we had the same sense of humor. These two characteristics are a “must-have” for me. (2541)

4. In the instance that I am thinking of, I was attracted to a man who held similar personality traits and beliefs as my own (and it didn’t hurt that he was very physically attractive). He was humble and understood many parts of me that others did not understand. (0544)

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

5. Strengths of the opposite sex include: brave/protecting or provide security, less emotionally complicated and have less drama, provide different perspective and are very direct. Weakness include: disorganized, immature, too sexually driven, and don’t show emotions often.(6553)

5. I think that males’ strengths are that they are taught to be self-assured, or to fake it if they aren’t. I also think one of their strengths is their directness. They don’t waste time or words, and they hardly beat around the bush. However, along with directness, men tend to not talk a lot. Men are never taught that it is good to communicate their thoughts or feelings. It is sometimes even looked down upon when men are too expressive of their emotions. They are looked at as weak and maybe even feminine. But I think it is a crucial part of life to express your thoughts and talk about problems with other people. (2541)

5. Some strengths are that they are much easier to read (because they can’t hide their emotions very well), they have an easier time making friends with each other (because all they have to do is play video games for an hour), and they are very independent workers. Some weaknesses are that they cannot express emotion, are more likely to solve an argument with physical aggression, and they are constantly trying to prove themselves as men. (0544)

#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. When I was younger my father used to treat me unfairly in comparison to my brother whose only 1 year older than me. My curfew was at an earlier time, I always received phone calls informing me to come home because it was late, while my brother was allowed to be out later. Once of my guy cousins once treated me unfairly when I wanted to help him connect a surround sound system, he instead told me to go help my aunt cook. (6553)

6. I find that many of the times that I am treated unfairly by the opposite sex is in regards to my boyfriend and his friends. It is never an outright act or something they say, but there is always the feeling that they don’t want me there. This is not because they don’t like me or because I don’t like them, but it is because I am dating their friend and taking away from the time they get to spend with him. They want him to be single. This creates a really uncomfortable atmosphere every time I hang out with them. This is unfair both to me and my boyfriend. (2541)

6. When I was little, I used to play baseball on an all girls team. We played other teams of just boys. Sometimes before the games, we could hear them snickering about how it would be so easy to beat us because we were a bunch of girls. Because of this, they sometimes didn’t take the game seriously. Unfortunately for them, we still did and most of the time beat them. (0544)

#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. One time in high school, I forgot to wear a sweater and it was really cold in the classroom. I didn’t ask anyone for a sweater but suddenly a guy in my class, whom I did not know whispered to me if I wanted to borrow his sweater because he noticed I was cold. I am pretty sure if it were his guy friend who was cold, he wouldn’t have asked him if he wanted to borrow his sweater.(6553)

7. An example of when I was treated particularly well by the opposite sex was when I recently went to a reception with my (female) friend and we were meeting my two (male) coworkers there. As soon as we got there the guys went and bought us drinks. Throughout the party they continued to buy us drinks and even order appetizers. This might have been expected if the guys were trying to hit on us, but this is not the kind of relationship we have at all. They were simply just trying to be nice. I think that the guys felt a duty to take care of us because we are female. (2541)

7. Whenever a guy opens the door for me, I feel special and taken care of. However, there are some instances where I do not want to be taken care of because I can do it myself. This is probably confusing, sorry guys. (0544)

#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. There was this one time when I was seeing a guy and I got the impression that things were going well between us and that he liked me like I liked him. Well, he was either playing games or looking for something else in a girl because he then just said “ you know what this isn’t working out.” There were no emotions, he spoke dry concrete words. I was confused my his mixed signals and was sad of course because it didn’t really seem that time that he cared one bit. It would have been nice if he would have explained why it wasn’t going to work, or if he would have been more sensitive about the situation. (6553)

8. The last time I was rejected by the opposite sex it was because he was in the same fraternity as my ex-boyfriend. We were both attracted to each other and had been hanging out for a couple weeks when, all of the sudden, he seemed really standoffish and slowly stopped talking to me. This was very confusing to me and it made me feel horrible. I eventually confronted him about it and found out that he stopped talking to me because my ex-boyfriend had asked him to. So in this case, I blame my ex-boyfriend. I completely understand why this guy would feel pressured to stop talking to me. However, I think a better way to go about it would have been to tell me about it, and maybe let me have a say in the matter. (2541)

8. I have never been rejected by a guy because I do not put myself in situations where I might be rejected. In every romantic relationship I have had, I waited until I knew that he liked me before ever admitting that I liked him too. (0544)

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. In this situation I would be very affectionate with the person for him to know my strong feelings toward him. I would then want to have a serious talk with him about our relationship and about our intimacy so that he knows and understands where I am in the relationship and what I am ready for. (6553)

9. If I was on a date with a guy that I wanted to influence to become physically intimate with me, but we hadn’t even kissed before, I would start off with flirting with him and making certain comments to let him know that I really like him. The most that I would do other than that would be to casually touch his arm or shoulder when it felt right. I never make the first move, so I would leave the rest up to him. I wouldn’t want to force him into anything, so I would let him go at his own pace. (2541)

9. To be completely honest, I don’t know what I would do. I know all the things that Cosmo tells women to do in these types of situations, like graze his arm, keep your body language open, maybe play rub his leg under the table. But I don’t consciously make an effort to do these things. I know I act differently when I am physically attracted to a guy, but I do not think to myself, “Okay, now I am going to lock eyes with him for a few seconds, and subtly smile.” (0544)

#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 not give him mixed physical signals or show any of them so that he doesn’t get the wrong idea about me or so he doesn’t assume that we will become physically involved. I will also tell him that I am not attracted to him physically and would prefer if we were just friends. (6553)

10. In order to influence this person to avoid being sexual, I would avoid touching him. I would still act the same and say the same things, because I like him and I wouldn’t want him to lose interest in me. But if he tried to casually put his arm around me or something of the sort, I would be a little standoffish or awkward to let him know that I don’t want him to do that or to move any further. (2541)

10. In this case, I do have a small list of things to do. I think the overall most effective is saying things that put the guy in the “friends zone.” To do this, I ask how his love life is going, or talk about my own guy issues. If I don’t have guy issues at the time, I talk about how rude men are and how I’m really happy right now being single. (0544)


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. women have a close guy friend or when they see women flirting with other guys and not them. (6553)

11. …he sees another guy touch his girlfriend. (2541)

11. …women care about things other than men. (0544)

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

12. wants the process to move a lot faster than the woman wants it. (6553)

12. …should step up and make the first move. (2541)

12. ...is not very subtle. (0544)

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

13. our emotions and why we like to communicate more about them. (6553)

13. …the way girls want to be treated. (2541)

13. ...understanding the inner workings of women. (0544)

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

  1. 14....can be very good at…if they want to. (1333)

14. … does not always have to do, but would be nice occasionally. (2541)

14. ...either overdoes to the point of cheese-tastic, or does not do at all. They can't seem to figure out the happy medium. (0544)

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

  1. 15....seeing how they react when another man is flirting with them. (1333)15. introducing her to his family. (6553)

15. … being standoffish and seeing how they react, or by flirting with someone else to see if they get jealous. Also, girls tend to get really upset and not say anything about it to see if the guy will notice and know why she is upset. (2541)

15. ...inviting her to hang out with his guy friends. (0544)

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

16. career or job position. Men always want to make more money than women. (6553)

16. … fixing things. (2541)

16. ...equality becoming a reality instead of just an idea. (0544)

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

17. struggles with and have trouble controlling. (6553).

17. … does too much and makes us feel trapped. (2541)

17. ...values in regards to a significant other. (0544)

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

18. is the first thing that they look for in women, while men work less on their physical appearance. (6553)

18. …does not need to try too hard to be attractive. Unlike girls. (2541)

18. ...highly values in women. (0544)

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

19. consider important.(6553)

19. …works really hard for because they think that girls need that. And maybe they do. (2541)

19. ...thinks women want. (0544)

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

  1. 20....doesn’t realize the importance of authenticity in communication. (1333)

20. …acts like they don’t need girls. (2541)

20. ...pretends everything is okay when it isn't. (0544)

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

21. He shows his affectionate side. (6553)

21. …they like to spend time with us. (2541)

21. ...when they open up and make themselves vulnerable. (0544)