Women have been complaining forever about the impossibility of living up to the female body image that is presented in media. There are like eight billion periodicals marketed to women, and every one of them has some thin teenager with perfect teeth, huge boobs and no blemishes staring out from the cover--not just Martha Stewart Living. It's no wonder the grocery store checkout line is known as the "boner chute."
This colloquialism was submitted by Gertrude Weinbauer, Food Lion #1557.
Complaints and checkout erections aside, it's not our fault the media is presenting this airbrushed picture of what women should look like, or that real-world women are buying into it. If you ladies don't have the sense to know that it's all a sham, then maybe you deserve your crippling body image diseases.
When actually ...
Men are starting to feel the exact same pressures to look perfect. A recent study commissioned by Harvard found that a full 25 percent of people with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia are men.
Look at that asshole, just brushing his teeth all the live-long day. How can a real man compete with that?
The effect that these media portrayals have is real and the body image problem has jumped the gender barrier, so stick that in your overly tanned, sharply chiseled faces, men. Surveys show that a growing percentage of dudes believe that the only attractive male physique is an extremely muscular one, and they are going to great lengths to attain it.
Typically, that means consuming large amounts of protein, obsessing about their weight and working out so much it interferes with other parts of their lives. It doesn't even matter that in the media, the dudes who have chiseled bodies tend to be douchebags.
They were right! We were just jealous this whole time!
This stereotype isn't as in-your-face as the others on the list, but it's there. If you look around at the people who hold most of the science, technology and engineering jobs in the world today, you'll quickly be tempted to ask, "Hey, where are all the chicks?" Anyone who's ever spent time around a college math lab, a corporate IT department or an engineering firm will notice a preponderance of dudes with skinny arms, ironic T-shirts and Tron collectibles.
And very few women.
This shortage of women in science and technology fields has given birth to the idea that maybe women just aren't as talented or as interested in those areas as men. Or more specifically, that they aren't as good at math, which is kind of the underpinning of the whole shebang. If you're not good at math, you're going to make a crappy scientist, right? And if women aren't well represented in the sciences, doesn't it follow that they're just not as skilled at mathematics?
When actually ...
Janet Hyde from the University of Wisconsin-Madison compiled math test scores and SAT results from more than seven million students, and found absolutely no difference in scores between males and females. So if girls have a mathematical aptitude equal to that of their testicled counterparts at the end of high school, why aren't they moving forward into scientific careers in greater numbers?
Why the hell not?
Well, the answer is nobody really knows. But right now, most researchers are leaning toward causes with social and environmental origins. One recent study found that teachers in grade school can impart their own anxieties about math to their female students, engendering a belief that boys will always be better at math than girls.
Another potential environmental explanation is social identity threat. This is a phenomenon in which knowledge of a stereotype actually makes you fail--thereby validating the stereotype. It's like a Catch-22, but with breasts. In either case, the next time you're trying to impress some girl with your knowledge of isotopes and quadratic equations, just remember that there's an even chance that she's actually better at that shit than you are. Calculate that, Poindexter.
Making jokes about domestic violence is about as awesome as making jokes about genocide. So we'll skip the hilarity and go straight to the stereotype about spouse abuse: If you're talking about one person beating up another in the home, you're probably talking about the man beating up the woman. That's why everyone believes that bullshit statistic about spousal abuse skyrocketing on Super Bowl Sunday. Men are bigger, women are weaker. Men are more aggressive, more violent, more prone to jealousy, and women are their usual victims.
When actually ...
Women are more likely to abuse, stalk and attack their partners than men are.
And there are literally hundreds of scientific studies with sample sizes in the thousands to back up this assertion. In the world of gender research, domestic violence is a subject that has been studied over and over again. The evidence is clear: When couples resort to physical violence, more often than not it's the woman who attacks the man first.
Hey Internet, what's the name for this fetish?
Consider this write-up from a study by Straus and Ramirez: "When only one partner was violent it was twice as likely to be the female than the male. Moreover, in terms of severe aggression females were twice as likely to be violent than men." Holy shit, ladies. Time to chill the fuck out.
If you're wondering why you've never heard these stats before, there's the obvious fact that men are bigger and therefore more likely to hurt women, and deserve to get raped in prison. But it's probably also because men are less likely to report physical attacks to the authorities than women are. And for some reason, men are really really less likely to report having a foot broken off in their ass by a 110-pound woman.
"It was a Hitler. No, three Hitlers."
It's the same old story: The stereotype persists because we're ashamed that we don't conform to it. Whew, that's depressing. How about before we end the article and we all go crazy in the comments, we join together and look at this adorable little kitty who broke his little leg:
For more things you were sure of but shouldn't be, check out The 5 Most Statistically Full of Shit National Stereotypes and The 6 Most Statistically Full of Shit Professions.
And stop by Linkstorm to find out who wins in a fight between Christina and Seanbaby.
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