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Many of our romantic stereotypes come from that dark time before the Internet, when people interacted with strange real-life emojis deployed on their actual faces. It's no surprise then that most of those stereotypes are no longer true, or have never been true, or were all just elaborate lies propagated by the Kellogg's guy to keep us from boning in the first place. For example ...

5
"Men Are Useless At Detecting Flirting"

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Men are notoriously awful at noticing flirting women unless they physically shove their boobs on his face (and sometimes even after that). That's why guys assume that a waitress is actively seducing them just because she happens to be wearing her work smile, while the most genuine of flirting attempts bounce right off their numb skulls.

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"Netflix & chill?"
"???"
"PENIS & VAGINA!?"

But Actually:

We all suck at flirting and recognizing it, regardless of gender. Research has shown that women are absolutely awful at it, too. In fact, it looks like they're actually worse than men. Oh, and to make our collective game even worse, it looks like we're also pretty good at seeing flirting cues that aren't there.

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"He just adjusted his junk after coming out of the bathroom!"
"I knew it; he totally wants me."

Flirting is a game of conveying interest while avoiding potential embarrassment. Guys may adopt a style that makes their cues a lot less transparent than the ladies' flirting attempts, which is why women find their signals are much more difficult to catch and easier to misjudge as casual interaction. That's not to say that guys can't gloriously fuck up flirting recognition, too; men appear to be more adept at misjudging the motivation behind all that flirting they may or may not perceive. (Hint: They think it's always about sex.)

4
"Gossiping Is A Woman's Game"

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Women regularly bond over gossip, gleefully bad-mouthing everyone from their husbands to their co-workers to whichever Kardashian showed the most cleavage this week. You know how it goes: "Daisy looked so frumpy in that dress." "Did you hear Molly's husband had an affair with his llama trainer?" "Looks like Nancy tried to ax-murder Bob yet again." No secret is safe, no juicy tidbit goes untouched. Gossip, if anything, is a woman's game.

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"Apparently Nancy found out about Bob's affair with Molly's husband's llama."

But Actually:

Men enjoy gossiping far more than they care to admit, which is almost as much as the ladies. Sure, dudes will say they don't participate in gossip and underreport it. Yet, mere embarrassment can't deter the all-feeling, clammy hand of science. As such, researchers have found that men gossip more than women during cellphone conversations, and men share just as much backstabbing information as women do. Studies have also shown that in some ways, gossiping bonds men even more efficiently than women, because guys respond to the falsely inflated sense of status a juicy piece of water cooler news gives them.

Sometimes, the guys just flat out give up and admit it, too. There's at least one 2009 poll that reveals that when men and women hear a juicy secret, many men will share it with someone almost immediately after learning about it. Women, on the other hand, keep it to themselves for at least three and a half hours before spreading the news.

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"Same rules as texting someone for the first time, or becoming a vegan."

And that's why we only ever talk to our pets. It's uh ... one of the reasons, anyway.

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3
"A Kiss Is A Sign Of Affection"

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A bout of lip-wrestling is as intimate as it gets while everyone still has their pants on, which is why a kiss is universally recognized as the de facto show of affection between two people.

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"Mommy, what are the food givers doing?"
"It's a battle for dominance where they try to swallow each others' head. Don't look at them!"

But Actually:

We've already told you that smooching acts as our body's McAfee Antivirus against herpes, but it also doubles as a complex brain chemistry duel in the game of love and procreation. For women, it's all about oxytocin, the "bonding hormone" that is released during childbirth and helps the mother care for the shrieking lump she just squeezed out. When a man and a woman kiss, the dame's saliva deals the dude a sudden boost in oxytocin, essentially ensnaring him with a handy dose of "got you now, bitch." Strangely, the oxytocin levels of the woman herself actually decrease during kissing, which has led scientists to believe that the kiss actually works by balancing out the oxytocin levels of the kissers.

But don't think guys are left without weapons in this particular duel. It's no secret men are more likely to presume that kissing should lead to sex ... and their kisses actually help them in this aspiration by transmitting testosterone from their saliva into the girl's system, which can temporarily boost her sex drive. Some theories indicate that the reason men generally prefer sloppier kisses with more tongue is an evolutionary need to transmit as much testosterone as possible, short of actually spitting in their partner's mouth.


So Dilophosaurus was still eating Nedry, just not how you thought.

In baseball terms that's called "charging the mound," and it has never, ever ended well for us. Please don't try it.

2
"Women Want To Settle Down And Have Children; Men Want Independence And Partying"

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Guys are all about independence and partying, while even the most adventurous woman is basically just biding time until she can catch a dude, settle down, get a mom haircut, churn out a couple of kids, and spend the rest of her life actively ruining her man's fun.

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For more on this see every married sitcom since the dawn of television.

But Actually:

According to science, it's the other way around.

In 2011, researchers surveyed 5,000 Americans and found a surprisingly consistent trend: Men were more into settling down than women. Men are quicker than women to fall in love and want children across the board; 54 percent of men (and only 44 percent of women) report experiencing love at first sight. Single guys under 18 without children reported wanting children at a higher rate than women in the same position -- 24 percent to 15 percent, respectively. As for the independence and freedom part of the equation, well, women rule that game too: 77 percent of women crave independence in a relationship, as opposed to 58 percent of men. Shit, even the classic "night out with the guys" is getting stomped by girl power, as 35 percent of the ladies (and only 23 percent of the men) consider regular nights out with their friends very important.

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"Tonight? Sorry, bro, I'm ... washing my hair."

It also doesn't look like this is just some bullshit trend that'll last a couple of decades before we inevitably revert back to the 1950s mindset where a man's self worth was entirely determined by a sliding scale of scotch and rugrats. A sociology professor at New York University says this "blurring of gender boundaries" is a product of kids born in the '70s, '80s, and '90s becoming more and more comfortable with acknowledging their desire to commit and connect.

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1
"Men Tend To Initiate Breakups And Divorces"

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After 20 years of faithful marriage, the man suddenly leaves his wife for his young, blonde secretary "who just totally gets him." There's a reason the trope is "clingy girlfriend" instead of boyfriend. Becoming single is always a social win for the guy who can easily move onto the next relationship. But the girl always struggles to recover, because she thought they were in love and that he was going to eventually propose marriage soon and now everything's ruined forever. Oh, the heartbreak -- better watch Bridget Jones's Diary and eat several tubs of ice cream!

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"And now just to put on some Adele -- hey, why is all the good breakup media British?"

But Actually:

Pop culture and research indicate that this stereotype should be true. Socially, women have all the motivation in the world to cling to a marriage, as unmarried women aren't treated as nicely as married ones, and divorced women are stigmatized for not being in a steady relationship.

Here's what people forget: In many cases, men tend to benefit from marriage a lot more than women. Having a wife means that said wife is likely to help the man make healthier choices in life than he would if single -- you don't often see married men sucking on a frozen Hot Pocket because they're too lazy to work the microwave. Men also tend to win out on chores -- even if the couple agreed to do housework and parenting equally, the wife is still likely to end up doing more than the husband. Yep, this holds true even when the wife works and the husband is unemployed.

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"Look, my housekeeping style is a bit more free-form than you're used to, and I just need you to roll with it!"

Perhaps this is also why women are far more likely than men to ask for divorce and initiate a breakup. Just an educated guess, Johnny McNeversweeps.

Are you in the Los Angeles area with nothing to do tonight? Cracked is doing a live podcast at 7:00 PM at the UCB Sunset, so grab a ticket and join Dan O'Brien, Jack O'Brien, and Soren Bowie for a lively conversation about time travel. But hurry up, tickets are almost gone!

Let's see, what else did we get wrong about the sexes? Oh, everything? Pretty much. See what we mean in 6 Things Everyone Knows About Women (That Aren't True) and 5 Gender Stereotypes That Used To Be The Exact Opposite.

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