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Who's More Shallow: Men or Women?

Updated on June 1, 2015
Beauty in the eyes of the beholder
Beauty in the eyes of the beholder | Source

Men vs. Women

It's the battle of the sexes once again, but this time it's about their behavior when it comes to the exterior.

To proceed further, we must first address what is shallow behavior and what it means to be shallow?

If you've ever seen Shallow Hal (2001) then you'd know it made a joke out of the title character's constant fascination with the perfect female form. In the movie, he became hypnotized to see the inner beauty instead of relying on physical appearances.

It's a nice message although his so called inner beauty vision was that of an attractive women. It would make more sense if he saw the overweight woman portrayed in the film as attractive without altering how he saw her in his mind.

But how does that movie relate to reality? Do men only care about physical appearances, are women only interested in money, and are there other attributes to account for?

Keep reading and you'll find out.

Look at all the pretty people
Look at all the pretty people | Source

Physical Attractiveness

The most common stereotype among men is that they only care about how a woman looks like on the outside prior to knowing her interior personality. Guess what? It's a correct stereotype, but it has a false interpretation.

It's not only men who are attracted to someone through physical beauty, it's women too!

It's our eyes that make initial contact with someone, and they are our only clue to a potential mate. It makes sense both biologically and psychologically that both genders are first attracted physically to someone before other factors our considered.

There are differences, however, when it comes to the variability of attraction. Women tend to have a greater range of who they find attractive whereas men are narrower in that regard. Some of that has to do with hormonal changes that can be related to birth control pills and other hormonal drugs.

Studies have shown women on birth control are more attracted to less masculine facial features on men and the opposite holds true when not on the pill.

Women are also viewed as being more subtle when they do find someone attractive but not always.

There are plenty of women who are blatant when it comes to men with a few being very honest in how they feel about them physically. There are women who will let the guy know they're attractive, and there are women who will tell you if you're unattractive.

Men act similarly though some are more subtle than others, but that also depends on what they're seeking. There are men who will get with whoever despite appearances if it's merely an intimate relationship, but they'll likely be more picky if seeking a romantic relationship.


Keep it locked and protected
Keep it locked and protected | Source

Financial Security

Women prefer financial security above all else right? Yeah sure, but who doesn't?

I'm sure most men want to be financially secure instead of living from paycheck to paycheck. In fact money continuously plays a significant role once relationships are formed.

In marriages it's often a deal breaker for both individuals that commonly leads to separation or divorce.

It's unfair to pick on women for caring about their significant other's finances. It's the 21st century and both parties need to be financially independent.

Men do care about how stable a potentially partner is when it comes to money and a career (unless it's strictly a physical fling).

When it comes to a potential relationship, nobody wants to feel like someone's using them because they have money. They expect others to be able to support themselves in order to support each other.

It's not shallow to care about money as long as your head is in the right place. If you're only looking for someone who makes six figures or better, then you're expecting a lot from someone to the point when it can make you appear shallow.

The reality is the majority of people don't make six figures annually. The expectations need to be reasonable for both genders, but the importance of money is not only geared towards women.


"Rankings Subject to Change"

Power & Authority

Besides money and looks, a person who is shallows tends to monitor how "how and mighty" other people are including what career they have and their popularity.

Women might yet again come out badly in this category, and so far they may seem like the shallower of the two genders but that's not true.

If this were true, then why are teenage boys so interested in the most popular girls in school. They are considered pretty, popular, and have a lot of influence, which teens find attractive.

After High School, men can be shallow when it comes to a woman's status because they might be looking for someone in power that has a lot of money.

The power hierarchy among the genders is changing and more women are earning as much if not greater income than their significant other.

Greater amounts of men are also staying at home with the kids while their wives or girlfriends go to work because it's beneficial to both of them.

The fact that a lot more women are going to college versus men plays a significant part in their rising status and some men take advantage of that.

It's no longer women seeking men of high authority and power, it's men who are looking for women that have the power. As things continue to change in the years ahead, men may eventually overtake women when it comes to shallow behavior regarding class status.

Popular Culture

When it comes to popular culture, who is more shallow?

I'd say this is split quite equally among adult males and females. Now if we're talking about teenage boys and girls, then no question girls are a lot more influenced by popular culture and social media than boys.

As adults, we are less influenced by pop culture because we develop our own individuality though that doesn't mean there's no influence.

We might like certain things because it's popular or a passing fad, but they don't matter as much like when we were younger.

Popular culture is a minor thing to consider, and I mainly exclude it from this evaluation though I won't completely gloss over it.

What's the solution?
What's the solution? | Source

What's the Verdict?

The final verdict is not a black and white answer. It has to be broken down into two segments.

  • Intimate Relationship
  • Romantic Relationship

When it comes to an intimate relationship where the focal point is less on personality and more on shallow behavior, then women are more shallow than men. The reason being that they are more choosy when it comes to selecting a guy.

Even though it may not be a romantic relationship, women have a bit more emotional leverage, so even a physical romance is more choosy for them.

Men aren't as selective when it comes to a fling. Often they'll settle for just about anything, which sounds awful but they probably aren't the best boyfriends or husbands anyway.

In terms of romantic relationships, I think there's an even split among the two.

Both genders are more selective if they're looking to be romantically involved (as they should be). They generally aren't seen as shallow if expectations are kept in check.

On the other hand when both parties expect the best, then they're eliminating too much of a good thing and thus precipitating shallow methods in their search.

These shallow methods could include a list of traits and characteristics that they follow to a tee. Most of these traits are completely out of bounds and unrealistic thus condoning shallowness among the proprietors of said list.

Combining both intimate and romantic relationships, I find women to be much more selective than men (fairly obvious). It doesn't automatically mean they're more shallow, but rather they take other characteristics into consideration more carefully.

A lot of this is tied down to common biology, and women shouldn't be faulted for this.

Who do you think is more shallow?

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    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      A real awesome response and story that I love. The frog versus princes comparison is perfect and your dad was correct on a lot of levels. A lot of attractive people are cocky and they're expectation are really high so yeah they'll want an equally attractive person with money. I never believed the whole package ever existed because there's no such thing as perfection and having it all. It doesn't matter how good someone looks if there's nothing underneath. I like reading about the experiences of someone's who's been through the gauntlet regarding relationship because it's so insightful. Thank you so much for sharing and your kind words. It was so honest and I enjoyed looking through it.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Chris.....I found this quite interesting & fun to read. Keeping in mind please that I'm reading from the mindset, experience & WISDOM of a woman well into her 6th decade of life, I must of course respond from that same mind set. So, what am I saying? My comment would probably have been totally different, as few as two decades ago. OK? Is this fair? I hope so because it's as honest as possible.

      In my younger days I don't believe I was even aware I may have been shallow by being attracted to really good-looking guys.....the hair, the muscles, smile, swagger...all of it. I was however aware that beyond the immediate attraction was a whole different world. Somehow (maybe luck?) I was able to see that really attractive people, are keenly aware that they ARE...both men & women. I felt the need to really get to know the inside person before deciding whether I could actually have a relationship with that person.

      For the most part....At that certain age in life, it's difficult to find the whole package deal. Most beautiful people are cocky, ego-centered and understand the meaning of playing with emotions. Sad, but true.

      My Dad, to whom I was always very close and who was very handsome (or was that through MY eyes?) would pass on all sorts of advice to me. He used a lot of old addages....."Beauty is only skin deep...but ugly goes right to the bone."....."If you're only crazy about his LOOKS......when his looks fade....you'll just be crazy." LOL

      And you've heard the one about kissing a lot of frogs....? Well, my Dad's humor was twisted. He told my sister and I we would probably kiss a whole lot of Princes before we settle down with a nice, hard working, devoted FROG! LOL...& then he would add..."Just don't reproduce!" Yeah, he was a total treat that Dad of ours.

      So anyway...what exactly is "shallow?" I didn't see the movie, but heard enough about it to know the gist. But in fact, it was a MOVIE.

      I'll agree 100% that men may be shallow in wanting the sexy beauty & women shallow for some of the same reasons, but ALSO $$$$$$...definitely women want the $$$$

      Kind of makes you want to stay single, doesn't it?? LMAO! UP+++

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you, I too had similar beliefs about men and women at grade school and so forth, but I realized they both balance out as they become adults. It's not entirely black or white on either side, but rarely anything is.

    • Chriswillman90 profile image
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      Krzysztof Willman 2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thank you for reading. Everyone expresses their shallowness every once in a while, and yes we're different but similar at the same time.

    • Lovely  C profile image

      lavenderLove 2 years ago from Philippines

      you got that right Chriswillman90..bothe are shallow but in different ways...

    • FatBoyThin profile image

      Colin Garrow 2 years ago from Kinneff, Scotland

      When I was at school, I definitely thought girls were more shallow than boys, but now I reckon there's no difference - it's people who are shallow, and whether they're male or female doesn't come into it. Interesting Hub. Voted up.

    • Lovely  C profile image

      lavenderLove 2 years ago from Philippines

      you got it right there...men and women are both shallow but in different ways...thanks for this article....

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