U.S. Men, Women Still Worlds Apart; Poll Upholds Stereotypes

Article excerpt

Byline: Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Vive la difference: Despite feminists, metrosexuals and gender-neutral language, we just can't surrender those old ways. Men, it seems, are still chivalrous, protective of their womenfolk and perhaps endearingly stubborn about certain things. And women? They like to shop, they're fastidious, and yes, they will ask for directions.

"American men and women tend to embrace many well-known sexual stereotypes, admitting to patterns of behavior commonly attributed to their gender," according to a poll released yesterday by the Scripps Survey Research Center at Ohio University.

"Recall that male passengers on the Titanic agreed to give up their places on the lifeboats for women and children," the researchers said in framing their question to more than 1,000 Americans. "If there were a similar life-or-death situation today, do you think men should be expected to die and allow women to live?"

Almost two thirds of the men - a manly 63 percent - said they should be expected to lay down their lives. Only 39 percent of the women agreed; 43 percent of the ladies, in fact, thought the idea was "old-fashioned," compared with 23 percent of the men.

Females had a practical edge: While almost half the men said that someone had told them that they were reluctant to ask for directions, the number was just 13 percent among women. And 65 percent of the guys had run out of gas while driving, compared with 47 percent of their feminine counterparts.

"One of the failures of second-wave feminism is the refusal to recognize that there are in fact differences between men and women," Michelle D. …