Sex And Nagging: Men And Women Show Love Differently In Marriage
    By News Staff | August 8th 2012 03:30 PM | 2 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Husbands and wives express love differently in marriage, according to a new study.

     Looking at survey results collected at four time points over 13 years of marriage, researchers ("Do Men and Women Show Love Differently in Marriage?" Schoenfeld et al., Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, November 2012) found that while both genders were equally likely to show love through affection, wives expressed love by being less antagonistic while husbands showed love by initiating sex or sharing activities together. 

    In Western societies, the cultural myth is that women in romantic relationships are more adept at expressing love than men.  Men can't catch a break, it seems, but psychologists are on the case and recently examined the widely-embraced premise that men and women “love differently” and sought to tackle it empirically. 

    They collected survey data four times over 13 years of marriage and then examined whether either men and women really showed a distinction, with one gender being more expressive, or if love is simply associated with different behaviors for husbands and wives.  Their multilevel analyses revealed that, counter to long-held assumptions and therefore cultural expectations, both genders were equally likely to show love through affection, they just did it differently. 

    The difference?  Wives expressed love by enacting fewer negative or antagonistic behaviors while husbands showed love by initiating sex, sharing leisure activities like hobbies and doing household work together with their wives.

    Overall, the findings indicate that men and women show their love in more nuanced ways than cultural stereotypes suggest.

    So wives, if your husband is asking for sex again, he is just showing you how much he cares.  Wives, let him watch the game in peace to show you do too.  

    Citation: Elizabeth A. Schoenfeld, Carrie A. Bredow, Ted L. Huston, 'Do Men and Women Show Love Differently in Marriage?', Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Published online before print June 18, 2012  doi: 10.1177/0146167212450739


    So wives, if your husband is asking for sex again
    He's probably just feeling horny?
    Okay, we get the point. But it's a pretty one-sided report innit? It might be more useful if the analysis also showed how these shows of love are interpreted by the recipient. A man initiating sex because he loves a woman is all very well if it's received as a tender gift... not so good if the woman feels it's tantamount to an assault. 

    Perhaps it helps if you actually know your partner as, well, not wishing to be offensive, but let me put it this way, as a PERSON, not a machine with buttons to be pressed? Or is that too explicit for a coy science site? 
    Oh well, at least we now know that men can't tell the difference between love and wanting sex. I'm surprised no-one has remarked on this before.
    Don't you just love real science?


    I really hope this study is wrong, because if women really think/feel that expressing love means being LESS negative about your partner, then this is a really messed up world, and I don't want a relationship with someone like that.