We’ve all heard the stereotypes: Men are just out for sex, and women are the ones who have to trap them into monogamous relationships, which guys find dull. That’s very much not the case, according to researcher Andrew P. Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male.
Over at Salon, Tracy Clark-Flory conducted an interview with Smiler and got down to brass tacks about who, exactly, in the young male demographic really wants a succession of multiple babes and who doesn’t. (Hint: Most guys don’t want a ton of hookups.) Smiler says:
If you look at the public health research tracking things like unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, that research typically shows about 15 percent of guys have three or more partners in any given 12-month span. If you follow those guys over time the number of guys who have three or more partners a year for as long as three years, that drops to about 5 percent. So there are definitely some guys out there who are doing it — but it’s really a small percentage of guys. By contrast, if you look at guys who are very religious, that’s about 15 percent of guys, and most of them really are devoutly religious, really dedicated to their partner. There’s way more of that than guys that are having three partners per year for three years.
Regarding today’s youth, he goes on to say that dating looks a lot different from the way it did in the 1950s, because men are more likely to be friends with women, which kind of makes those formal “getting to know you” dates unnecessary. What guys do want, he says, is this:
What most guys seek, and this seems to be regardless of sexual orientation or age, they’re looking for people whose company they enjoy. People who appreciate them for who they are. We know that a couple tends to be similar in age. More often than not folks match on ethnicity, political orientation and religiosity. The thing that ultimate grounds it are personality match, similar sense of humor, similar tastes in music, TV and movies, similar activities, because you want to be able to do things with your sweetie and you want someone who gets you. They want someone who’s honest, who’s not going to tell your secrets and who’s loyal. And, of course, those last are typically the reasons people break up — that or you’re emailing the FBI.
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