The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-07-2008, 12:54 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,246
More fat woman/thin man couples than the vice versa?

I don't know if this is selection bias or not, but I've noticed far more couples that consist of a fat or large woman with a thin man than "sitcom couples" with a thin woman and a large man. Is the fat woman/thin man pairing indeed more common than the vice versa, and if so, why?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:04 PM
Beadalin Beadalin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Before this thread goes down in flames, which it probably will, I'll go ahead and throw out that pregancy might be a factor for some. Women gain weight during pregnancy, and things like gestational diabetes and the general exhaustion of parenthood can make it tough to lose again. Especially with more than one kid.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:12 PM
burundi burundi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
In my experience, that's the case. I think it's easier for men to stay in good shape as they age. As Beadalin points out, women gain weight with pregnancy and even if they lose all of the baby weight, your body never really goes back to it's pre-pregnant state. Also, I'd guess that men are more likely to be in physically active careers.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:20 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
I should also point out that men can't be fat. Only fat chicks can be fat.


Seriously though, I think women have a harder time keeping the weight off and there are smaller tolerances for what makes a woman "thick" compared to a man.

That's probably why you see more Jack Sprats than Doug Heffernans out there.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:24 PM
gigi gigi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Flatlander in NH
Posts: 17,653
Define fat and thin. Men can be proportionally bigger than women are and not be considered fat. I would think there are as many average women with beer-gutted men as average men with heavier women (the guy in your first picture doesn't look wildly different from the woman).

So are we talking abnormally thin + abnormally fat?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:25 PM
Duke Duke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Statistically it's probably more common, but not by much. The CDC reported that in 2005-06 35.5% of American women were obese, against 33.5% of American men. There's not much divergence with regards to age range according to that study, so we'd expect that if the average American couple is within one or two years of age of each other, so statistically speaking there would only be about roughly a 2% greater chance that the woman would be obese.

Last edited by Duke; 11-07-2008 at 01:25 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:31 PM
elmwood elmwood is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 9,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigi View Post
So are we talking abnormally thin + abnormally fat?
See the photos linked in my OP. I'm talking about men who are thin or with an average build with women who are "thick", obese, "big and beautiful", and so on.

For another example, I've noticed that at the grocery store in my neighborhood, there's the occasional couple with a thin or average-built man walking, with a large woman on an electric cart. I've never seen the opposite, where the woman was thin or average, but the man was on the cart.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:33 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
I guess it also depends on the age/where you are. I've seen more "fat" men/thin women in college and younger people than viceversa (IME). Heck, I've seen guys who cherish their beer belly and quite big (for me), date and have as girlfriends petite slender females.

I'm also not very happy when those guys, whose BMI is probably bigger than mine, find women like me "fat". Pot calling kettle.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11-07-2008, 01:41 PM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
I agree with the above posters who said that pregnancy/child birth often has a lot to do with the fat woman/thin man combo. Then the subsequent sleep deprivation during the first year or so makes it hard to make smart food choices. Compounding that is that women also have less muscle mass than men, making burning calories more difficult. Though I've noticed that after a certain age, many men seem to gain weight to the point where both parties are plump. But that could just be my circle of friends.

I also agree with msmith537 that the perception of fat can be different for women vs. men. A woman with a slight pot belly thanks to childbirth but otherwise quite fit can be considered fat while a guy with a slight pot belly thanks to beer but otherwise quite fit is average.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11-07-2008, 02:15 PM
dangermom dangermom is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Yeah, I think it's harder for women to stay slim. However, I can think of two married couples I know (just off the top of my head) where the man is significantly overweight and the woman is very trim. If I thought hard I could probably come up with more. I don't think it's a huge gap or anything.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-07-2008, 02:15 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Fat man/thin woman couples are so common as to be invisible. The thin man/fat woman couples stand out precisely because they're so unusual.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-07-2008, 05:23 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Isn't it also generally easier for men to lose weight? I've heard that often--like when a lone man goes to Weight Watchers, he typically loses the weight in a manner of week, whereas women tend to struggle with it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-07-2008, 05:48 PM
ultrafilter ultrafilter is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
To some degree, men have an easier time of losing weight than women, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that we don't set out to lose weight without a damn good reason. If a man shows up at Weight Watchers, you can be certain that he's one of the most highly motivated participants.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:20 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Is your question about what proportion of fat woman/thin man couples start as such or end up that way? IOW are you asking about how people choose their partner's body type initially or how age and lifestyle change affect mens and womens bodies over time long after the choice in partners was made?

I take to mean "is there a difference in the proportion of skinny guys will initially go for a fat woman and the proportion of skinny women will initially choose a fat guy?" (The effect of kids, hormones, career, and lifestyle isn't part of the equation) If that's what you're asking, I'd say there are more fat female skinny male couples than the reverse.

Both genders will prefer a somewhat skinny partner, but remember that men do most of the asking. Plenty of skinny men get turned down by skinny women and then approach fat women instead. So the fat women can choose between the fat men or the skinny men who approach them; many will take the skinny men. The skinny women get the same choice, and most take the skinny men. Sucks to be a fat man that neither type of woman usually want given the choice...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:26 PM
drachillix drachillix is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrafilter View Post
To some degree, men have an easier time of losing weight than women, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that we don't set out to lose weight without a damn good reason. If a man shows up at Weight Watchers, you can be certain that he's one of the most highly motivated participants.
Probably there to pick up women....
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11-07-2008, 07:40 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmmiiikkkeee View Post
Is your question about what proportion of fat woman/thin man couples start as such or end up that way? IOW are you asking about how people choose their partner's body type initially or how age and lifestyle change affect mens and womens bodies over time long after the choice in partners was made?

I take to mean "is there a difference in the proportion of skinny guys will initially go for a fat woman and the proportion of skinny women will initially choose a fat guy?" (The effect of kids, hormones, career, and lifestyle isn't part of the equation) If that's what you're asking, I'd say there are more fat female skinny male couples than the reverse.

Both genders will prefer a somewhat skinny partner, but remember that men do most of the asking. Plenty of skinny men get turned down by skinny women and then approach fat women instead. So the fat women can choose between the fat men or the skinny men who approach them; many will take the skinny men. The skinny women get the same choice, and most take the skinny men. Sucks to be a fat man that neither type of woman usually want given the choice...
See above, I think the opposite is true (at least in college). Also, I guess it depends on how "fat" the person is... I can see where really obese men would have trouble, but I've still see obese men with women who are proportionally thinner than them.

As to your theory... what about fat women that don't get asked by either? IME, I've been tagged in various times during my (young young compared to others) lifetime as fat/overweight/whale, in many cases by people who are themselves not of "ideal" weight (at least to me).
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11-08-2008, 05:36 AM
UntouchedTakeaway UntouchedTakeaway is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
The fat man/thin woman couples that leap into mind involve a wealthy/powerful "fat" man: James Gandolfini (who I would jump on in a Noo Yawk minute), Harvey Weinstein, Ron Perelman, etc. And again, the definition of "fat" is subjective.

VCNJ~ (a formerly morbidly obese woman who prefers larger men)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11-08-2008, 05:48 AM
astro astro is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 29,767
There's also the physical issue re the fact that a fat women can (usually) safely accommodate a thinner man mounting her whereas a thin or slender women would find a heavy walrus of an obese man trying to mount her uncomfortable or possibly even dangerous.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:41 PM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
There's also the physical issue re the fact that a fat women can (usually) safely accommodate a thinner man mounting her whereas a thin or slender women would find a heavy walrus of an obese man trying to mount her uncomfortable or possibly even dangerous.
Thank you for that stunning visual. Now I keep imagining the walrus at the zoo attempting to mount the woman who usually feeds it. I can imagine the stink of the fish and everything. I'm not into inter-species sex and feel like my brain needs a good bleaching. Ick.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:44 PM
Telperien Telperien is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
There's also the physical issue re the fact that a fat women can (usually) safely accommodate a thinner man mounting her whereas a thin or slender women would find a heavy walrus of an obese man trying to mount her uncomfortable or possibly even dangerous.
Not everyone has, or has exclusively, man-on-top sex so this may not be the most compelling reason.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:53 PM
astro astro is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 29,767
Quote:
Originally Posted by overlyverbose View Post
Thank you for that stunning visual. Now I keep imagining the walrus at the zoo attempting to mount the woman who usually feeds it. I can imagine the stink of the fish and everything. I'm not into inter-species sex and feel like my brain needs a good bleaching. Ick.
Visual? Here you go!
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:56 PM
overlyverbose overlyverbose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by astro View Post
Holy mother of God. That poor, poor seal.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.