Poll: Are women in couples meaner than their guys?

From several couples I know (varying from early twenties to early forties in age), I have noticed that the women are, on average, not as nice people as their mates.

The breakdown is something like:
60% of couples: guy and girl equally nice people
40% of couples: guy is a nicer person than the girl.

I assume that this is a statistical anomaly, since I would expect an even distribution of niceness between the sexes.

So, I want to see what the experiences of Dopers are, just to get some more data on this.

So, among the couples you know, please give
a) Percent where the guy and girl equally nice people.
b) Percent where the girl is a nicer person than the girl.
c) Percent where the guy is a nicer person than the girl.

d) What is the socio-economic class of the couples you know.

I’ll start
a) 60
b) 0
c) 40
d) Upper middle class

Look, why don’t you stop beating around the bush and just come right out and say it; My ex is not a particularly nice person. There, I admit it. She was frequently mean to waiters, and various service people for the slightest error or omission. She can be a big snob without just cause (not that there ever is one) and she’s just plain bitchy for reasons I’ve never been able to fully understand.

We’re not together anymore so you can stop being so diplomatic about her.

:stuck_out_tongue: :slight_smile:

Wow, did we date the same woman QuickSilver? Because my ex was (is) a total bitch as well.

Coincidence? I think not.

I get the feeling that this will not end well.

Can we get some stats guys?

My evil is more deep running and insidious but my wife is the one you want to avoid a verbal sparring match with and she sometimes scares people with her overt verbal aggression especially in business. My mother and father were the same way when they were together.

I think that male “aggression” is way overstated because it is mainly concentrated in a few forms. I have always found females much more verbally aggressive in things like relationships, business, and dealing with strangers.

Considering I used to work at a battered women’s shelter, my statistics are bound to be a bit skewed. But regardless, I don’t believe either sex is inherently “nicer.” I’ve seen assholes and saints of both genders, and I’ve seen equal meanness on both sides of a relationship.

I don’t think you can really generalize, since there are so many different kinds of relationships out there. Plus people’s perceptions of “mean” and “nice” are so subjective.
Sometimes, the kind of behavior that might be seen as acceptable from a man is viewed as “bitchy” because it comes from a woman.

At the same time, though, it wouldn’t really surprise me if some kinds of guys tend to tolerate more obnoxious behavior from girlfriends than women do from boyfriends.
Let’s face it, a lot of men choose their partners based on good looks more than on personality (and I’m not judging them for that, because I don’t think you can help who you’re attracted to), so they might be willing to tolerate bitchy antics from a good looking girl. I think it would be less likely, although certainly not impossible, to find a woman who tolerates jerkish antics from a guy just because he’s really hot-looking.

Just out of curiosity, why do you want to know this?

There are too many definitions of “mean” to have a meaningful coversation. For example there is: [ul]
[li]mean to strangers[/li][li]emotionally manipulative[/li][li]physically agressive[/li][li]verbally violent[/li][li]plays social games with friends[/li][li]secretly selfish (i.e. tips bad when nobody is looking)[/li][li]demands their way[/li][li]whines and pouts a lot[/li][/ul]
These all happen to different degrees with different people. I can be emotionally manipulative, verbally agressive and whine a lot, but my boyfriend can be mean to strangers and sometimes plays emotional games with his friends. I think in most couples it evens out in the end, although that reckoning may be in private where you can’t see it.

We have to also notice that what would be considered unremarkable in a man (i.e. being a ruthless politician) can be taken as unusually aggressive or mean in a woman.

Why are you making this more complicated than it should be?

Let’s say that the difference between a nice person and mean person is that, all their other characteristics and abilities being equal, we would generally enjoy hanging out with the nice person rather than the mean person (as long as we are not masochists)

You mention that he is mean to strangers and plays emotional games with his friends, but you don’t mention with whom you are emotionally manipulative, verbally agressive and whiney.

Is it only towards him, or to friends and strangers also?

I don’t know if this helps much, but back in my days as a waiter and I was waiting on a couple, the female was almost always the asshole. I’d say 99%.

I was going to wait until I got some more data on this, but since the poll aspect of the OP doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, I’ll explain. For a bunch of caveats to what I am about to say, see the end of this post.

In couples there is always a power struggle (to some degree), in the sense that on many occasions the two parties disagree on a course of action for the couple, and a decision has to be made, so it comes down to who gets what they want.

Many years ago, the “weapons” men brought to this power struggle were physical intimidation and financial superiority.

Over the centuries, women have learned to counter-balance these “weapons” by developing their own “psychological weapons”. (e.g. Girl: Looks upset. Guy: “What have I done wrong?”. Girl: “Nothing”)

Thus, both parties had developed methods of getting what they wanted.

Now, in our modern times, men are taught that physical intimidation and abuse are out of the question. In addition, women now have jobs and therefore financial independence.

Therefore, the “weapons” that men brought to the couple’s power struggle disappeared.

However, society does not frown so much on the “psychological weapons” women use in relationships, so they have kept them.

As a result, there is today, in modern couples, a power imbalance, and women have more ways of getting what they want than men do.

The reason I asked about the socio-economic class is because I wanted to see whether this situation exists in all classes, or is confined to the college-educated upper-middle class guys who have Political Correctness and sensitivity drilled into them much more than lower classes.

CAVEATS: The above is a gross overgeneralization and oversimplification of the situation. I don’t think the above applies to all women, all men and all couples. It’s just an idea that I think roughly fits what I have observed in people around me. Also, I don’t think men should go back to using physical intimidation and I don’t think women should stop working.

Anyway, I’m curious to see if other people think the above has any speck of truth in it, or whether it’s comlete bullshit.

After my first week working at the grocery store at the tender age of 15, I had to ask a female cashier why the only people that were flat out rude and mean to me were females and usually older ones. She explained that was just the way it is for everyone. That held true until I quite the service industry for good after college. It isn’t really a condemnation on the whole sex. I think it is some weird side-effect of a maternal instinct run amuck.

(I am not even saying the percentage of women that are rude to service workers and people in public is that high but the ratio seems very unbalanced when you are put in a position to experience it.)

The question is really unanswerable, because what happens in public isn’t necessarily what happens in private.

You could make the argument that women are socialized to be “nice.”

But many men who work in sales learn quickly that being “nice” can cement a relationship.

On the other hand, many couples fall into “good cop/bad cop” roles, where one is diplomatic and the other blunt, and they switch back and forth depending on circumstance.

I haven’t been in a ton of relationships, but without exception in each one I was no match for my counterpart when it came to verbal viciousness. I’m a pretty laid back and easygoing guy, but they could come up with devastatingly cruel things to say in the heat of battle so to speak–things that I would never allow myself to say (even if I was thinking them at the time). Later on she would say “Oh I didn’t mean all that…”

Venting is one thing. Getting things off your chest is good. Seeking to destroy is not.

It was like they didn’t have any type of emotional filter between the brain and the mouth. Just let it fly, damn any repercussions. One girl in particular soon alienated every other woman who started out as her friend. I had one of these friends come up to me after receiving another verbal assault. She told me “I’m so sorry; it must be hard for you.” I guess she realized what she had just been subjected to was something I had to deal with on a regular basis. (But not any more, thank God).

Maybe I just hang out with guys more like me, but I’ve *never * known a fella who was just out and out mean. But I’ve known or been around many women who strike me that way.

“Meanness” is sort of hard to pin down I think.

I think women do more passive-agressive things to friends/strangers than men do, which certainly makes them unpleasant to be around.

However, I think that more men than woman do passive-agressive things to their girlfriends/wives/SOs.

I’ve heard a lot of theorys as to why this is, some I kind of get and some that just sound absurd.

So, I don’t really know how to answer the OP.

I think depending on the circumstances, both sexes are equally mean. However, men are more likely than women to kill their partner, so they certainly win that meanness contest.

Because she’s a chick.

I think the “idiot man-child/all knowing/all powerful female” garbage that we see in media and entertainment might be partially to blame for this. We’re getting the message all the time that men are always wrong, and women are always right (and usually cleaning up the mess that their incompetent men made). My husband just made a good point about this, too - men tend to fight with their fists, and women fight with their words.

In my personal relationship? I’m more likey to go for the sharp jabs and high drama- yelling, straightforward guilt trips, running out of the house in a huff. But he’s a master of the real gut-wrenching stuff. Long emotional fits, grudges, complicated and many-layered guilt complexes. He’s the more socially adept one and uses that to his advantage. I’m a little fiercer and more hot headed, and also a little more emotionally distant. My meaness seems to bubble up fast, and recede just as quickly, leaving me eager to move on. He’s really in to working all the way through emotions and fights- which is agony to me. I think he feels emotion a little less strong but a lot deeper than I do.

Note that most the time we get along just fine, and have a healthy relationship with normal ups and downs.

I feel like you are looking for a simple answer to a complicated question- and that you want to draw conclusions from that simple answer instead of the complicated and messy stuff underneath it.

FWIW, I’ve also found in customer service women are the hardest to work with. Pinko that I am, I’ve always interprested this as a class thing- designer purses were always a dead giveaway that I was about to have a long transaction. Women of a certain class (specifically, the insecure upper middle class) spend their days running errands, and are expected to act a certain way to the “help.” They are also expected to manage daily household finances and hold on to that little power they have with an iron grip. Men of that class are making their own money, don’t mind spending it and are probably glad to have the day off to rent videos or buy soda or whatever. They’ve got real power, so they don’t feel as compelled to act like petty tyrants over the poor guys working at the video store. I’ve generally found that poor people on the whole are easier customers (and this comes from working two nearly identical motels side-by-side to each other that targetted different markets) but the problem poor customers can be a wild ride.