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How he looks at you. How you look at him. Attractiveness and gender roles.

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Men, women, and how we view attractiveness. 

Driving home the other day I heard the Dennis Prager Show. As a conservative Republican he's not my usual radio show pick (although I try to at least sample all political points of view). 

But I agreed with what he said, mostly (see below for where he lost me).

Dennis discussed how men tend to view women's attractiveness. He offered some surprising insights including that men are far less critical of how their wife or girlfriend looks than women realize, assuming we at least try to look decent.  

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The effort alone counts. 

But unfortunately (and erroneously) women think we have to try to measure up to Charlize Theron, Angelina, or Cindy Crawford, or even lesser beauties to compete for our mate's attention. (I can't imagine where we'd get such a crazy paranoid notion except for the daily delivery of gorgeous models plastered on every media platform across every continent.)

Those sexy supermodels, Dennis reminds us, are often waif thin with a boyish body. Flat-chested and not much curve. Men like curves. Supermodels are mostly boys with boobs, he points out. 

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Men are visual addicts but not perfectionists

Men are highly visual, hard-wired to notice women.  (I'd argue women are hard-wired to notice certain male attributes. Mention Matthew McConaughey or Bradley Cooper and watch the smile creep across her face.)

Playboy knows men are visual addicts. Beer companies know men are visual addicts. If men get even a hint of a girl part their sensors go off.  


At my age (47) I'm less defensive about male sexual impulse than when I was younger and thought all men were pre-programmed for one-track thinking. Today my response to men's visual sexual radar?

Eh, so what (until my daughter dates then my boys-sex sensitivity will resurface with certifiable intensity). 

I agree with one of Dennis's callers who said she'd be concerned if her husband wasn't  looking at pretty women. Noticing is natural (for women as well). Staring, however, is demeaning to the woman and disrespectful to the wife (or husband). 

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Dennis said something I already sensed in my own home--men want their partners to look good but they don't expect supermodel perfection. The airbrushed babe is just fun fantasy, not home front expectation.  Men just want us to strive for our personal best (time, kids and energy willing). Men just want us to care enough about our appearance to convey:

I care about my appearance because I like looking  good for me and for you.

Wanting  to look nice for your mate is an aphrodisiac in and of itself. But men don't expect us to look like the Victoria Secret line-up. In fact, Dennis says, women are more critical of men's appearance than men are of women's appearance.

Women harder on men 

My first thought given the mounds of visual T and A around for men to slurp up? This is hard to believe. Men must be comparing their wives to the magazine models. They must.  But my scientific sample of one (me) concludes that Dennis is right.

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Writer. Essayist. Blogger. My focus is wellness, natural health, personal development, psychology and empowered living. I offer evidence-based and experience-inspired articles and essays to empower people to reach their highest potential.

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How he looks at you. How you look at him. Attractiveness and gender roles.