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Men do not hate shopping

Shopping

An article on CNN recently explained the differences between men and women. Finally, enlightening answers to some of the most difficult questions that have plagued us since the beginning of time. Why don’t men want to cuddle after sex? Why don’t men like to shop? (You recognize sarcasm when you read it, right?)

The shopping part, excepted from the CNN article:

Men hate shopping

What you think: Men hate to go shopping with their mate because they think it’s a waste of time.

What the experts say: Men do enjoy shopping when they get to “hunt” for a specific item, whereas women enjoy “grazing” for items. This goes back to our hunting and gathering days, when losing focus could mean losing the week’s meal.

“Men are much more task-oriented,” says Robert Schwarz, a psychologist and director of the Mars and Venus Counseling and Wellness Center in Haverford, Pennsylvania. “They hunt it, they kill it, they buy it and they go out.”

In the aptly titled 2007 study “Men Buy, Women Shop,” University of Pennsylvania researchers found that factors having to do with speed and convenience were the most important for men. Of the 1,250 male and female shoppers surveyed by phone, finding parking near the store or mall entrance was the No. 1 problem men said they encountered when shopping (29 percent of respondents), whereas women cited “lack of help” as their chief complaint (also 29 percent).

Since CNN only gave us a small taste of the full Penn study, here’s more about it. An excerpt:

Women are happy to meander through sprawling clothing and accessory collections or detour through the shoe department. They like to glide up glass escalators past a grand piano, or spray a perfume sample on themselves on their way to, maybe, making a purchase. For men, shopping is a mission. They are out to buy a targeted item and flee the store as quickly as possible, according to new Wharton research.

So according to this distinction, I have both feminine and masculine shopping styles. There are times when I’m excited about shopping, browsing and just enjoying the experience, but there are other times when I want to go in, get what I am looking for, then get out as quickly as I can. I would expect that most people demonstrate both styles, depending on the situation.

Another gem from the writeup:

On the other hand, after generations of relying on women to shop effectively for them, men’s interest in shopping has atrophied.

Ah, yes. It’s instinctive, genetic. That makes sense. Men don’t like to shop because their women shop for them.  Really?  Does this argument make sense to anyone?

Anyway, I just thought this study was interesting. I started thinking about the issue of gender after this week’s volume of awesomeness, which is pretty heavy on products targeted at women.  I didn’t leave men out on purpose, but I do definitely tend toward a mindset of shopping as a more female-oriented activity. I shouldn’t do that and I don’t want to do that, so I appreciate anything that attempts to explore issues of gender and shopping.

Jenn @ June 19, 2008

1 Comment

  1. David Harrington July 29, 2008 @ 1:38 am

    I like shopping when it doesn’t take a long time, when I get a good deal (really, really dirt cheap), when I know the results will impress someone, and when I can work something else into it, like ice cream.

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