Monday, December 21, 2009

Shopping Showdown: Men v. Women

“If you think the United States has stood still, who built the largest shopping center in the world?”
~ Richard M. Nixon

Earlier this month the U.K. paper the Telegraph published a story about the different approaches men and women take to shopping. Anyone who has gone shopping with a person of the opposite sex already knows all about this. Generally speaking, even a woman who dislikes shopping (e.g., Divinipotent Daily) will browse, try things on and ask for an opinion. The typical man chooses the first reasonably suitable thing he sets eyes on; if the woman he came with disagrees, he goes directly to the store's electronics department or, if there isn't one, sits on a bench and looks grumpy.



What's new is, a University of Michigan study claims evolution is responsible for this behavior. According to Professor Daniel Kruger, it all comes down to the roles our distant male and female ancestors took on (or, as Professor Kruger so memorably puts it on his Web site, we shop "in ways consistent with adaptations to the sexually dimorphic foraging strategies utilized during recent human evolution"). What this means is, Wilma Flintstone developed her shopping habits while poking around gathering food and taking her time to avoid the poisonous stuff, while Fred went out and killed whatever he could as fast as he could and dragged it home.

Is it true? Who knows. But Divinipotent Daily predicts that countless millions of impatient men will now try out a shiny new scientific excuse to stay home.

“When women are depressed, they eat or go shopping. Men invade another country. It's a whole different way of thinking.”
~ Elayne Boosler

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