Herald Sun

Close to truth

By TERRY BROWN
Herald Sun (Australia)
21 jun 99

YOUNG adults are increasingly nostalgic for times when men and women had distinct roles.

Last year, 30 per cent more 25 to 34-year-olds wanted blurred sex roles than wanted distinct roles.

But in 1999, the gap fell to 20 per cent.

Even women were marginally less supportive of the blurring of the sexes.

And research shows that regardless of equal opportunity principles, men are men and women are women.

They think and act differently, and stereotypes often mesh with modern reality.

Men continue to shirk housework and more than one in three never, or hardly ever, cook.

They generally choose the household toys like cars and liquor.

Women, instead, decide which clothes, medicine, groceries, pet food and white goods the family buys.

They read horoscopes and births, deaths and marriages sections twice as often as men.

Men, conversely, are five times keener on motoring sections than women.

They are three times more interested in articles dealing with technology and twice as taken with sporting and business news.

Not surprisingly then, the sexes are drawn to different magazines.

Women devour magazines. More than one in three had read three of the last four Women's Day, New Idea and Women's Weekly magazines.

Men read less, and read differently.

The Trading Post and Reader's Digest were the most popular with men.

And if they didn't so much read as look at the pictures, The Picture was a popular pick.

Preening remains more important for women than men.

Close to half of all women changed their hairstyle in the past year, many with a hidden agenda.

Of those surveyed, 27 per cent confessed using hair colors to hide grey.

Female intuition was more than a cliche, at least in the eyes of women.

They were twice as likely to make a decision through intuition than men.

As well as acting differently, women and men show starkly different views on matters sexual or intimate.

Women are about twice as strongly opposed to magazine and movie nudity and nude beaches.

And although personal hygiene products are part of their lives, women appear to be embarrassed by them.

Substantially more women than men don't want to see such items advertised on television.

More women than men believe in life after death and consider homosexuality acceptable.

They are more open to alternative medicine and therapies.

Almost twice as many women as men said they had undergone some sort of counselling.