I have taught a Humanity and Sin course in The Theology Program many times. Before we begin our session on the theology of genders, I spend some time asking both the men and the women some questions. I don’t want people to think that this is necessarily leading anywhere so that their answers are not representative of a loaded defense of any particular theological position. In fact, when I started teaching this course, I was simply curious, not knowing how people would respond.

The questions are simple. Women, what do you like best about being a woman? What do you like least about being a woman. The same question is asked to the men about their gender. Having done this numerous times to people all over the world for many years, I found that the answers were always the same. Yes, there were a few exceptions here and there, but greater than 90% of the time, women and men answered the same.  Each semester I would take these results and write them all down and compare them to the previous semester. 

Below represents an agglomerated summery of the answers I always receive from each group. 

What WOMEN like MOST about being women:

• Femininity
• Child bearing
• Emotions
• Compassion
• Multi-tasking
• Verbal communication
• Intimate relationships
• Being protected
• Receiving Chivalry
• Security
• Female intuition
• Nurturing
• Inner strength
• Emotions

What women like LEAST…

• Too complex
• Perception of women
• Complexity in roles
• Self image
• Hormones/child bearing
• Physically vulnerable

What MEN like MOST about being men

• Simplicity
• Low maintenance
• Enjoy competition
• Physical strength
• Leadership
• Respected
• Being relied upon
• Problem solving
• Accomplishing goals
• Being a provider
• Logical
• Will power (resolve)
• Male bonding
• Less emotion
• Acceptable immaturity

What men like LEAST…

• Responsibilities
• Pressure
• Not understanding emotions
• Lonely
• Communication issues
• Can’t show weakness
• Inability to solve a problem
• Fear of failure

The top rated answer for women is “nurturer.” The top rated answer for men is “leader.”

I don’t necessarily ask you to do the same thing because the survey might be more contaminated since you know I have been discussing the gender debate. What I do want to ask you is for your thoughts on this survey.

Supposing this survey is correctly representative, does this speak in any way to whether God has created the sexes with a predisposition— physical, emotional, psychological—to carry out certain roles better than the other?

(Remember, the exception, while important, cannot be our focus.)

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Find him everywhere: Find him everywhere

    4 replies to "Men and Women: What they like and don’t like—and why it matters"

    • Danielle Abbott

      Of course! If there is a subordination (in functionality only) in the Holy, perfect Trinity, why not in God’s creation? We are made for different roles… Our worth is still equal…just different swim lanes. We can’t all be conquering leaders…. who will nurture the children?

    • newenglandsun

      Ummm…this is all based off of stereotypical gender roles. I have a friend who is a girl who would rather not be looked out for all the time and hence, would not like the part “being protected” the most. You put child bearing on both lists of what women do and do not like. This is the main problem I have with complementarianism. It assumes the biological differences of the reproduction systems in men and women equate to differences in roles as well. It does not. Not all women are the same and not all men are the same. It’s wrong to teach people this.

    • Austin

      Absolutely the gender differences are part of God’s design.

      Everything is this world is designed to point us back to God. God is relational by nature and he *is* love. To help us relate to him, he gave us the opportunity to love too. He created us incomplete so that we would know what it’s like to be in a relationship that makes us whole. A man and woman both are very different and have different strengths and weaknesses, but when they come together a beautiful wholeness can be created.

      This is designed to show us what God is like and that by ourselves we are incomplete until we relate with him. He makes us whole and he wants us to see that.

    • Lora

      Children need nurturing from both parents, not just mothers.

      Children need guidance from both parents, not just fathers.

      Respect is foundational-women need respect just as much as men.

      All of us need to stop interpreting scripture based on cultural presuppositions and ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding.

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