Do Men Like Physically Frail Women? I Doubt it.

Lately, the case for female vulnerability and weakness was made ( ). The “weak women are hot” thing in general seems to be relatively popular. Some people would even say that women have a hard time staying attracted and loyal to their husbands when they are ill and incapacitated, while the same is not true for husbands’ attraction to wives ( comment section in ). I have doubts about this.

First, there is this:  A study reports that if someone gets seriously ill, divorce occurs more often if this person is a woman.

“Of the 23 divorces in the multiple sclerosis patients, 22 occurred in couples in which the woman was ill, and just one in a marriage where the man was the patient.

Similarly, 18 of the 23 brain tumour patients whose marriage ended were women, as were 13 out of the 14 with other cancers, the U.S. study found.

Overall, 21 per cent of marriages in which the wife was ill ended, compared with just 3 per cent in which the husband was the patient.

The researchers, from Washington University in Seattle, said it appeared that women are more committed to staying with someone through thick and thin.”

The study does not actually say who does the leaving. One could argue that unless we know that, we can’t say men are less loyal to their ill spouses. However, it would be very odd if the ill person chose to divorce while they are still ill. I heard quite a lot of stories of women leaving loyal boyfriends after they have recovered and no longer need these men, but never have I heard of women who run off despite needing all the help they could get.

Second, there is the study by D. Buss from 1990. I wish I had a link, but I really found it in my psychology textbook (“Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour”, 2nd ed., N. Hold, A. Bremner, E. Sutherland, M. Vliek, M. Passer, R. Smith). Men and women from 37 cultures were asked to rate the importance of various traits in their long term commitment mate. Both rated “mutual attraction/love” as 1st. Women rated “health” 7th, while men rated it 5th (men also rated “good looks” 3 points higher – that is, it was more important to them).

Of course, this only measures what people consciously think is important to them, and might not necessarily reflect their behavior. Not to mention “mutual love”, the thing rated as 1st priority by both sexes, involves a million different things, which are different for sexes on average. Still, it makes some evolutionary sense – reproduction is more closely tied to women’s bodies, and being gravely ill means wasting limited years of fertility recovering.

So, I think all this casts doubt on the idea that women can’t cope with a man’s illness, while men are naturally good at it. It also casts doubt on the idea that men are attracted to physical frailty. As I said earlier, there is a limit to how insecure a girl can be, and still be attractive, non-annoying, and a good mate overall. Same, IMO, goes for physical weakness – there is a limit to how frail and ill she can be, and be an optimal mate. I think if men truly were attracted to frailty, they’d get off caring for incapacitated, ill women.

To end, I will add that the first study found the divorce rate in the couples where someone is sick, is no larger than average. So I’m not sure leaving a sick mate because they are sick is even normal.

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23 Responses to Do Men Like Physically Frail Women? I Doubt it.

  1. Liz says:

    Hm…never heard the ‘thing’ about men liking frail women. Not true, in my experience. But they don’t like them tough and manly either. More like gymnasts and dancers than soft ball players.

    Fwiw, I’m great when the family is ill. I’m the only one who keeps going, sick or no, tending to everyone else who is sick.

    • emmatheemo says:

      This internet community is very into natural gender roles and aknowledging gener differences where they are found. So, it is often said (in my experience) that women like to be protected, while men like to protect. I guess this idea can evolve into “weak women are hot”. The Matt Forney article is a part of that. And certain sites love skinny women with skinny arms and the “thigh gap”. But even those women are not frail and easily breakable.

      • Liz says:

        Reading further above, I don’t know why anyone would think men are “naturally good at” coping with a family member’s illness. Women are traditionally the nurturers. There’s probably a reason for that. There’s a portion of the manosphere that comes across very much like they’ve drunk the koolaid. If you google ‘solipsistic’ and ‘hypergamous’ and ‘women’ these days, it’s probably a 666,666 hit goocher.

    • Eric says:

      Liz & Emma:
      It could likely be an over-reaction to the masculine, non-feminine females of the types found in the Anglosphere currently. Sort of like anorexic women might be appealing to men who have to look at fat all the time.

      Actually, Forney and most other PUAs need to get out in the world more. They’re judging everything by the abnormal conditions in the Anglosphere. There’s such a thing as ‘feminine strength’ but it manifests itself differently than the masculine variety. Liz’ example of keeping going sick or not is an example of feminine strength. There is something that appeals to most men about ‘rescuing’ or ‘protecting’ females; but most modern women are not in the least bit grateful for this kind of treatment.

      As an aside, though most American women are not into caring much for ill boyfriends/husbands. Generally, they’ll move on the minute a man poses any imposition or obligation on them, whether the man is responsible or not.

  2. Ashley says:

    I find the whole Forney concept so out of touch, to be honest. They all have their studies to support their points, and yeah I get it…studies > anecdotal evidence, but all I know that when it comes to how this related to my personal life, is that my boyfriend would have left my ass a long time ago had I been insecure, and incapacitated emotionally, physically, or financially. He likes my confident, my can do – will do approach to life, he likes when I make more money and go after what I want, he likes my emotional strength, and I know it’s true because whenever I have a moment of weakness of any kind, things get rougher. He couldn’t withstand me being so needy of him. He leans on me too, and we both enjoy the mutual nurturing where and when we can. But I’m sure they’s all say he’s just some wussy beta boy. I don’t care because I still screw his brains out so they can kiss my ass. 😉

    • Ashley says:

      Sorry if that was tmi. It’s been a long weekend.

      • emmatheemo says:

        Nah, it’s cool 🙂 It wasn’t tmi

      • Eric says:

        I agree that Forney (and PUAs generally) are out of touch. Successful relationships are built on strengths—not weaknesses. What one lacks, the other has and it’s a mutual support system. That’s why NORMAL young women are attracted to NORMAL older men, for example.

        Besides that, in our feminist culture, it’s far more common for women to pursue helpless and weak men than the other way around. I think if anyone tried to follow Forney’s advice, they’d soon find themselves unceremoniously dumped for a male who was in even worse shape than the incapacitated female.

    • emmatheemo says:

      I don’t mind Forney’s article. He’s entertaining and provides stuff to think about. Stuff I like to read online doesn’t have to be all true, just thought-provoking. No, those bold, offensive manosphere articles don’t have to bother or affect us personally, unless they made a credible point. If your boyfriend likes things most guys here don’t like, he obviously matters more.

      • Firepower says:

        mr. foney’s an aggregator of an aggregator of multiple aggregators. now, i know gals appreciate anthing with “multiple” in it, so….. to be concise, he’s the Oprah BookClub of the dood-0-sphere.

        if you want to read where the likes of him get their original thought, go to the source and read Sowell, Buchanan and, for the laydeez: Tom Leykis

      • emmatheemo says:

        Well, I know very few people with actual genius original thoughts that they themselves came up with, so I can’t feel angry at him about that.
        Thanks for suggesting Sowell, that’s a new one for me.

  3. emmatheemo says:

    Goddammit, I messed up kate b’s comment when I tried to reply to it. Lemme see if I can fix it, but it seems I totally fucked it up :S

    • Firepower says:

      emmatheemo says:
      November 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Well, I know very few people with actual genius original thoughts that they themselves came up with, so I can’t feel angry at him about that.
      Thanks for suggesting Sowell, that’s a new one for me.

      really? you’ve got to read more than aggregators now. i pride myself on originality. i repudiate banality. no wonder you love Ferdi so much.

      youre welcome for the Thomas Sowell recommendation, if you also want a primer on a semi-original Nordy-Nerdy Blond, read Ann Coulter – her books. shes one of the few unpretentious intellectual hot-0-crats ever.

  4. emmatheemo says:

    Nope. Seems kate b’s comment got permanently altered and the original is gone. Sorry about that…

  5. Clarence says:

    I can only speak for myself, not all men.
    Am I physically attracted to physically frail women?
    Nope. Not in the slightest.

    More tomorrow.

  6. Liz says:

    Just thinking further…
    It’s interesting to consider that female frailty seems to have been a “thing” throughout history at one time or another. I wonder if it has anything to do with the nature of the societies in question? Probably. During the corset phases women would habitually faint and ask for smelling salts, for instance. Then there was Chinese foot-binding which made women essentially cripples for life. Maybe frailty is making a comeback? Seems counter-evolutionary (childbirth might be a an actual puss game, but is ain’t no metaphorical puss game).

    • emmatheemo says:

      I’m not sure those things were primarily about weakness. Both were exaggerating feminine features, and might have fooled male attraction function into “thinking” the ladies were super-healthy and fertile. The weakness and unhealthiness came as a side-effect. That’s my guess.
      Even today, we have fashion that hurts women, but doesn’t necessarily turn men off. High heels make feet look smaller (as well as make your butt stick out in a sexy way), but they can make your feet very unhealthy. Being very skinny is not actually something men like (they on average like a woman slightly bigger than what women think is ideal), but it’s close enough and some women like to achieve it with unhealthy means.

  7. Firepower says:

    Why do girls always put “musings” into namng t heir blogs?

    • emmatheemo says:

      Lack of originality (and I don’t care. The title can look dumb, it’s ok. Someone will think it’s a regular female blog and get a surprise).

      • Firepower says:

        the wily, cagey male might get the impressin youre not actully a girl, but a giant norsman named Sverd….but, to the point:

        it is not phenotypes mattering, it is not even secondary sex characteristics that matter; it is how a woman responds to me tht matters. I’ve had plain women and superhot women and it is t heir nature that’s attractive. how compelling they are via their femininity, grace and sweetness. sweet women are extinct today which is why its so easy to fucknchuck shrews

  8. Exfernal says:

    At least unemployment is a temporary condition.

  9. bo jangles says:

    Two important things: One those numbers are small and also they don’t indicate the relative number of male/female invalids(many cancers/ illnesses are gender specific, for example hypothyroid is about 6x higher in women.). If 600 more men left women for being hypothyroid compared to 100 men who left women…that would come out to the same odds for man or woman leaving. And on a whim I just googled MS and it looks like women get it in a 2-1 ratio compared to men.
    And there might be other age demographics that make it much more likely that an older women(more likely to be married) would get it as well.

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