The study is called The Shriver Report Snapshot: An Insight Into The 21st Century Man. And apparently 818 American hetero men over the age of 18 were asked what two or three traits they wanted most in a wife and in a daughter.
(Aside: Why is this even a study? Is it 1862?)
Anyway, to the results: Intelligence topped the list for both wives and daughters. So that’s cool. But…things kinda go downhill for the wives’ club from here.
For starters, there’s the whole independence thing. Sixty-six percent of men described wanting an independent daughter, but only 34 percent wanted the same quality in a wife.
Strength also appears to be way more valued in a daughter (48 percent) than in a wife (28 percent), though it’s unclear whether this refers to actual weight-lifting strength or, say, the kind where we act like a rock when your business deal falls through or your mom dies or you need help finding the ketchup in the refrigerator even though it’s right there in front of your face on the top shelf.
They totally should have put “good at finding stuff” on the list of traits, by the way. I guarantee the wives would have taken that category by a landslide.
Speaking of which … where did the wives come out on top? In the areas of attractiveness, sweetness, and nurturing, natch. Because what good is a wife if she’s not hot and doting? And it gets worse—30 percent of the men agreed that “women taking on greater responsibility outside of the home has had a negative effect on the confidence of American men.”
So to sum up: Men want their daughters to be smart and independent and strong—all the things which, in turn, would help them succeed in the workplace. But the fact that there are women out there with these qualities right now is pretty much a bummer. Unless they’re also hot. And sweet.
The Washington Post‘s Danielle Paquette explains it this way: “In the last few decades, there have been dramatic changes in the role of women in society, and many men are still adjusting,” she writes. “It seems that the more women are able to do for themselves, the less men know what to do with themselves.”
Here’s an idea, guys: Grow up.