from the world's big
Manly Bands wanted to improve on mens' wedding bands. Mission accomplished.
- Manly Bands was founded in 2016 to provide better options and customer service in men's wedding bands.
- Unique materials include antler, dinosaur bones, meteorite, tungsten, and whiskey barrels.
- The company donates a portion of profits to charity every month.
Yet, the real-world roles and expectations of fathers have changed in recent years.
From Homer Simpson to Phil Dunphy, sitcom dads have long been known for being bumbling and inept.
A 12-year long study examines the differences between how same-sex and different-sex couples argue, with some surprising results.
- A 12-year long study by the Gottman Institute examines the differences between how same-sex couples and different-sex couples resolve conflicts.
- Overall, the relationship satisfaction and quality were about the same across all couple types (gay, straight, lesbian). However, the study did find some differences in how same-sex and different-sex couples argue, including using humor to diffuse tense situations, not taking things so personally during an argument, and offering encouragement rather than criticism.
- No matter the relationship, there are key points to be taken away from this research in how we can all strive for healthier conflict resolution in romantic relationships.
Heterosexual couples show higher levels of physiological distress during arguments than same-sex couples, impacting their ability to stay calm.
Photo by B-D-S Piotr Marcinski on Shutterstock<p><strong>Same-sex couples use fewer controlling and hostile tactics during disagreements.</strong></p><p>Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues discovered that, during a disagreement, same-sex couples are less likely to display belligerence or domineering attitudes than heterosexual couples. </p><p>"The difference in these 'control' related emotions suggests fairness and power-sharing between the partners is more important and more common in gay and lesbian relationships than in straight ones," Gottman explains. </p><p><strong>Things don't get as personal in same-sex disagreements. </strong></p><p>"In a fight," Gottman says, "gay and lesbian couples take it less personally. In straight couples, it is easier to hurt a partner with a negative comment than to make one's partner feel good with a positive comment. This appears to be reversed in gay and lesbian couples." </p><p>This trend suggests that same-sex couples are able to disagree without taking things personally, whereas straight couples are more likely to be offended when their partner comes to them with a conflict.</p><p><strong>Same-sex couples show low levels of physiological arousal, different-sex couples show higher levels during conflict. </strong></p><p>According to Gottman's observations, unhappy gay and lesbian couples were less likely to show visible signs of aggravation such as elevated heart rate, sweaty palms, and jitteriness. Different-sex couples, on the other hand, had elevated physiological symptoms that signify they may have trouble calming down in order to resolve the conflict constructively. </p><p><strong>Same-sex couples are more likely to try to offer encouragement rather than criticism or lecturing when it comes to lifestyle choices.</strong></p><p>Your partner can have a very positive or very negative impact on your lifestyle. Gottman's study isn't the only research available that examines the differences in same-sex and different-sex marriages. </p><p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30052080/" target="_blank">A later (2018) study</a> suggests that same-sex couples are much more likely to try to influence each other's lifestyle habits (good or bad) with praise or encouragement. The opposite can be said for different-sex couples who tend to lecture or criticize to prove their point. </p>
Simple ways every couple can strive towards healthier conflict resolution skills<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM3MTAwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNjM3MjA1MX0.OaArbSg4ARcW43Qym-S9g8uEBNIr_WOgT87Fe7gQ7i8/img.jpg?width=980" id="b4e0a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="94dc27cb278e8eb5fe17baadb0613c23" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="two men consoling each other after an argument concept of same-sex conflict resolution" />
There are simple ways you and your partner can strive for healthier conflict resolutions in your relationship.
Photo by ArtOfPhotos on Shutterstock<p>While these differences in same-sex and different-sex marriages are important and interesting to observe, there are a few universal goals that should be placed on any couple trying to better themselves by striving for healthier conflict resolutions. </p><p><strong>Recognize your differences and take space from the other person when you need to.</strong></p><p>Each person brings their own experiences, opinions, values, and beliefs to the relationship. Acknowledging that you are two different people who are bound to disagree on things is a healthy part of any relationship. </p><p>Accepting and even appreciating those differences for what they can bring to your relationship should be something every couple - gay or straight - should keep in mind, especially during conflicts.</p><p>Julie S. Gottman, Ph.D. explains: "If you find that your heart is pounding during an argument, take a break. If you need to leave, you should explain when you're going to come back and rejoin the conversation. During the time when you're apart, don't think about the fight. Instead, practice something that is self-soothing (like reading a book) so that your body can calm down."</p><p><strong>Positivity and laughter might be more important than ever during disagreements.</strong></p><p>While it may feel strange to crack a joke during an argument, this 2003 study suggests that one of the reasons same-sex arguments may be healthier is because there is an air of humor and positivity to them. It's important to end a disagreement on a positive note, and same-sex couples do this far more often than different-sex couples, according to Dr. Gottman's research. </p><p><strong>Equality, understanding, and respect should be paramount in any relationship.</strong></p><p>Perhaps one of the reasons same-sex couples are able to resolve conflicts in a healthier way is because they aren't tied to traditional societal roles or the ideas of how they are "supposed" to relate to each other. This kind of freedom allows the couple to create their own dynamic. When possible, try to understand or sympathize with the other person's point of view. If you have two very different opinions on something, attempt to communicate your side respectfully and, perhaps more important, really listen to and acknowledge their feelings.</p><p>Respect and understanding are two crucial ingredients to a healthy relationship and these are things every couple should strive for.<br></p>
A joint study by two England universities explores the link between sex and cognitive function with some surprising differences in male and female outcomes in old age.
- A joint study by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher cognitive abilities in older age.
- The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted.
- The differences in testosterone (the male sex hormone) and oxytocin (a predominantly female hormone) may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age.
Study links sexual activity to higher cognitive function in old age<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM2NTkxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1NTY3Nzk3M30.IsAFwfT6eY3zB7MhnRBj_Kdf4OPVW3wZmL0VX7CW3Xk/img.jpg?width=980" id="9e3a9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fd1267b47b651effb578ccfb29aada64" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept of elderly brain cognitive function healthy brain" />
The results of this study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men and a significant association between sexual activity in word recall in women.
Image by Jirsak on Shutterstock<p>Cognitive function has been associated with various physical, psychological, and emotional patterns in older adults - from <a href="https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad110377" target="_blank">lifestyle</a> to <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article-abstract/37/6/685/40745" target="_blank">quality of life</a>, loneliness, and <a href="https://n.neurology.org/content/59/3/364.short" target="_blank">mood changes</a> as well as <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1471-2458-14-510" target="_blank">physical activity</a> levels.</p><p><a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/45/2/313/2195326" target="_blank">A 2016 joint study</a> by the universities of Coventry and Oxford in England has linked sexual activity with higher/better cognitive abilities in older age.</p><p>This longitudinal study used a newly available wave of data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing to explore the connections between sexual activity in the older population (50+) with cognitive function. </p><p>The study consisted of 6,833 participants between the ages of 50-89 years old. </p><p><strong>Two different cognitive function tests were analyzed: </strong></p><ul><li>Number sequencing, which broadly relates to the brain's executive functions.</li><li>Word recall, which relates to the brain's memory functions.</li></ul><p>The results of these tests were then adjusted to account for each person's gender, age, education level, wealth, physical activity, and mental health. The reason for this is that the researchers noticed there are often biases in other studies that examine the links between sexual activity and overall health.</p><p>For example, in this scenario, without taking those things into account, healthy older Italian men with a continued interest in sex would score higher on these tests. Women, who are more likely to become widowed and lose their sexual partner, would score lower. </p><p><strong>The results...</strong></p><p>While studying the impact of sexual activity on overall health, there are not many studies that focus on the link between sexual activity and cognitive function, and no other study that focuses on sexual activity and cognitive function in older adults. </p><p>The results of this one-of-a-kind study suggest there are significant associations between sexual activity and number sequencing/word recall in men. In women, however, there was a significant association between sexual activity in word recall alone - number sequencing was not impacted. </p><p>You can see the breakdown of this information <a href="https://academic.oup.com/view-large/35418872" target="_blank">here</a>. </p>
Why were the results for males and females so different?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM2NTkyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODA1OTMwMX0.HkKUez-IPp81XFBYgiaXsb1uKlZieq1ePU95wm4roKI/img.jpg?width=980" id="691df" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="42ae93bafe6d56bbc095ad17d4d9f06a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="old women drawing concept of cognitive ability in older women" />
One of the highlights of this study was exploring the differences sexual activity has in cognitive function in older males and older females.
Photo by Gligatron on Shutterstock<p>Exploring the differences when it comes to the improved cognitive ability between the older males and the older females in this study was one of the highlights of the research.</p><p><strong>Testosterone versus oxytocin</strong></p><p>Testosterone, which is the male sex hormone, reacts very differently to the brain than oxytocin, which is released in females during sexual activity. </p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-testosterone" target="_blank">Testosterone</a> plays a key role in many different areas such as muscle mass, facial and pubic hair development, and mood changes. It also impacts your sex drive and your verbal memory and thinking ability. </p><p>Testosterone belongs to a class of male hormones, and although the ovaries of a woman do produce <a href="https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/normal-testosterone-and-estrogen-levels-in-women#1" target="_blank">minimal amounts of testosterone</a>, it's not enough to compare the impacts on the male and female bodies.</p><p><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/love-hormone#biologicalsex-and-oxytocin" target="_blank">Oxytocin</a>, on the other hand, is produced in the male and female bodies <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9361803/" target="_blank">quite similarly</a>, but ultimately the hormone reacts differently in the female body, triggering the portion of the brain responsible for emotion, motivation, and reward. </p><p>These differences in testosterone and oxytocin may factor into why the male cognitive level changes much more during sexual activity in older age. </p><p><strong>Women's ability for memory recall remains a mystery…</strong></p><p>Another study, this time <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9421566/" target="_blank">back in 1997</a>, looked at the relationship between gender and episodic memory. The results of this study proved that women have a higher level of performance on episodic memory tasks (for example, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10101879/" target="_blank">recalling childhood memories</a>) than men. The reason for this was not further explored in this study and has remained something of a mystery, even now. </p><p><strong>The female brain deteriorates during menopause.</strong></p><p>Women very commonly struggle with memory-related problems during and post-menopause. This could be the reason why the original study proved older men had a higher cognitive ability in number sequencing than older women. </p><p>Along with menopause-related cognitive decline, women are also at a <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161109112447.htm" target="_blank">higher risk for memory impairment</a> and dementia compared to men. </p><p>Lead researcher of the original 2016 study, Dr. Hayley Wright, from Coventry University, explains:</p><p><em>"Every time we do another piece of research we are getting a little bit closer to understanding why this association exists at all, what the underlying mechanisms are and whether there is a 'cause and effect' relationship between sexual activity and cognitive function in older people." </em></p>
New research suggests some men identify with a new form of masculinity that values authenticity, domesticity, and holistic self-awareness.
- Media and societal norms have been feeding us the same "meat is manly" ideology for decades, maybe without many of us realizing it.
- A new study questions the stereotypical narrative that real men eat meat by taking a look at the variation in how men identify themselves and their values.
- The psychological link between meat and masculinity will likely remain alive and well, however, this study (and others that follow suit) can continue to challenge the narrative.
Society’s psychological link between meat and masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM0NjU5NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NTI0Mzg1NH0.OkRwFQ0wP0obBZJvskvWb1IDRUzwP6LdRUOInoETxwc/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="9f729" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="10a00f24b28cd1318c50122f0205fca8" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="male barbecuing meat while female watching concept of masculinity and meat" />
One 2018 study found that men routinely incorporate more red meat in their diet to preempt the negative emotions that are caused by threats to their masculinity.
Photo by bbernard un Shutterstock<p>With the release of her book in 1999, Adams was able to highlight the idea that meat has become something of a symbol of masculinity, mainly by companies attempting to promote meat sales. Putting that theory to the test in today's society, one simple search for "making salad" on a stock image site will give you countless photos of women making salads in their kitchens. Another search for "barbeque" will show dozens of men grilling meat outdoors.</p><p>This association between meat and masculinity is something that has been deemed a societal norm for decades, perhaps without many of us even realizing it. <a href="https://experiment.com/projects/meat-can-manhood-stomach-the-punch-of-the-vegetarian-alternative?s=search" target="_blank">One 2018 study</a> found that men routinely incorporate more red meat in their diet to preempt the negative emotions that are caused by threats to their masculinity.</p><p><a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2012-30417-001" target="_blank">A 2013 study</a> argued Adams' original theory on the sexual politics of meat with results that suggested men associate eating meat with animals being lower in a hierarchy system than humans, whereas the majority of women who eat meat try to disassociate animals from food and avoid thinking about the treatment of animals. </p><p>Alongside the narrative that meat is masculine comes the stigma around vegetarianism or veganism. These are both things that society deems "soft", "sensitive" or "whiny". </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/news/find-out-how-many-vegans-there-are-great-britain" target="_blank">this Vegan Society survey,</a> while the number of vegans is rapidly increasing (there were three and a half times more vegans in 2016 as there were in 2006), there is still a massive gender gap, with 63 percent of participants identifying as female and 37 percent identifying as male.<br></p><p>Researchers on this survey theorize that the main cause of this gap is the psychological link between meat and masculinity that is seemingly everywhere in today's society. </p>
Some men identify with a new form of holistic, self-aware masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzM0NjU5Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNzQ2MzIzMH0.b5Iay2oh2gt8YIbGQuBssQAlVTbcr5jQgD3cNrvU5mU/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="daa1c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c5757809798a679170bc1a15cca6b27e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="businessman in dress shirt and tie eating a salad at work" />
The results of a new 2020 study reveal that there are new forms of masculinity that are linked with less meat consumption and a more positive attitude towards vegetarianism.
Photo by Stock-Asso on Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666319313704?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">A new study</a> questions the stereotypical narrative of carnivores by taking a look at the variation in how men identify themselves and their values.</p><p>In the study, 309 male meat-eating participants were asked about their self-identification with new forms of masculinity, their attachment to eating meat, their willingness to reduce their meat intake, and their general attitudes towards vegetarians. </p><p>The results of this study suggest that men who identify more strongly with new forms of masculinity tend to consume less meat, have a weaker attachment to eating meat, and have a greater tendency to reduce their meat intake when possible. These men also showed more positive attitudes towards people who choose to be vegetarians. </p><p>This study is the first of it's kind to underscore the idea that not all men think alike and that biological sex differences shouldn't be taken into account when studying the consumption (or lack of consumption) of meat products. </p><p><strong>Changing the way researchers conduct studies like this can help turn the tide.</strong></p><p>Modern studies such as this are leaning more towards different tools that place less of a stigma on various types of masculinity. This study, for example, used the <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1097184X16634797" target="_blank">New Masculinity Inventory</a> (NMI), where high scores can suggest holistic attentiveness, questioning of male norms, authenticity to self, and sensitivity to male privilege. </p><p>Studies like this, where not only the results but the tools used to conduct the study take into account the varying types of masculinity in the participants, can only offer more accurate results due to being more inclusive and less stereotypical. </p><p><strong>Does vegetarianism stand a chance against meat-eating masculinity? </strong></p><p>The sheer amount of information surrounding vegetarianism and <a href="https://share.upmc.com/2014/03/benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet/" target="_blank">all the attached benefits</a> is astounding - so why is society having such a hard time keeping up? Why are men still less likely to decrease their meat consumption? </p><p>The "meat is manly" ideology will likely remain alive and well in today's society due to advertisements and societal norms, however this study (and others that follow suit) can continue to challenge the narrative. We can continue to promote the idea that vegetarianism isn't feminine and eating meat isn't masculine - they are simply choices that we make based on our unique views and how we feel about the information that is presented to us. </p>