Why Women Still Don't Propose
4 months ago
Seeking a man's hand in marriage makes both sexes uncomfortable, study says
'Tis the season to get engaged apparently. According to a survey by the Fairchild Bridal Group, the months of November and December account for 26 percent of marriage proposals. But that statistic only refers to the 1 in 4 grooms who get down on one knee, not the unconventional women who decide to pop the question themselves.
However, those women may be better off not going through with their gutsy decisions. A recent study by the University of California, Santa Cruz, found that of 277 heterosexual students surveyed, not a single one reported they'd "definitely" want the woman to propose in a relationship. Conversely, two-thirds of those surveyed, both male and female, declared wanting that of men.
So why haven't women been widely accepted yet as the initiator of marriage?
Psychotherapist Tina B. Tessina, author of "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again," believes it still boils down to traditional societal norms, ones taught long before we can even afford an engagement ring.
"No matter how much the social atmosphere changes, we all have to deal with our expectations of how it should be," said Tessina. "And these are formed early in childhood, and then reinforced by images from the media and examples from the society around us, which include the model of the man taking the lead in relationships."
Indeed, never has a Kay's or Jared's jewelry commercial ever featured a woman getting down on one knee. However, there have been a few mainstream maverick women.
In 1993, Halle Berry asked then-Atlanta Braves hitter David Justice to marry her while lying in bed (though we know how that relationship ended); in 2005, singer Pink famously asked her motocross racer husband Carey Hart for his hand in marriage by holding up a pit board during one of his races; and in 2009, after, yes, receiving a traditional proposal, Jennifer Hudson still decided to return the favor to her fiancé David Otunga by presenting him with an inquiry of her own and a 5-carat engagement ring.
(And on the small-screen, Monica proposed to Chandler on "Friends" and Miranda did the same for Steve on "Sex & the City.")