Big Boys, Big Toys

September 1, 2014

in Uncategorized

It is said, the difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys. This is fairly accurate; just as it would be accurate to say the same about women, girls, and the cost of their clothes (and shoes!). Still, what is it with men and their cars, boats, ATV, guns, and so on? We knew a woman who cried, “He loves his bass boat more than he loves me. ” (Based on the money and time spent on both she may have been right.)

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Males are drawn to mechanical things more than females are. You see even in babies; while boys and girls will both play with cars and dolls, given a choice boys gravitate towards cars while girls go for the dolls. This is both because of the male attraction to mechanical things, and because of the female attraction to faces. The difference is apparent by one year of age – girls spend more time looking at faces while boys will stare at a mechanical mobile.

In mechanical aptitude tests males as a group rank more highly than women do. Again, this is seen at all ages. Some have suggested this is a matter of training, but aptitudes are set early in life, long before kids start school. One researcher has suggested women score lower on mechanical aptitude because they are not interested in the subject. This does not solve the nurture vs. nature argument, but it does suggest men and women may be following gender-based differences in interest.

Whatever the reason, your husband is more into mechanical things than you are, and the reasons for this is rooted in his being a man. If he takes it too far, you should say something; but do not judge “too far” by female standards. If he is not making it difficult to pay the bills, and you and the kids get time with him, his time with his “toys” may be a healthy and necessary outlet.

Taking an interest in his toys could do great things for your relationship. I am not suggesting you have to go all in, but learning a bit about his toys of choice shows you care about him. It also gives you something to talk about with him. (And, his buddies will be impressed you can use terms like 30-Ought Six and .22 caliber correctly!)

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my toys are techie.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

dawn September 1, 2014 at 4:47 am

I know the xy code generalizes. and my hubby confirms most of what you write, but to generalize that women spend more and more on clothes and shoes doesn’t hold true for this gal. I only spend more for clothing because I want better quality (not quantity) and the prices of clothing has gone up and up. You really have to twist my arm to go buy new clothing.

In the meantime, my sweetheart and I have been chasing digital monsters around in make pretend worlds on our side by side computers. This year he bought me a kick butt computer system. Next year, finances allowing, it is his turn to upgrade.

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Paul Byerly September 1, 2014 at 11:37 am

I confess I own more clothes than my wife – in large part because she is not into buying clothes. I also have more shoes, but that is because I have a couple of kinds of work boots/shoes and snow boots. She spends money on art supplies ;-)
Glad you enjoy gaming together – way to be!
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J. Parker (@HotHolyHumorous) September 2, 2014 at 6:34 am

I just had to comment on this one! Because I used to get so frustrated about him wanting to always upgrade or chase the bigger/better gadget or tool or whatever. But I have seriously lightened up on this issue, and we are both happier for it.

If we have the money, I say go for it. I don’t personally understand why he wants that big a TV or a swank pickup truck, etc., but if it pleases him, we have the space, and we can financially manage it, why not? I think my hubby’s noticed the shift, and it’s made a positive difference in our marriage.
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Paul Byerly September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am

Sounds like a mature response! Of course being able to afford it is a big issue for some couples.
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