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Old 04-23-2012, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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I'm interested in how cultural attitudes differ around the world, often involving gender, and what is considered masculine in one culture is considered feminine in another.

One example I've read and heard discussed a lot is for example, the association with women and chocolate. In American culture, there is a strong association with only or mainly it being women who crave chocolate but not men, but this isn't the case in Spain, as surveys have found -- both men and women like it equally. As well, I've heard that in Japan, on Valentine's day, there is a culture of women buying chocolates for men, which is actually the opposite of the trend in American culture.

Another example could be that I've noticed and I'm sure others have too, in American culture (contemporary American culture that is, seeing how even a few decades ago it was a different story!), men singing and dancing skillfully in musicals in costume on film and theatre is considered now quite effeminate or even gay, but in India's culture and cinema it seems quite obviously considered attractive to many women!

What are some examples you have heard about or have seen/can think about where in one culture something is associated with men or women, but not in another culture, or even examples where the associations are in fact, reversed across different cultures?
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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Clean legible handwriting in Italy = NOT gender-specific
Clean legible handwriting in USA = gender-specific
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:52 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Men singing and dancing skillfully in costume is a very ancient European tradition, still popular in Eastern Europe. Women sing and dance in costume, too, but traditionally it's during those festivals that men and women use the occasion to search for a mate.

Chocolate--ask the Swiss! Chocolate knows no gender there! I'd say the same is probably true for Germany, too, just a guess.

Archery is both a men's and women's sport in Mongol culture. More popular with the men, but a woman who can hold her own in a competition is well-respected.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Chocolate--ask the Swiss! Chocolate knows no gender there! I'd say the same is probably true for Germany, too, just a guess.
Within the last 5 or so years, I've gleaned that chocolate is regarded as more of a woman's food. Is this correct, at least in this country?
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:07 PM
 
Location: The Netherlands
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I've noticed that football (soccer) is considered a feminine sport in the US and Canada whereas it's very much a masculine sport in Europe, South America and Africa.

In Europe, men often wear tight-fitting clothes whereas in the US this is often considered feminine or "gay".
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:24 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Originally Posted by LindavG View Post
I've noticed that football (soccer) is considered a feminine sport in the US and Canada whereas it's very much a masculine sport in Europe, South America and Africa.

In Europe, men often wear tight-fitting clothes whereas in the US this is often considered feminine or "gay".
Robert: yes, chocolate is mostly marketed to women in the US

I might differ with you, Linda, on the men with tight-fitting clothes issue. Celebrity men used to wear tight clothes, and well-tailored clothes, for added sex-appeal. I haven't paid attention to what's the norm nowadays, for celebrities. Higher-paid businessmen also wear tailored, close-fitting suits. Many have their own personal tailors.

In the casual clothing dept., some men wear tight jeans, and close-fitting T-shirts. It's a matter of taste. That look isn't for everyone, just as women's tastes run the gamut.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by robertpolyglot View Post
Within the last 5 or so years, I've gleaned that chocolate is regarded as more of a woman's food. Is this correct, at least in this country?
With chocolate, it depends. When it comes to stuff like Butterfingers, Twix, or Milky Way, I see more men eat that kind of chocolate. As for women, I typically see more Ferrero Rocher, Ghiradelli, Lindt, and more of the fine chocolate.

Personally, I'm male, straight, and American, and I love fine chocolate such as Ghiradelli and Lindt.

There is something else I've noticed. In the USA, I've always seen yogurt portrayed as a food for women. It's quite ironic because yogurt is one of my favorite breakfast foods. I'm seeing more men eat yogurt, but generally, I've seen yogurt passed as a feminine food. Interestingly, I've meet people from places like Turkey, Greece, and other places around the Mediterranean. I've never heard of yogurt being seen as feminine in their cultures. In fact, the make of Chobani Greek Yogurt is a man from Turkey. In the USA, yogurt is often seen as feminine, where as, I've never heard that out of people from the Mediterranean regions. It's a common food over there.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Østenfor sol og vestenfor måne
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In the U.S. it is true that there is a stereotype of chocolate addiction among women, but the marketing is mostly gender neutral. At the very least, it is not considered unmanly for a man to be seen eating chocolate.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
In the U.S. it is true that there is a stereotype of chocolate addiction among women, but the marketing is mostly gender neutral. At the very least, it is not considered unmanly for a man to be seen eating chocolate.
It often depends on which kind of chocolate. The "utilitarian"(for lack of a better term( chocolate, such as Milky Way and Butterfingers, is seen as more manly than finer chocolate, such as Ghiradelli and Lindt. It depends on which kind of chocolate it is. It's usually the expensive chocolate that is seen as more feminine.
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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All dancing, especially while sober, is considered "feminine" in white Midwestern culture (black culture is quite different).

Pick-up trucks are considered masculine, but it's also socially acceptable for a female to own one. Hunting is an activity that is considered masculine as well but acceptable for females.
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