Summary: Only women think men mature late. From a man’s point of view some women never mature at all.
It’s often said that girls mature faster than boys. I don’t mean physically as that’s undisputed – girls start puberty earlier and finish sooner than boys. I’m referring to the common use of the term as it’s often applied to boys by women, which refers to their mental and emotional maturity. It’s often used in a dismissive manner, as a way to establish one’s superiority, and this “fact” is based on a female centric viewpoint on what is considered mature and what traits are most valued. But what if we didn’t used female centered values as the sole judge on a male’s maturity level. How would they fair?
If one were to place a premium on self-confidence, self-esteem, the ability to control your emotions in a crisis, the strength to separate personal issues and business decisions, appreciation of and self acceptance of your body, and the knowledge that you can’t change others, one could say that boys mature by age twelve and girls take till their mid forties – if ever.
I’m not saying this to be mean or even in a reactionary backlash way. It’s just that men and women both bring something to the table and their skills and perspectives are equally valid and useful. Neither is more “mature” than the other unless the test for maturity is biased in favor of one gender or the other.
Most men think being able to separate your emotions and personal feelings from business is a sign of maturity and sophistication. If a man was to refuse to sign a multi-million dollar contract with a company just because the CEO from said company hit on his wife at a party, it would be a sign of weakness and immaturity. You would be seen as someone who couldn’t be counted on to handle complicated stuff that could get messy. His loyalty and principles would probably also be in question. For most men, the situation is clear – sign the contact first, then kick the guys ass on your free time if that’s what you need to do. Or, pull him aside the next day and threaten to kick his ass. But definitely sign the contract first.
However most women would see that same refusal as a sign of maturity. That man would be seen as principled, strong, and loyal. Of course you shouldn’t do business with people like that. To choose money over your wife is appalling.
This is why the classic fantasy dilemma of “I’ll give you a million dollars to sleep with your wife” is not a dilemma at all to most men. The first thing that pops into a man’s head is “Does he have the money or is he bull shitting me?” The second though is “if this guy turns out to be a psycho could I take him?”
Men see it as a business transaction. Sex with my wife for one million dollars. Sounds like great deal! A man would mentally suspend his wife’s status as his marriage partner for the duration of the transaction – business is business and it’s not personal. Her having sex with the stranger would not be viewed as a betrayal in this situation. The real question is would you be able to able to control the situation in a worse case scenario.
However most women would see this same situation as a conflict. How could he agree to let me have sex with another man just for money? What does that say about me? What does that say about our relationship. For a woman the decision will be wrapped in layers of symbolism and deeper meaning.
Well, to a man it says I love you so much that I’ll support this because a million dollars will change our lives. This million dollars is for us and our future, and that is way more important than a night of meaningless sex with a stranger. In fact, because the husband gets to keep his wife and the million dollars, it’s quite a triumph. The man who paid the million would be seen as a fool and a sucker.
Depending on your point of view, a man letting his wife have sex with a stranger for a million dollars can be seen as heroic or shameful. Most men would probably choose heroic. Many women would choose shameful or at least a 9.5 on the creepy scale.
So to label men as developmentally stunted because they fail to live up to female centric values is as pointless as it sexist. While most men and women agree on the basics, we also have different standards in some very specific areas. This is fine, healthy and desired. It only becomes a problem when we call the other weak, stupid, thoughtless, and inconsiderate because of these differences.
File Under: Debunking the Girls Mature faster Than Boys Myth.