Correlated biases

22 Feb

A report released by an unnamed international dating agency that said Singapore women were ideal “marriage material”. Qualities of the ideal woman partner included beauty, loyalty, adherence to tradition, initiative and fluency in English. The report surveyed 1,000 men and women across five Asian countries: Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand.

When surveyed, a whopping 73.29 per cent of Straits Times readers disagreed with these findings. Of the 1,685 voters, half of all the voters were Singaporean men.

The verbatim responses were predictable: men said women here were “pampered”, “materialistic”, etc.

Assuming that the Straits Times was scientific (which it is not), this means half of all men in Singapore have to look further afield for their ideal partner–or “settle” for a Singapore girl.

This also means half of the male population here do not know how to make a relationship work with a woman whose background is most similar with his, and whose expectations, hopes and desires he knows better than men in other countries.

Can it be that, out of the men and women who grew up in Singapore, only the women are materialistic and pampered, and not the men?

Not likely.

Dig further, and you’ll find complaints about housing costs and living expenses.

Fair comment. But that’s besides the point.

I know many men who are bitter from past failed relationships. Judging from the hackneyed comments, there’s plenty more who have never even had a relationship, and so are unable to articulate actual, personal reasons for their disillusionment. These are the men who would claim they cannot keep up with women here.

But it’s more likely to me that it’s society itself these men are  unable to keep up with. More to the point, I think they are unable to keep up with their own expectations, and society’s expectations of themselves.

Another interpretation many reader have offered is that of idealisaton–the universal tendency to think the grass is greener on the other side. Perhaps these men think that beautiful and intelligent women from anywhere else would have lower expectations, that they would accept any man who came their way?

Idealisation indeed.

Another statistic in the survey is worrying as well–that of women. A fifth of the Singapore women here contributed to that poll. That means a fifth of the Singapore women believe most women here are not up to standards. Where did the low self-esteem come from? It’s not likely it’s what they hear from foreign men, and definitely it’s not the guy friends who think highly of them.

Hint: Women are affected by what guys tell them. Jerks.

Half the men in Singapore think women with beauty, loyalty, and initiative, etc are should expect less in a relationship. The other half seeks women with beauty, loyalty, and initiative, etc–in Singapore or elsewhere, it doesn’t matter. Which half do you belong?


One Response to “Correlated biases”

  1. Ms Observer February 27, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

    Sometimes I really wonder if Singaporean men know what they are looking for.

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