12 Popular Gender Stereotypes That Are Really Exaggerated

All stereotypes stem from something – even those that seem outdated, ridiculous, and unfair. Stereotypes don’t come out of thin air; they originate when we notice that one specific group of people tend to act in similar ways. The problem with stereotypes is that, while they might reflect the truth for some people, they certainly don’t reflect the truth for everyone – but people seem to forget that last part. Gender stereotypes are especially problematic, because so many people fall back on them when trying to figure out every day issues like, “Why hasn’t he called me back?” (Stereotype explanation: all dudes are commitment-phobes who can’t text back. Actual explanation: He’s not interested. Sorry :-/) or “Why is this girl crying and yelling at me?” (Stereotype explanation: All girls are crazy emotional messes. Actual explanation: You did something crappy and hurt her). See how things can get messy fast? 

I’m not saying that the most popular gender stereotypes out there don’t have some truth to them. There are some fundamental differences between men and women, and we shouldn’t act like there aren’t. But we also need to realize that these gender stereotypes aren’t strict rules. Just because some guys might act a certain way doesn’t mean every guy will, you know? This Ask Reddit thread talks about the most highly exaggerated gender stereotypes out there that will probably piss you off. Just a warning! Here they are, so that you can remind yourself not to fall into the generalization trap.

Girls Are Superficial; Guys Are Laid Back

staticsnake: Men are superficial whereas women aren't. Like hell they aren't!

For every single superficial girl out there, there's a guy who's just as superficial, if not more. I know so many guys who love to shop, spend money on designer items, love a good label, and take constant selfies.

Source: iStock

Chicks Love To Gossip; Dudes Never Do

fullmoonhermit: Women are over-dramatic and gossipy while men are stoic and let things go. In my personal experience, this isn't dependent on gender, but when men talk shit or make a fuss, it's seen differently.

I'm SO sick of hearing dudes talk about how gossipy and catty girls are. If I had a dollar for every time I heard a group of guys gossiping about their friend, or every time I witnessed a dude do something catty to his buddy, I would be rich. For real. I know two groups of guy friends who are just as dramatic and gossipy as girls supposedly are. This stereotype has got to go.

Source: iStock

Groups Of Guy Friends Aren't There For Each Other Like Girl Friends

lasciels_illusion: Men don't have an emotional support network and women do. Bullshit. The whole "bro" thing is a classic example of the male emotional support network. There are a kajillion buddy movies where a group of men set out to do a thing and hijinks ensue. All the men I've ever known have had either close friends or close family members or both. And that doesn't even include their significant others. If we were to consider significant others, how many men have a supportive, loving and caring SO who anticipates their needs and acts out of consideration for them? Compared to how many women? How many women find themselves in a relationship where they perform all kinds of emotional labor that is rarely, if ever, reciprocated?

I definitely do think there's truth to the idea that men don't get as much support from friends in general. However, I don't think it's always true or always completely true. Plus, there are plenty of girls who don't get enough support either!

Source: iStock

Guys Love Sex; Girls Do Not

Nillix: Desire for sex.

Yawn. Sorry, I'm falling asleep because this stereotype is so boring and old and stupid. Girls can, and often do, love sex just as much, if not more, than guys. Get over it.

Source: iStock

Dudes Can't Be Crazy Cat Ladies; Girls Usually Are

msmaidmarian: The crazy cat lady stereotype. I know more single dudes who have a cat or multiple cats than single women with a cat or multiples.

Literally, enough. My boyfriend loves cats just as much as me - and I know plenty of other guys who feel the same way.

Source: iStock

Guys Are Simple; Girls Are Complicated

brijjen: How "simple" men are, while women are "so complicated." I have known so many complicated guys and generally uncomplicated women, have known so many guys who play games and women who don't. The only place this is a truly cut and dry gender difference is on a lazy sitcom.

This stereotype, like most of these, is harmful to both sexes. It's not fair to act like young men are simple, and dumb when it comes to emotions - that's not true at all. It's also not fair to act like every single woman out there is super complicated and experiences 100 mood swings on a daily basis. I know a lot of guys who put lots of thought into things, who get paranoid when a girl doesn't text back, and who love to have deep conversations.

Source: iStock

Women Are Baby Crazy; Men Hate Kids

snapkangaroo: That women get all broody and maternal and it's a struggle to get men to agree to having kids. In my experience it's quite often the opposite. I know SO many broody men. My boyfriend would have ten kids if it were economically feasible. I miiiiight be OK with one. Like ten years from now.

This is so old, so ridiculous, and so boring. Come on. Anyone who thinks this needs to chill.

Source: iStock

Guys Hate Commitment; That's All Girls Want

segmentedcat: Levels of desire for a serious relationship. I'm mostly talking about all these jokes you see about women dragging/tricking men into marrying them and men wanting to escape at all costs. Sure, I've seen that type of behavior a couple times, but I know a lot of women who are ambivalent toward marriage, and a lot of men who prioritize the marriage/family thing. Also, I remember reading studies a few years ago which showed that after getting married, women reported more depression, health problems, and general unhappiness, while men tended to improve in all outcomes.

Yes, we all know a few guys who say they hate relationships, who date a lot, and who refuse to settle down. But guess what? I bet we all know a few girls like that too. I know more guys who actually want a serious, loving relationship than I do guys who can't stand the thought of love, and I think that's pretty standard for everyone. Why does this stereotype still exist? It's only making dating more confusing!

Source: iStock

Girls Are Sneaky; Guys Are Not

olga_adriana: That only women are manipulative. Ha!

Please. I know a lot of girls who are sly and sneaky, but I know just as many dudes who are that way too.

Source: iStock

Women Overthink Everything; Men Are Super Logical

destria: That women are constantly overthinking stuff and men just think about dinosaurs blowing up cars or whatever. I'm just not convinced the inner workings of our minds can be so easily split down by gender. I'm sure there are just as many women who daydream about ridiculous scenarios and just as many men who overanalyse everything.

Again, women are not the only ones who can have ~deep thoughts~. Men can overanalyze just as much!

Source: iStock

Men Are Very Passionate About Their Hobbies; Women Aren't

SupervillainIndiana: When I see men insist "women don't get passionate like men do about things, they can't be nerds about stuff!" I wonder if I was dreaming all those years at school I was picked on for being super into things like Doctor Who (when it was off air, so I mean pre-2005 before it was cool) and Star Trek. Of course now those things are much more visibly accepted you get the "girls are posers" arguments. Nah we were always there, you just probably didn't notice me. Also I've noticed that female-orientated interests where people get super passionate usually get dismissed as banal or the women into them being stupid/obsessive rather than passionate. My point being that "passion" isn't restricted to one sex. Also you get both men and women who really don't care that much about anything! I've had just as many conversations with men who aren't as into a sport as me as I have had the same conversations with women.

I hate when I hear stuff like this because it's so absurd and ridiculous. Why is it a *thing* that people think dudes have more passion for certain things? It's so untrue! There are so many girls I know who have a huge passion for something like comics - and they have to deal with guys who insist on quizzing them to make sure they're ACTUAL fans. What does that even mean?

Source: iStock

Dudes Are Tough And Strong; Girls Are Weak

spermtail: Toughness. I think all people have an equal capacity for toughness. I know a lot of guys who are wimps and a lot of girls that are fearless.

Can this stereotype please go away?

Source: iStock

Which one of these gender stereotypes do you disagree with the most? What did we forget to add? Share in the comments!

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  • The one on only guys can be passionate about their hobbies and girls can’t is inaccurate, as I love art, child development, and fashion, and will love to study more on those things when I get into college.