Friday, May 18, 2007

Pet Are Man's Best Friend – But Woman's Practice Children

Today's guest blog is from Taylor McGovern who wrote a wonderful journal entry for my family life class that I thought should be shared.

We haven’t talked about gender differences in quite a while but I noticed one recently that I have to talk about. Women treat their pets as their children and men treat them as their friends. My boyfriend’s brother, Ben is dating a girl who just got a new puppy. The dog is absolutely adorable but she talks to it like it is her new-born child. She says things like, “Now, mommy says don’t bite. Listen to mommy.” Of course, the dog has no idea what she’s saying and continues to bite her and everything else in sight because it is a DOG not a child. And she also calls Ben the dog’s “daddy” but they’ve been dating for less than a month. I assume it doesn’t freak him out but I know it would freak Brian out. This is an extreme case and I’m being rather hard on this girl but Brian and I have been laughing about it all week. I just got a new cat at Christmas and I’m just as guilty as she is with the baby talk – although I never said anything about being it’s “mommy” or Brian being it’s “daddy.” My mom, however, would say things like “Come here to your grandma” which is just hilarious. Anyway, the point I’m getting to is that women get pets and it’s like they are getting children.

But men treat animals as newfound friends. My dad talks to my cat in a normal voice and feels sorry for him when we are coddling him. He’ll call him by saying, “OTIS, my man!” which is very friendly and masculine. Ben will play with his girlfriend’s dog instead of cuddling with him and he uses his normal voice. My dad makes fun of anyone who talks to an animal in any abnormal voice. The pets for men are new friends, companions. I guess that’s why they call dogs man’s best friend – although I think they were speaking of mankind with that phrase.

It’s interesting because these two views on pets are totally different and I wonder how many couples (like Ben and his girlfriend) get pets thinking one thing about them and then find out that their mate is thinking another thing. What a mean is – if a girl gets a dog and thinks it’s going to be a tester child while the guy thinks it’s going to be a new friend, there could be some problems


Anonymous said...

Question: would the way a man relates to a bitch be different than the way he relates to Old Yeller?

I think the answer is yes.

Anonymous said...

Some interesting research: the sex-based influence is not one-directional. The dogs also respond differently based on the gender of their owner.

I like to use examples of student research in my statistics class; students were intrigued with the following article.

Chloe Wormser, a student at Lake Forest College, published Sex Dependent Interactions Between Humans and Dogs in their online jounal Eukaryon, Vol. 2 in January of 2006.