I know that this form of stereotyping is obvious but it is disappointing that it still exists (and it very much still exists).
Cats Protection (the UK cat rescue charity) did a survey in which 2,000 men were asked to comment on man’s character when photographed with a cat or a dog.
Predictably the man photographed with a dog was more likely to be seen as masculine while the bloke with a cat was seen as more feminine.
There is another stereotype going on here too. The perception that women are more sensitive than men. So a man with a cat looks more sensitive than a man with a dog. And I have to say that sometimes people get mixed up with being sensitive and being female. Sensitivity does not necessarily mean female.
As I see it, this is people (those who looked at the photographs) showing how prejudiced they are. They have a preconceived idea that domestic cats live with single women and dogs live in family homes in which the man is the family leader and bread winner etc..
It is all pre-packaged. There is no leeway for a man who likes and lives with cats to be regarded as anything else other than sensitive and less masculine than a man who is seen with a cat.
The stereotyping of men with cats as less masculine than men with dogs reflects the shallow, rather ignorant, mentality of many people, mainly other men.Michael
It is a deep-rooted stereotyping. It is interesting that the Veterinarian’s Money Digest website says that the average age of cat owners is 55-64 years and 58% are female. That’s not a very big majority of female cat owners over male cat owners. And they say that 53% of dog owners are female. If that’s true it debunks entirely the idea that men are more likely to own dogs.
But the stereotype is very much there and entrenched. It may not necessarily be associated with dogs per se but the fact that dogs are normally larger and stronger than domestic cats.
I am sure than a man with a small toy dog would not make the man seem masculine; the opposite would be true. So it is about the strength and size of dogs as companion animals which imparts a masculinity on the person photographed with the dog.
I guess this is why men with low self-esteem and anxiety sometimes like to own pit bull dogs which they often fail to control properly. They want some of the dog’s strength to rub off on them to make them seem more of a man, more masculine and confident.
My conclusion is that the stereotype of a man with a dog seen to be more masculine comes from the dog’s strength and not the fact that it is a dog.
The world needs to free itself from stereotypes and be more accepting of others who are not mainstream and respect them more. This is a terrible weakness of humanity. It’s rather pathetic in fact.
When people get to know the person e.g. Jackson Galaxy they lose the stereotype don’t they? It is a shallow perception issue, misreading people and judging them by appearance.
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