Why You Should Talk Politics On Your First Date

Remember that classic scene in When Harry Met Sally…, where Meg Ryan’s Sally quizzes Billy Crystal’s Harry about his gender ideology during their first date?

You don’t? Oh yeah, that’s because it never happened.

There’s a good reason that first date conversation never veers close to gender politics. When it comes to dating conventions, the technical term for this topic is ‘boner killer’.

But, based on a recent study published in the Journal of Family Issues, asking your prospective partner about his views on gender equality could save a lot of time and frustration down the track.

The study, conducted by Marie Evertsson from the Sociology Department at Stockholm University, found that a man’s attitudes to gender — his gender ideology — is a good predictor of his willingness to share in housework and childrearing long after the honeymoon phase is over.

Based on completed questionnaires from nearly 2000 respondents, she conducted a longitudinal analysis revealing that individuals’ gender ideology in 2003 was related to time spent doing domestic work in 2009 for those who lived with a partner at that point.

But there’s a catch. It’s not enough to simply infer that the man sitting opposite you will pick up his own socks in years to come because he’s a nice guy and he clearly respects his mother. If you want to be sure that he’s going to share the domestic load then he needs to be man enough to come out and say it.


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