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What women want...*

Gene Weingarten on

WASHINGTON -- Did you hear about the social scientist who studied Google searches, particularly porn, to determine how people think? It was outlined in an article on Vox.com. The scientist reached certain conclusions, many of which are surprising:

1. Women are disproportionately worried their husbands are gay. Men are disproportionately worried their wives are crazy.

2. Many men prefer overweight women to thin women and elderly women to women their age, but they are afraid to act on these desires, apparently because of the social stigma. And so they wind up in presumably less satisfying relationships with young, thin women.

3. A remarkably high percentage of straight women watch lesbian porn.

I invited my friend Gina Barreca, the feminist scholar, to discuss the findings.

Gina: I won't "discuss" them. I will "explain" them to you, and you won't speak unless called upon to do so.

Gene: Um, OK.

Gina: Good. I have very strong opinions here, and they are correct. First, the results are not in the least "surprising." They are quite intuitive. Let's take points one and two together. Both men and women fundamentally, down at the deepest level, want one thing more than anything else. What do you think that is?

Gene: Sex?

Gina: Love. (Yes, Freud was only almost right.) And both men and women, when they feel unloved -- being humans and thus self-protective -- seek an explanation that absolves themselves of blame. Women assume that if their husbands don't love them enough, they must not be able to love any woman. Men assume that if their wives don't love them enough, it must be because they are buggier than a flophouse blanket. Following so far?

...continued

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