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Gift giving

How Men Buy Gifts vs. How Women Buy Gifts

It’s an often explored topic from science to stand up comedians: men and women are different. Not exactly a surprise, but when it comes to the holiday season, there are some interesting behavioral differences between the sexes. But first, what do you expect to be the difference?

We have certain expectations of how men and women behave, so what does that experience make you think the outcome will be? Maybe it’s that men like to give more practical things while women like to give more frivolous, decorative things? Or maybe you think women are more empathetic and so will be better and taking into consideration the needs of the person whom they are giving the gift to?

Of course, we can probably all think of stories from our lives of when a gift you received really didn’t hit the mark. “Oh, a sock puppet! You really shouldn’t have… Really!”

According to a study cited in Psychology Today, where participants were asked to come up with three gift ideas for men and women, there was  – perhaps unsurprisingly – a notable difference in how men give to women and women give to men, compared to how men give to men, and women give to women. You probably could have guessed that men give video games far more often to men and women give home and garden gifts to women, with more frequency than the opposite sex.

The striking overlap came in certain categories. When it came to men giving to women, men were far more likely to buy electronics, while women buying for men were far more likely to buy clothing. In fact, men are more likely to buy electronics for men and women more likely to buy clothing for women. But as we all know, electronics are expensive. And if you’ve ever been the recipient of gifted clothing, you know that sometimes it comes with fit-issues, like your belly button is showing, or maybe it’s super itchy. All this is to say that giving clothing can really just a roundabout way of giving to Goodwill.

There are two ways to interpret this. One is that men just like buying electronics and women like buying clothes. Full stop. But the idea of giving a gift means trying to please the other person. So either men actually think women prefer electronics and women think men prefer clothing, or there is an element of the old “I’m buying you what I’d like for myself” going on here. If you’ve never seen the episode of The Simpsons where Homer gives Marge a bowling ball engraved with the name “Homer” on it  – and much to his chagrin – she actually takes up bowling, then you’re missing out.

In the end, humans are limited to their perceptions and individual points of view. It can be hard to think outside of your own feelings. And sometimes, that’s a good thing! Like, our feeling is you should take a look at some gifts that your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, mother or father, brother or sister, teacher or professor, nurse or nurse, or simply your gender-neutral friend will actually enjoy! Just check out our wide array of all-natural hair, skin and grooming products. Unlike giving clothing, Walton Wood products don’t need a sizing chart to fit right, and unlike giving expensive electronics we’ve got many under $20, all of which won’t be totally obsolete in six weeks.

And in case you’re wondering, science says it’s always better to give than receive.

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