A 2013 survey found that men became bored after 26 minutes of shopping, while it took women a full two hours.
Not only that, but 80% of men didn’t like shopping with their partners, and 45% of men avoid doing so at all costs. Almost half of spousal shopping trips end in an argument.
Why are men so hostile to shopping?
Blame evolution. For hundreds of thousands of years, human beings survived as hunter/gatherers.
Being better equipped physically to deal with the hardships of dealing with wild animals, men specialized as hunters, while women foraged for nuts, berries, and wild vegetables.
Hunting behavior is opportunistic – you see an animal, you kill it, and you’re done. Foraging is an ongoing activity. Bushes and plants don’t move and don’t fight back, so you can gather from them as long as they yield fruit.
The man who returned quickly with food, and the woman who returned with full baskets had high social status, and were more likely to survive.
Around 8000 years ago, we humans started farming for our food, but after so many hundreds of thousands of years living as hunter/gatherers, those instincts remain a part of our DNA.
And these instincts show themselves in our shopping habits.
When women shop, they go from tree to tree (or store to store) looking for fruit and nuts (or shoes and makeup). They spend a lot of time making their selections and at the end of the trip, they return home with full baskets (or shopping bags).
In the same way, men’s shopping habits reflect their hunting heritage. Men are more single-focused. They know what they want. They don’t want to waste time browsing. They just look for animals, kill them, and go straight home.
The hurry to get home perhaps based on knowing that an animal carcass left in the wild would attract other animals or insects, and if left too long would be inedible.
This may explain the seemingly uncontrollable urge for men to leave the mall as soon as possible.
In 2009, anthropologists found that women “scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with gathering, and men scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with hunting.”
One good thing about these findings is that they provide a basis for improving relations between the sexes. Shopping just isn’t an activity we were designed to do together.
The evidence is plain to see.
Is this spouse abuse?