Study Shows Women Don’t Want to Date Men With Cats

Don't worry, gendered stereotypes are still alive and well in the heterosexual dating community

man cradling cat
Don't pretend you wouldn't swipe right on this till your fingers bleed.
Ramiz Dedaković/Unsplash

Today in needlessly gendered nonsense: Women don’t like cat guys.

A recent study from Colorado State University suggested that women are less likely to swipe right on prospective male partners if the dating app profiles of those prospective male partners feature a photo of them posing with a pet cat. In the study, women between the ages of 18 and 24 were shown photos of two different male subjects both with and without a cat. In both cases, the women tended to review the catless photos more favorably.

When shown the first cat-free photo of one subject, 38 percent of women said they were likely or very likely to casually date him, while 37 percent said they’d consider a serious relationship. Once a cat was in the picture (literally), his odds went down to 33 percent for both casual and serious dating, while the percentage of women who said they’d never go out with him rose from nine percent to 14 percent.

Subject two didn’t fare much better. Pre-cat, 40 percent of women said they’d be unlikely to go out with him. Once the cat showed up, that number rose to 45 percent.

According to the study’s authors, this seemingly harsh treatment of cat guys is a reflection of — what else? — weird American gender stereotypes! The results reportedly suggest “that American culture has distinguished ‘cat men’ as less masculine, perhaps creating a cultural preference for ‘dog men’ among most heterosexual women in the studied age group,” the study authors wrote. “Women prefer men with ‘good genes,’ often defined as more masculine traits,” they added. “Clearly, the presence of a cat diminishes that perception.”

This is bad news for everybody, not only because it is evidence that toxic gendered bullshit is still alive and well within the heterosexual dating community, but also because it means there is no end in sight for the relentless reign of dog Tinder. Please, straight men, if you want a cat, just get a cat. The last thing dating apps need is more “proud dog dads.”  (And a cat would never ruin your sex life.)

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