Patti Stanger’s Relationship Theories, Debunked

Patti Stanger did not make many friends this week when she argued that gay men aren’t into monogamous relationships. “There is no curbing the gay,” she said on “Watch What Happens Live” in front of Andy Cohen looking like he just got run over by an angry real housewife. “I’ve tried to curb you people and you just don’t … I’ve decided to throw in the towel and say ‘do what you want,’” Patti continued. Cue Bravo reeling to distance themselves from Patti’s words, since gay men are one of their primary audiences.

Hearing Patti say this, I thought, “Wow. That just isn’t true. I can name 10 gay couples in my social orbit who have been together for eons, I assume monogamously.” Not to mention the fact that for gay marriage to be the kind of issue that it is, some gay men have to want it. Then today I saw a Census statistic that proves Patti isn’t right about “you people.” Apparently, not only has the number of same-sex couples jumped 80 percent since 2000 (an indication that people are increasingly willing to declare their sexual orientation the Census), but 1 in 5 gay couples are married. Which is a high percentage considering that it’s only legal in seven states. In those seven states, 42 percent of same-sex couples have gotten married—a higher rate than straight couples. I only wish this study had separated out stats for gay and lesbian couples so I could really stick it to Patti with the numbers. [Washington Post]

Now, for the record, I love Patti Stanger. I think she is brilliant and tells it like it is. But she does have a habit of making an “iron-clad” law out of preferences she has noticed. For example, her claim that men just don’t like red heads. Or curly hair. Or that men only notice women in tight cocktail dresses. After the jump, I debunk some of Patti’s relationship myths, both anecdotally and scientifically.

Patti’s Theory: Men don’t like red heads.
In Her Own Words: ‘The only men who like redheads are Irish. I can’t get my millionaires to date a redhead—it has nothing to do with me. I can’t make my millionaires pick what I want … Every time I offer them they say no. I could say the most gorgeous redhead in the world and they’ll say no, they don’t want it.”
Why This Just Isn’t True: Well, I’ll start with the massive number of in the world who would jump at the opportunity to date Christina Hendricks. Or Deborah Ann Woll of “True Blood.” Or Isla Fisher. Or Emma Stone, in her “Easy A” stage. And then there’s John DeVore’s classic “Mind of Man” column called “Gentlemen Prefer Redheads.” When the social networking site Badoo studied 2000 male members, they found that 33.1 percent prefer brunettes, 28.6 percent prefer black hair, 29.5 like blondes, and 8.8 percent of men favor redheads—which sort of confirms Patti’s theory. But then again, since only 1 to 2 percent of the population is red-headed, I think the low number has more to do with rarity. Meaning, they might not have dated a redhead, while they already have those associations in mind for brunettes and blondes. If they met a gorgeous redhead who wanted to date them, I think they’d say “hell yeah.” [Daily Mail, Wikipedia]

Patti’s theory: Men don’t like smart women.
In Her Own Words: “[Men] like [smart women] after marriage. They don’t like them before they are married. You got to dumb it down a little because men are not that bright.”
Why This Just Isn’t True: It seems like Patti’s own matchmaking betrays this theory—the guys on the “Millionaire Matchmaker” often express interest in dating women who are intelligent and accomplished. Sure, sometimes they pick the actress/model, but they also are often into the scientist or business owner. A survey at the University of Iowa which has questioned a large number of men every 10 years since 1939, and it shows that back in the day, “intelligence” was the 11th characteristic men looked for in a woman. But in 2009, it was the fourth characteristic they require, after “mutual love,” “dependable character,” and “emotional maturity.” And Dr. Christine B. Whelan wrote an entire book, called Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women debunking this idea. She writes, “Ninety percent of high-achieving men surveyed want a woman who is as intelligent or more intelligent than they are. And two-thirds of men said they believed smart women make better mothers.” [Live Science]

Patti’s Theory: If You Want The Guy, You Have To Wear A Tight Dress And Heels
In Her Own Words: “[Wear] a hot sexy man-catching dress … Stilettos elongate the leg and are irresistible to men, but make sure he’s tall enough to ride your ride.”
Why This Just Isn’t True: Unfortunately, I can’t find any studies about whether men tend to prefer woman in slinky dresses, more demure clothes, or casual ensembles. But I have a lot of anecdotal evidence to provide here. Mainly—have you ever met a dude when you were in your nicest duds? I feel like I have much more success when I go casual. Not to mention the fact that my  boyfriend is always urging me toward  jeans with TOMS. When I think about the women I know who are in long term relationships, they tend to be the ones who favor band tees and Converse. In my social circle, it tends to be the single gals who dress to the nines. Am I saying you can’t meet a guy if you do it Patti’s way? Of course not. I mean, if you’re at a mixer with 20 other women, a tight dress may serve you well. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that there is no one-size-fits-all-approach when it comes to what you look like and how you dress.

Patti’s Theory: Guys Don’t Like Curly Hair
In Her Own Words: “Men who are wealthy like straight hair, they like to run their hands through it, not get tangled in there like it does with curls … Curls just look messy.” Patti’s feelings about curly hair seem to be tied up with her ideas about being a Jewish woman. Just today, a former client named Bryce Gruber recently charged that “Patti mentioned several times that my curly hair was ‘too Jewish,’ and asked me why I didn’t get my nose fixed for my Bat Mitzvah.” Let’s hope this client is exaggerating. [Huffington Post]
Why This Just Isn’t True: Some curly hair these “men who are wealthy” might want to run their hands though: Taylor Swift’s, Shakira’s, and young Nicole Kidman’s. Again, if there is a hot awesome women with curly hair, her ringlets aren’t gonna stop a dude from persuing her. I think its interesting that Patti espouses flat-ironed hair, because according to the only survey I can find  that actually isn’t really what men prefer. In a Daily Mail survey of 3,000 men, 43 percent said that they preferred hair long and wavy. Only 13 percent preferred straight hair. [Daily Mail]

Part of me wants to see Patti do an experiment. Let a few redheads, curly girls, casual dressers, and major smarties into her mixers. (She did make the big step of approving a redhead for a mixer this week, something I am majorly applaud. And guess who the millionaire chose?) And as Bravo says, watch what happens.