People rely on stereotypes all the time.
On the one hand, they save us from having to constantly reassess every bit of new information from scratch. When you see a Rottweiler bounding towards you foaming at the mouth with crazy eyes, it's probably wise to ...run like your life depends on it. But on the other hand, stereotypes can 'dumb us down'.
Some of the most dumb and dangerous stereotypes that some girls have about boys...
× Boys are naturally more sexually aggressive and have a higher sex drive than girls
× Boys don't really care about romance, all they want is sex
× Boys can't really control their feelings or their sexual urges
× Boys should be in control in relationships
× Boys who are a bit jealous or overly-protective just really care a lot
× Boys believe that they should "Treat 'em mean, to keep 'em keen".
All of these stereotypes are dangerous because they provide an easy excuse for boys to hurt and use their girlfriends. And not only are they dangerous, they're just plain wrong.
The truth is...
√ There's no evidence to suggest men's sexual desire is any greater than women's - in fact research has found levels of desire between the sexes is pretty well matched.
√ Guys fall in love, and into romantic relationships, just as hard as girls do.
√ Anyone - male or female - who tells you they can't control their feelings or urges is probably making excuses for acting like a douche.
√ If one person is 'in control' of the relationship, it's probably not a great relationship.
√ Displays of jealousy and 'over-protectiveness' are NOT signs of affection - they're signs of insecurity and not being able to deal with, well, life.
√ The only reason people quote the “Treat 'em mean…" crap is because they haven't figured out how to "Treat 'em right".
Why are stereotypes dangerous? Because when people quote or use them they start being relied on as 'the truth'.
Stereotypes like the ones above will affect your expectations of a relationship and your thoughts and feelings about a partner.
For example, if you think "treating you mean" is fair enough, you're basically suggesting there's sometimes an excuse for violence in a relationship. Or if you believe the stereotype that boys only care about sex, then you're less likely to just believe and enjoy a guy being genuinely romantic with you.
This is not to say you shouldn't be careful. It's just that stereotypes can make you jump to conclusions before you get a chance to really test out whether they're true or not; or harmful or not. And this can screw up what might be a really good experience or relationship ...and unfairly portray decent guys as evil, sex-mad monsters! Remember, although the majority of violence might be perpetrated by males, most males are not violent.
Girls, let us know what stereotypes you might have, or used to have about guys. Guys, let us know why they're not true!