Sigh of Relief

A New Survey Suggests Chivalry May Not Be Dead...It's Just Women Who Are Doing It

A new survey suggests that women are actually the more chivalrous sex -- which asks the question, where did the 'gentleman' go?

12.23.13 6:13 PM ET

Turns out chivalry may not be dead—we just might be looking for it in the wrong places, or rather, from the wrong people.

A new survey suggests that women are actually the one's performing "gentlemanly" behaviors — i.e. giving up seats for the elderly or expecting mothers. "Women are 12 percent more likely to say hello to a complete stranger," the survey states, and women are "7 percent more likely to hold the door open." Are men just selfish? Or is their more to the story?

The Telegraph’s Louisa Peacock suggests that men have abandoned chivalry for fear “of getting it wrong.” “There's also the argument that traditional acts of chivalry are frowned upon as ‘suspicious,’” she writes. “Men are nervous their acts of kindness will be taken the wrong way – or send the wrong signal.” And Peacock has a point. In a time of over-analyzing everything — each text message, Facebook like, e-mail — there's so much pressure on both sexes to get things right when it comes to interactions with the opposite gender. 

Donna Dawson, a psychologist and relationship expert, supported Peacock's theory. She explained to The Daily Mail, "There seems to be a 'disconnect' between what women appreciate in terms of little chivalric gestures from men, and how men think women want to be treated... If men are worried about the response they will get, women should respond to any little chivalric gesture that means a lot to them with obvious appreciation, so that men will feel encouraged to repeat such actions to more women in the future."

So men, next time you contemplate holding the door open for a woman — just do it. It may just reassure our faith that chivalry isn't completely over after all. [The Telegraph]