Why the man always drives

Statistics show that when couples drive together, it's usually the man behind the wheel. Aren't we past that?

Even now, the man still drives.
(Image credit: Corbis)

Men spend more time in the driver's seat than women — it's a fact. That means that when a couple gets in the car, it's overwhelmingly the man who's behind the wheel. Eric Morris, in The New York Times' Freakonomics blog, crunches the numbers and finds that the stereotype holds true even in self-described "feminist" households. The question is, why?

The answer's obvious. Sexism: The only reasonable explanation is sexism, says Amanda Marcotte in Slate's Double X. "Letting women take control is considered emasculating in our culture and even pro-feminist men are not immune." Obviously, women drive just as well as men — if men are secure enough to let them.

"Women drivers, heh, heh"

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Men are better at parking: Women drive fine, says Claudia Wolf of Germany's Ruhr University, in Britain's Daily Telegraph, but they take 20 seconds longer than men to park and still don't fit in the parking spot, according to our research. It's no "massive failing by women," there are just spatial differences that make parking easier for men.

"Women worse at parking than men, study shows"

Relax. Men just drive more: The man-behind-the-wheel phenomenon might be a "remnant from the cult of domesticity, or maybe a residual chivalrous custom," says Lily Bixler in Current. The truth is more likely that because men work more hours, they just spend more time behind the wheel, period.

"Move over lady and let him rev the engine"

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