Addicted to novelty since 2001

Why Are So Many Italian Men Such Chotches? Is It Evolution?

When walking alone through the medina here in Essaouira, Julie occasionally gets unwanted male attention. It’s low-key and harmless, and comes with the territory. It’s not nearly as bad as she’s experienced in Italy, though.

In both Palermo and Rome, she was constantly harassed by Italian men. She couldn’t sit down to have a coffee without some chotch doggedly attempting to join her. She was followed for a block down the street, and solicited by an aging hound dog who was definitely on the wrong side of seventy. These men really wouldn’t take no for an answer.

I got to thinking about why men behave this way, and about this evolutionary psychology book I wrote about (Derek wrote a more thorough review) a while back. There seem to be two possibilities:

  1. The success rate is greater than zero, and the effort involved is worth the occasional success. If they never succeeded, you’d think that they’d eventually give up.
  2. The behaviour has nothing to do with earning female affections, and everything to do with lekking. From Wikipedia: “A lek is a gathering of males, of certain animal species, for the purposes of competitive mating display.”

A premise of that book is that our brains stoppped evolving 10,000 years ago, and that our basic goal in life is simple: reproduction. Presumably the psychological goal of option #2 is to intimidate the other males in the lek, and get to the female first.

But why is this practice particularly common in Italy (I’m sure it’s common in other countries–this is just the worst among those that we’ve visited)? It’s probably cultural.

I wanted to use this photo to illustrate this post, but it was all rights reserved.

79 Responses to “Why Are So Many Italian Men Such Chotches? Is It Evolution?”

  1. lola

    I met one over the summer through an internship program in NYC. While we didnt really get to meet in the program, he talked to me on facebook after the program. he was very cocky. “how could you not forget such a hot guy like me?!”
    because it was on facebook chat, it was hard to tell if he was just being playful or actually cocky. and then we skyped… he claimed he didnt have a mic, so we could only skype chat (what utter bullshit). and then he told me to take my clothes off. and i had enough.

    it was reallyy really disappointing. i hate people.

  2. Gennaro

    I am an Italian American man, and Italian men from Italy are known for pushing their charm on women. Why not? I mean, don’t all people of every culture do this in some way or another.
    As the opposite sex of a woman, I do the same when I see a beautiful lady come into view. Italians are lovers, and love to make love! Here in America, we call it F—ing, which in my opinion is a disgusting way of putting it! However, many of our American women are gold diggers, looking for the handsomes of men with the biggest p—s, or going for thug criminal types, dress trashy, with tattoos, druggies, and are easy to get into bed! Also, there are many women trying to be professonal types, which aren’t any better, dancing topless or prostituting, so they can make it through college! Then afterwards, they wanting to be accepted and respected as an upstanding person? GO FIGURE!
    There are also the air heads, which in my opinion are complete stupid idiots! Then you have the pruddish women whom seem to have it together, but are completely cold! Then there are the professonal types, whom wouldn’t give a guy like myself the time of day! Well, I am a clear thinking, decent looking, clean cut working man, making a great salary, compassionate, honest, mannerable, nice dressing, without any tattoos!
    I do look at women, and sometimes flirt, and what is so wrong with that? I am a man! That is what men do to attract the opposite sex! It is your vibe to feel attractive or not! What do you women really want out of life? All of those negative things above? If some of you women are so hung up on that, then you either don’t know how to stop a guy short, or know how love is created! It starts with the first look, and a compliment!

    Gennaro Reply:

    May I add also, a real man is attracted to a woman whom is decent, having respect for herself, and respecting a man for whom he is!

  3. Brian

    My experience dating an Italian man suggested that there are two core aspects to the socialization of men in Italian culture (just my perception of course). Men are supposed to be sexually desirable while also still being a family man. How these two things work themselves out would depend on the person.

    I do believe that people are inevitably responsible for their own behaviours, end of story. Just because a women dresses or acts a certain way does not give anyone the right to harass or rape them. These kinds of perceptions are murky to say the least. What to one person might be forward sexuality and provocative garb might simply be that persons personality and cultural dress. I know lots of girls who wear casual clothes that some in more traditional cultures would view as slutty but who are certainly not. North American dress and culture is less stuffy when it comes to clothing and apparel and should not be viewed as lose morals.

    If a man is making advances towards a women and he’s getting nowhere then back off, she’s not interested. Obviously, the women who are commenting on this thread about being harassed did not want the attention. Having to run away from a man is a CLEAR indication to him that she’s not interested. Once again, we are all responsible for our own behavious, there is no excuse for harassment or rape, no one deserves either.

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