male & female roommates vs. complaints!
This is part of the roommate research described here, but on its own page.
We wanted to be able to point right here specifically, because many have reported confusion regarding male and female roommates, their respective preferences on our roommate matching profile, and their tendency toward different safety needs.
It's a mix of obvious statistics and advice that's anecdotal but seemingly obvious (from our perspective) regarding male and female roommates, and the gulf between their safety and security requirements.
. . .
Approximately half of male roommates report no preference for male or female roommates, which is definitely best for more matches. But among males reporting a preference, a clear majority request female roommates.
Meanwhile, a clear majority of females request other females only. Not just among those expressing any preference, a clear majority of all. A clear majority of all female roommates do report a preference: other female roommates only.
Females also tend to be serious.
Among males requesting female roommates, it's generally acknowledged there's no objectively defensible reason they truly require a female roommate. Most males just imagine it'd be more social to have a woman or two around too. Less of a "locker room" atmosphere? Maybe tidier? And it might smell nice?
Among most females requesting female roommates, it's non-negotiable. It's not just that they'd prefer other females, just because they imagine they'd enjoy the roommate experience more. Most say they will not move until they've secured another female-only residence. Male roommates are dealbreakers.
Meanwhile, females willing to consider male roommates often report additional safety requirements, like rules and regulations regarding strange men spending time in her home. If you wouldn't like to follow her rules regarding which male buddies are allowed over and when (like a roommate roadmap), that's fine, obviously your choice. But then her choice would be a different kind of roommate.
For most women, feeling even possibly threatened in terms of personal physical safety will cause them to reject a roommate situation faster than anything else. They also intuitively understand most other women feel same.
Many men have requested female roommates seemingly without this understanding.
Since feeling personally unsafe isn't something male roommates usualy encounter, there's not enough empathy . . . to the extent many males still imagine that for female roommates, their safety is 100% about their male roommates' behavior toward them, personally.
We've read many profiles from males requesting female roommates, who say something like the following:
"Why would anyone screen me out? I'm clinically harmless."
"I'm totally nice enough to be your male roommate! You'll see when you meet me!"
"I would never assault a woman. I solemnly swear I'd never hurt you or your stuff."
"I've had several female roommates. I have never and would never do anything non-consensual. You can call them, they'll confirm."
"I'm so decent to all the women I know, they'll all give me references!"
. . . then describe the rest of their proposed roommate situation as way more frat house than house likely hosting happier female roommates.
. . .
Decency from male roommates is necessary and good, but not sufficient.
Female roommates also need to trust that everyone else stopping by is similarly geared toward their personal safety.
Not only the officially registered roommates, not only.
They need to trust the whole house.
. . .
As an example (then extrapolate a lot): For most women, drunk men they've never met before suddenly appearing in their space unannounced is the opposite of feeling secure.
Even if there's a less terrifying context for that (he's a friend of your roommate or a friend of a friend who came to the party, etc) . . . it still starts to feel scary when too many are in your hall. Too many drunk dudes all over her house will eventually start feeling like an emotional problem for most women, no matter who's vouching for whom.
Many men, especially the ones that left home recently, are much less concerned with maintaining reasonably secure roommate environments. They've described their not-safe-sounding roommate situations in their profiles, then later, their confusion that women seemed to "discriminate against them" as roommates.
Any woman looking for a roommate does have to discriminate. All the time. In favor of her own personal safety.
Even if she feels she can accurately assess a potential male roommate by spending a little time with him in advance, to decide if she'll be comfortable with him, before moving in?
That doesn't mean she's already comfortable with his four frat buddies, three male college friends, two guys from work, plus that dude he calls his Uncle Doctor Bob.
And all ten have your collective security codes to come and go.
Possibly showing up randomly, then casually strolling near where she's sleeping or showering?
. . .
If you are male and would like a female roommate, your level of safety and security has to rise to her comfort level.
Or she won't stay happy.
If that sounds like scolding, it shouldn't. It's probably more easygoing for many young men to remain unconcerned. If you're an able-bodied male without much stuff anyone would likely steal, you might not need to make personal security your priority.
Especially not from within a group of similar men?
So if you want to live in a very fraternal situation, there you go! Good to know! And all your male buddies can cheerfully come and go! With no warning, no! And with another friend or two of their own in tow!
That just won't be a sufficiently safe roommate experience for most women.