It’s a question I get frequently, maybe because I’ve been on both.
Why are the ratings for The Bachelor reliably higher than The Bachelorette?
Though The Bachelor’s popularity has never dipped or changed over 18 seasons, the viewership of The Bachelorette has steadily declined since Trista Sutter’s original season. In fact, Andi’s season has been the least watched so far, receiving less than half the viewers than Trista’s.
Brandy Zadrozny at The Daily Beast has three reasons why The Bachelor is more popular than The Bachelorette.
1. First, women don’t want to see hyper-sensitivity in men.
Though women might say they want a sensitive man, the type that might, oh, declare their eternal love and propose after a few dates, when that type of man presents himself live and in color, it’s not so appealing (see Kasey’s sad promise—with matching tattoo!—to “guard and protect” bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky’s heart.)
2. Secondly, watching guys fall in love just isn’t as interesting.
Zadroznysays women are just as aggressive but more interesting as they compete for guys. Using an example from my series, she pointed out when Tierra memorably exclaimed, “I can’t control my eyebrow!”
She’s right. I can’t imagine a guy yelling that.
Zadrozny quotes apsychologist named Joyce Benenson who unpacks this further:
A woman, she says, avoids manlier physical altercations in an evolutionary move to protect her reproductive organs, and enable her to care for future children. “So what you get is this very subtle, very severe competition.”
“Women are basically nice,” Benenson claims. “They’re giving the impression that they want to cooperate, that they don’t want to compete. But that’s dumb, because if you want the guy or the job, then you have to compete, because otherwise you will lose. So you disguise it. And then it becomes very complicated and interesting. You smile as you quietly take somebody else’s whatever it is.”
“There are so many levels going on with the girls,” she says.
3. Lastly, Zadrozny points out that woman have more of a deadline for marriage and reproduction than guys.
This naturally ups the stakes too.