Why Do Men Love Mean Girls?

There are TV characters you love to hate. Newman, from Seinfeld. Creed, from The Office. Sue Sylvester, from Glee.

And then there are TV characters that you love and hate. Amanda, from the original Melrose Place. Ling, from Ally McBeal. And Cristina Yang, from Grey's Anatomy.

Cristina (Sandra Oh) is a classic mean girl. Surrounded by human distress (illness, injuries, heartrending, soap-opera-style storylines), she rarely shows emotion. Abrasive, highly competitive, and short-tempered, she's Grey's queen of mean.

And yet she has an effortless knack for attracting handsome doctors. She dated Preston Burke (Isaiah Washingon) for three seasons -- until he realized that she didn't return his ardor. She's now dating the outspoken, straight-shooting army surgeon, Owen (Kevin McKidd), who puts up with her caustic demeanor because...I truly have no idea. Another doc, Jackson (Jesse Williams) -- gorgeous even in a surgical mask -- has fallen for her, too.

Why, why, why do men go for mean girls like Cristina? I'm no psychologist, so I can only guess. But here are some theories.

Theory #1: Mean girls seem hard to get. Guys love a challenge.

Theory #2: Nice girls are often disingenuous, because they don't want to hurt a guy's feelings. "I'd love to go out with you again" might actually mean "I'm being polite now, but I won't be answering the phone when you call." Not so with mean girls. Cristina tells it like it is.

Theory #3: Mean girls tend to be feisty. Men think, "Is she this feisty in bed?"

Of course, in Cristina's case, it's not just men who put up with her. She's a beloved character among the show's (heavily female) viewers, too. Two episodes ago, Grey's writers hinted that Cristina would soon have some competition for Owen, in the form of the lovely, blond cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver). On a Grey's fan site, I couldn't help but notice that scores of viewers immediately cried foul, demonizing the potential other woman. They just love their cruel, nasty, sharp-tongued Cristina.

They didn't have to bellyache for long. Last night, when Teddy whispered her heartfelt, longstanding love into Owen's ear, his response was: "I love Cristina." Of course it was. Fact is, Teddy never stood a chance at stealing Cristina's boyfriend. A mean (i.e. feisty) girl always gets her man.

Why do you think men love mean girls? Chime in below!

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