One cannot say with 100% certainty that female expectations are higher than males', and vice versa. However, women's expectations of men seem to be slightly higher, although this is only an opinion. Men are expected to fight in wars, protect the family at all costs, provide for the wife financially, hold doors for females, take responsibility, be aggressive to some degree, be 'masculine' to some degree, pay for the date, and be the instigator for sexual activity.
Women typically expect men to be independent, rich, strong, smart, sensitive, charismatic, have a nice car, a nice house, nice hair, nice clothes, a super hero physique, to pay for everything, initiate and maintain conversation, initiate intimacy, be fun, and funny. Men typically expect women to be some what physically attractive (not necessarily just skinny, a lot of guys like curves) and be intimate with them every once in a while. Most men will live with whatever negative qualities she may have as long as she meets those two expectations.
I can't really say that one gender has higher expectations than the other. Essentially there is outstanding evidence of the expectations there is on men. If they don't make money at work, or less money than their wives/girlfriends then the men in question are emasculated. The article below shows all the evidence I have towards the benevolent sexism that is present against men that damages not just men but the women as well.
As a young male I feel that women's expectations are just as harsh/unrealistic as mens. I feel i have to be intelligent , kind , masculine , protective but not aggressive/violent , have to read the tiniest clues about a womans feelings and generally have to have an attractive body , this means constantly grooming, exercise, studying, hobbing. I feel I need to get a perfect balance of all these thing (a near impossible task) just to be a choice/option for most girls.
A man has only two expectations from a women. He wants her to look nice and to give him sex. That's all he wants. Women however want all kinds of rediculous things from men. They want men to do a ton of chores, look a certain way, dress a certain way, and act a certain way.
The very idea that being sexist only comes from one sex is sexist in itself. Men are often treated like trash if they aren't able to/don't do certain things. Several books have been written on the topic, and the conclusion is the same: Women are just as unfair as men are. A little dabbling on the subject will state it clearly.
Women complain that guys want hot girls, but females want jacked, steroid ridden guys (just as bad as a guy wanting a skinny, anorexic girl) AND the guy had better make more money than her. This is pathetic, especially in an era where women are allowed to, and pushed by society, to work.
Firstly, many women often expect men to be able to read their emotions and body language, as well as social cues, but the fact is men's brains are not normally wired to be as receptive to subtlety involving social interactions. Men do not know when they're doing something wrong with women unless they are told so directly, eventually, after really getting to know a woman a man may be able to, but in general men biologically cannot do this as well as women. Another point being standards, many men have extremely flexible standards, as do women, and many women have just as incredibly strict standards as men sometimes do.
I believe that it is unfair to generalize that men's expectations are higher than women's or women's are higher than men's. It really depends on the person. I think they both have different expectations, women usually expect men to be kind, clever, attentive to their needs, and just altogether perfect. They don't expect too much in the physical department though. Men on the other hand, usually expect more in the physical department, and some men expect their women to be obedient and loving. But really, the unfairness of the expectations depends on the person, a woman might expect an absolutely perfect man, one who massages her whenever she wants, one who wants to do things she wants to do, one who can make a perfect dinner and never notice another woman ever again. On the other hand, another woman might only ask of her husband/boyfriend/fiancee that he tries his best to make the right decisions and that he love her. A man might expect a woman to be the passive, obedient wife *cough slave* and that she be absolutely gorgeous. On the other hand, another man might only desire that she stays faithful to him and if you want to stay on the physical expectations, that she doesn't cause him to retch whenever he looks at her. So, it really depends on the person.
Men judge women by their weight, boob size, butt, and figure. A man can go bald and get a beer belly, but a woman wont care. Women are not as shallow as men, sorry guys. So many women have eating disorders because they are ashamed of their bodies. We have babies and gain weight. Men don't look at us the same. We are not longer tht trophy.
By comparison, women's expectations are much lower than men's. Women are much more forgiving of a man's looks (I'd like to see men be judged on how they look in swimsuits), and they basically expect to be appreciated and respected. This is simply a human need. And most men fall extremely short even in those ways. Men, however, expect women to be beautiful, gleeful, adoring, and that's even before all the practical duties come into play.
Women expect a tall man, who damn well better have a great job, perfect hair, doesn't sweat but somehow still looks like he worked all day, better have a dentist because if your teeth aren't perfect because your front three teeth got knocked out saving a truck load of kittens from failing off a cliff well fuck you too. Men just want a woman they can feel safe leaving their kids with with out having to worry what kind of crazy shit is going on or if she has the ability to make their lunches or who is that random man in her vagina in front of the kids.
Women have a greater tendency to have expectations that have to do with the nature of the relationship in general; to expect things that are personality and compatibility driven.
Men have a greater tendency to have expectations that are related to genetic factors that are unchangeable (such as looks) or more suited to shallower aspects of a relationship such as domestic duties or child rearing.