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5 False Myths About Gender Differences


Myth #5: Women Are More Intuitive
Many women pride themselves on their powers of intuition, but new research reveals that intuitive, empathic thinking isn’t solely the province of ladies. A study conducted at the University of Hertfordshire in Great Britain tested subjects’ ability to decipher real smiles from fake ones. Although more women than men reported that they were “highly intuitive,” there was virtually no corresponding improvement in performance. Men detected 72 percent of the real smiles to women’s 71 percent. When asked specifically to decipher the expressions of the opposite sex, men did even better. They detected 76 percent of false female smiles, while women picked out only 67 percent of men’s fake smiles. Intuition is traditionally considered a female attribute, but research such as this shows that men’s and women’s abilities are just about even.

According to psychologist Janet Shibley Hyde, whose article “The Gender Similarities Hypothesis” was published in the September 2005 issue of the American Psychologist, there are only a few areas in which men and women are substantially different. They differ in measures of motor performance in tasks like speed and throwing power (since after puberty, men are bigger and have more muscle mass), and in certain facets of and attitudes about sexuality. Also, women and men differ in expression of aggression: men exhibit more physical aggression, while women score higher on tests of relational aggression and verbal bullying.

Reinforcing stereotypes about men and women is damaging; it can prevent people from expressing themselves, and it solidifies outdated gender roles. Some women may talk more than their husbands and some men may be more competitive than their wives, but those differences are created by society, not biology. Anyone who’s been in a marital argument can attest that sometimes it seems like his or her partner is on a separate planet. But the truth is that men and women are far more alike than we are different.

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DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

599 comments

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5:41PM PST on Dec 8, 2013

TY

5:41PM PST on Dec 8, 2013

thanks....

5:30PM PST on Dec 8, 2013

It's also interesting to note how strangely prevalent these foolish beliefs are.

5:28PM PST on Dec 8, 2013

That's absolutely true. Every single "difference" between men and women, from sexual.preferences to driving a car, are overwhelmingly socially engineered. The truth is we're way more alike than anything else really.

10:58PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you

10:57PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you

10:56PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you

10:55PM PDT on Jul 26, 2013

Thank you

6:49PM PDT on Oct 8, 2012

I know that it's all false, but the fact is there a lot of people believe in these alleged facts. The prejudice is there.

10:03AM PDT on Apr 11, 2012

THANK. YOU.
myths like these are an unnecessary hindrance on our society.

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