Men Are From Earth, Women Are From Earth

We’ve all heard since near birth that women and men are very different. Men are all macho and swagger, confident, but not too good with emotions. Women are great communicators and are outstanding at nurturing, but they lack the aggression of men.

So we’ve been told, and some choose to believe it, but science is now proving that this simple gender dichotomy simply doesn’t exist.

An article published in the February Journal of Personality and Social Psychology demonstrates that there simply are not fundamental, consistent cognitive differences between men and women, and while some traits are more likely to be found in one gender or another, everyone is likely to have some stereotypically feminine and masculine traits.

“Sex is not nearly as confining a category as stereotypes and even some academic studies would have us believe,” said Bobbi Carothers of Washington University in St. Louis, who was the lead author of the study.  Carothers noted that while, on average, men tend to be better at math and women tend to be more empathetic, the study showed that it was common for men to be empathetic, or women to be skilled at math.

Carothers and her co-author, Dr. Harry Reis of the University of Rochester, studied 122 characteristics, looking at data from previous studies as well as conducting new research. While some of the studies indicated that some traits were more likely to be held by men or women, there was significant overlap between and within the two groups.

While a few activities, such as watching pornography or scrapbooking, appeared to fall along gender lines, most psychological traits, including criteria used for mate selection, fear of success and empathy, fell somewhere in the middle, with the differences minor and scattered enough that the study’s authors rejected the idea of defining these traits as “masculine” or “feminine.”

“[C]ontrary to the assertions of pop psychology titles like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, it is untrue that men and women think about their relationships in qualitatively different ways,” the authors wrote. They noted that the failure is not limited to pop psychology. “Even leading researchers in gender and stereotyping can fall into the same trap.”

They added that while there were differences in average scores on a number of personality traits, the differences “are not consistent or big enough to accurately diagnose group membership.” Additionally, they noted that having some feminine psychological traits does not preclude having other masculine ones, or vice versa.

“Those who score in a stereotypic way on one measure do not necessarily do so on another,” they wrote. “the possession of traits associated with gender is not as simple as ‘this or that.’”

The study is a direct repudiation of pop evolutionary psychology, which holds that male and female traits are hard-wired and predetermined. Contrawise, there are plenty of aggressive women and nurturing men, plenty of women who excel at math and men who excel at writing. There are also plenty of women and men who are incredibly nurturing and aggressive, or good at math and language.

Carothers and Reis note that while interpersonal problems in heterosexual relationships are often blamed on innate gender differences, there is an increasing body of evidence that shows that “gay and lesbian couples have much the same problems relating to each other that heterosexual couples do. Clearly, it’s not so much sex, but human character that causes difficulties.”

The work by Carothers and Reis is not the first to show that men and women are far more alike than different. Dr. Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin–Madison has written extensively about “overinflated claims of gender differences,” noting that men and women have similar scores on a variety of psychological measures.

Carothers and Reis agree. They note that gender identity is becoming more liberal in America, and that behavioral differences may decrease even more as the socialization of boys and girls becomes more similar.

It’s not “sexy” to say that men and women are pretty much the same. We love to hear how there’s a “battle of the sexes,” between two completely different groups of people. It’s an easy myth to fall back on, but it’s completely wrong. The truth is that, as one would expect from members of the same species, we’re not really different at all. Each of us is a mix of “masculine” and “feminine” traits. If we’re engaged in a battle, it’s with ourselves. Far better to stop the fighting and recognize that all of us, whether women, men or intersex, are capable of great things — and none of us should be limited by a stereotypical understanding of what those great things are.


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Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Also even our external genitals are very similar,the clitoris and penis,male scrotum and female vulva started off exactly the same when we were all in the womb because both sexes begin physically female,and the clitoris and penis are both erectile tissue and have the same pleasure nerve endings,although the NY Times pulitzer prize winning science writer Natalie Angier in her best selling,Woman:An Intimate Geography points out the fact that clitoris has twice as many pleasure nerve endings as the penis. Even our ovaries and testicles are from the same tissue,men have nipples like women and as Natalie Angier also pointed out,men have the same exact tissue in their chests to develop breasts as women and they can get full breasts right away if for some reason their testosterone decreases,their small amount of estrogen normally in their blood stream,can cause this,it's a condtion called,gynecomastia.Also in both sexes the "female" hormone progesterone is needed for bone health etc.

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

This is the rest of my email to author professor Deborah Cameron that got cut off by mistake.

Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen sometimes adds in her presentations, Beyond The Mars/Venus Rhetoric in which she explains that all of the large amount of research evidence from the social and behavorial sciences shows that the sexes are very close neighbors and that there are only small average differences between them many of which have gotten even smaller over the last several decades and in her great even longer article that isn't online anymore called,What Do We Mean By "Male-Female Complentarity"? A Review Of Ronald W.Pierce,Rebecca M.Groothuis,and Gordon D.Fee,eds Discovering Biblical Equality:Complentarity Without Hierarchy, which she says happened after 1973 when gender roles were less rigid and that genetic differences can't shrink like this and in such a short period of time, and that most large differences that are found are between individual people and that for almost every trait and behavior there is a large overlap between them and she said so it is naive at best and deceptive at worst to make claims about natural sex differences. etc.

She says he claims Men are From Mars & Women

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Feminist Letty Cottin Pogrebin's son didn't reject playing with dolls and tea sets, just as her identical twin daughters didn't reject the non-gender stereotyped toys and behaviors she encouraged them to have. And her son didn't grow up gay he's married and I think has children,but he didn't grow up to be a macho football player either,as Letty said he's a chef and loves to cook.

And there is a lot wrong with sexist very limiting gender roles,gender myths and gender stereotypes that are mostly artificially created by the very sexist,gender divided,gender stereotyped,woman-hating male dominated family and society we all live in,which makes both sexes,into only half of a person,instead of full human people able to develop and express their full shared *human* traits,abilities,and behaviors etc. And then these artificial gender differences continue to re-inforce gender inequalites,male dominance and men's violence against women,children and even each other.

There is a great 2005 book,Sex Lies And Stereotypes Challenging Views Of Women,Men and Realtionships by social and cognitive British psychologist Dr.Gary Wood.He too shows plenty of great important research studies done over decades by many different psychologists that finds small average sex differences,and the sexes are much more sminilar than different.He also thoroughly demonstrates that gender roles,gender myths and gender stereotypes which are mostly socially and cultrually constructed,harm both sexes because

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Women’s Activism and Oral History Project Smith College
Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College
Northampton, MA

Interviewed by
November 6, 2008
New York, NY

© Sophia Smith Collection 2008
Women’s Activism and Oral History Project Smith College


Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a writer and journalist. She was born in 1939 in Jamaica, Queens. She graduated high school early and entered Brandeis University at the age of sixteen. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English. After she graduated, she worked for the publishing company Bernard Geis Associates for ten years. She was soon promoted as an executive. Her first book, How to Make it in a Man’s World, reflected her experience in the company. Because it was extremely well-received, she was able to support herself as a full-time writer, first of a column in the Ladies Home Journal. She is one of the co-founders of Ms. Magazine and was a frequent contributor to it. Her articles covered a number of observations on women’s places in modernAmerican society, from the idea of motherhood to competition among women to short stories for children.


Allison Payne is a student at Mount Holyoke College.

This oral history covers various aspects of Pogrebin’s life but specifically focuses on her experiences at Ms. Magazine and her work on nonsexist childrearing.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Transcript has been reviewed and approved by Let

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Also there is a lot of evidence from sociologists and anthropologists that there are androgynous cultures. Many anthropologists like Walter Williams author of the award winning,The Spirit and The Flesh,and many other anthropologists have done field work for decades in places like Tahiti and Malaysia, women and men are encouraged to have androgynous roles there and they are not polarized into "opposite" categories and gender roles,and they are more alike in their personalities and behaviors. This is thoroughly explained in the good book,
Manhood In The Making:Cultural Concepts Of Masculinity.

And the men there unlike in our very gender divided,gender stereotyped, sexist male dominated society ,aren't punished for being similar to women or appearing so-called "feminine", they are encouraged and rewarded for it! And it's in the very gender divided, gender stereotyped sexist male dominated societies where the sexes are polarized into "opposite" categories and gender roles that makes *more* gender differences!

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Below is an email I wrote to Oxford University Gender communication professor Deborah Cameron author of the great important book,The Myth Of Mars and Venus Do Men and women Really Speak Different Languages?.

Dear Deborah,

I recently read your great important book, The Myth Of Mars & Venus. I read a bad review of the book, The Female Brain on US by psychologist David H.Perterzell and he called the book bad junk science.

I also thought you would want to know that John Gray got his "Ph.D" from Columbia Pacific University which was closed down in March 2001 by the California Attorney General's Office because he called it a diploma mill and a phony operation offering totally worthless degrees!

Also there is a Christian gender and psychology scholar and author psychology professor Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leewuen who teaches the psychology and Philosophy of Gender at the Christian College Eastern College here in Pa. She has several online presentations that were done at different colleges from 2005- the present debunking the Mars & Venus myth.

One is called , Opposite Sexes Or Neighboring Sexes and sometimes adds, Beyond The Mars/Venus

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Also this is a link that used to be on Newsweek's site it's a great review by their science editor Sharon Begley of the important great book,Pink Brain Blue Brain:How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps- And What We Can Do About It by neuroscientist Dr.Lise Eliot.

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Why So Slow?: The Advancement of Women by Virginia Valian
$27.00 List Price

Overview -
Product Details
Pub. Date: February 1999
Publisher: MIT Press


Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige? Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women. According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences — gender schemas — that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women. Those small imbalances accumulate to advantage men and disadvantage women. The most important consequence of gender schemas for professional life is that men tend to be overrated and women underrated.Valian's goal is to make the invisible factors that retard women's progress visible, so that fair treatment of men and women will be possible. The book makes its case with experimental and observational data from laboratory and field studies of children and adults, and with statistical documentation on men and women in the professions. The many anecdotal examples throughout provide a lively counterpoint.

The MIT Press

Publishers Weekly

Social psychologist Valian thinks that the Western world has gotten gender all wrong. "As social beings we tend to perceive the genders as alternatives to each other, as occupying opposite and contrasting ends of

Cindi G.
Cindi G.4 years ago

Public release date: 4-Nov-1999
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Contact: Penny Burge or Sharon Snow or
Virginia Tech

20-year-old sex-role research survey still valid

BLACKSBURG, Va. ­ In the late 1970s, Penny Burge, director of Virginia Tech's Women's Center, was working on her doctoral dissertation at Penn State University researching the relationship between child-rearing sex-role attitudes and social issue sex-role attitudes among parents. As part of her research, Burge designed a 28-question survey in which respondents were asked to mark how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: "Only females should receive affectionate hugs as rewards," "I would buy my son a doll," and "I would be upset if my daughter wanted to play little league baseball."

Hard-hitting questions, many of them. But Burge carried on. She received her degree in 1979, and in 1981 her research findings were published in the Home Economics Research Journal.

Among her findings were that respondents who named the mother as their child's primary caretaker held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes than respondents who named both parents. In addition, those respondents who held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes also held more traditional social issue sex-role attitudes, and fathers were more conventional than mothers with respect to the issue of whether or not boys and girls should be raised differently.