January 9, 2012

Men and women are really different.

Really. More than previously thought... by experts... who discovered this.

61 comments:

Sorun said...

No friggin' way! The psychology professor I had in 80s said there were absolutely no differences between the sexes.

All these decades of not understanding women...

chickenlittle said...

The authors conclude that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has therefore been consistently underestimated.

Stuff like that could cause a revolution if true.

Pogo said...

"Men and women are really different."

Sure there are differences.
Women are better, right?

edutcher said...

I'm shocked, shocked....

(you can tell these guys never get out of the lab...)

jrberg3 said...

"Men and women are really different."

Larry Summers was quoted as saying, "told you so."

Pastafarian said...

I don't understand what you're trying to say here, Althouse.

Your post seems to have a gently mocking tenor to it, as though you're saying "No shit, Sherlock" to these researchers for their trivially obvious findings.

And yet you've used something very similar to the phrase "imagine if this were said about the other gender" many, many times over the years, as if you think there's too much distinction drawn between the two sexes.

It must be a woman thing. You're a mystery shrouded in an enigma wrapped in a camisole.

Shanna said...

This is brand new information!!!

Salamandyr said...

I can't wait for the New York Times version of this story, explaining how this means women are superior to men.

Andy R. said...

I'll have more to say after I get a chance to read the paper, but for now does anyone know if it makes any claim about nature vs. nurture?

If any of this is about socialization, then the response to it just reifies the situation that created those differences in the first place.

Beta Rube said...

When asked to differentiate women, the head researcher said " I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability."

Oh, Melvin!

The Crack Emcee said...

Men and women are really different.

Wow. I learned that behind a garage when I was, like, five.

Fascinating stuff, back then anyway,...

chickenlittle said...

AndyR wrote: If any of this is about socialization, then the response to it just reifies the situation that created those differences in the first place.

Did you know that the middle word in "reify" is "if"?

/Dennis Hopper

S said...

The article reports a study in an on-line journal but doesn't provide a link. Kind of disappointing, even if the link would only work for subscribers/universities.

I'd like more detail regarding which traits and how different. In particular, how does the difference between sexes compare to the difference within sexes?

This seems to be the link, and it does seem to be open; maybe I'll have some time to look over it later.

Henry said...

The family and I are watching David Attenborough's Blue Planet: Seas of Life (highly recommended, despite occasional bouts of highly romantic anthropomorphizing).

Male and female are really different.

The bizarre thing would be if men and women weren't.

But S makes a great point: how does the difference between sexes compare to the difference within sexes?.

chickenlittle said...

But S makes a great point: how does the difference between sexes compare to the difference within sexes?

Frequency of sexual intracourse?

PaulV said...

A science fiction story was based on premise that men and women belong to different species.

"Viva la difference"

Chip S. said...

Clearly, extensive new legislation is needed.

Don't Tread 2012 said...

And thank God for that! I thought maybe I was the only one who noticed.

"Wow. I learned that behind a garage when I was, like, five."

You mean there's more than one garage?

Who knew.

traditionalguy said...

So gender discrimination is rational as well as fun.

Isn't this where the feminist industry steps in, like the oil industry when it bought and then destroyed the secret formula to turn water into oil.

Veils for women in public sounds like a rational discrimination now.

Scott M said...

men and women are really different."

You just had to have had, or helped raised, both boys and girls to know this intrinsically.

Now that science has established this difference, can we get all the ad agencies to stop treating fathers, husbands, and boyfriends like helpless idiots in tv and radio commercials?

ErnieG said...

Nancy Hopkins, upon hearing the news, had to be treated for the vapors.

Dan in Philly said...

In a related study, scientists determined that, contrary to previously accepted scientific consensus, water is indeed wet.

Hagar said...

Gee! Who would have thunk it?

Don't Tread 2012 said...

"...can we get all the ad agencies to stop treating fathers, husbands, and boyfriends like helpless idiots..."

The feminization of men is another sore spot. It used to be 'you throw like a girl' was a put-down, until Jennie Finch came on the scene.

So is it really the feminization of men, or the masculization of women at work here?

What are the stats for yearly addadictomies or chopadicoffamies?

I digress.

Oclarki said...

Why are liberals so invested in the narrative that men and women are same?

ken in sc said...

Women are all the same. It's men who are different.

Scott M said...

Why are liberals so invested in the narrative that men and women are same?

They aren't. Watch, when the next little scientific tidbit comes out showing how women or girls are better at X than men or boys. It gets reported pretty widely and loudly. The reverse is "controversial" if it's repeated at all.

Darleen said...

Why are liberals so invested in the narrative that men and women are same?

First, scratch "liberal" and make that Leftists (though anti-left liberals are close to extinction)

Leftists are invested in "norming" ... race-norming, gender-norming, etc. Everyone is "equal" ... not equal opportunity to succeed or fail via one's own talents & ambition but the equality of outcome.

see: Harrison Bergeron

Jay said...

Men and women have large differences in personality,

Considering men and women have different sized brains, and the brains process information in different manners, yes, yes they do.

Or as one with a modicum of common sense would say, no shit.

Andy R. said...

Has anyone commenting actually read the journal article yet?

mariner said...

Crack Emcee,
Wow. I learned that behind a garage when I was, like, five.

Sounds like you were looking from the wrong direction.

Pogo said...

"Andy R. said...
Has anyone commenting actually read the journal article yet?
"

Sorry, sideways cap man.
You'll have to do your own homework this time.

Go ahead, read it; it ain't that long.
Then report back.

Pogo said...

Actually, I did read it.

Boilerplate sociology, soporific, likely true, proving what one already knows.

Dante said...

Of course men and women have been evolving separately for millions of years. Check out this Bird of Paradise trying to impress the mousy chick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gAxbxxmYZ8

Andy R. said...

Ok, I've looked over the article. (Hooray for quick security at the airport.)

As I suspected, the paper has no comment on the nature vs. nurture explanation for the differences, and the authors specifically recognize this:
Of course, the existence of large sex differences would not, by itself, constitute proof that sexual selection had a direct role in shaping human personality. For example, Eagly and Wood [4] advanced an alternative theory in which selection is assumed to be responsible for physical, but not psychological differences between the sexes – the latter resulting from sex role socialization.

That there might be differences between adult men and women in the United States is not shocking to liberals. The phrase, "gender is a social construct" acknowledges that in fact these differences have been created by society. There are probably some innate differences between the sexes, but I think they are probably swamped by societal forces and impossible to disentangle from our culture anyway.

Many of you seem to be arguing that that conservative position is that these differences should be maintained and reinforced, even if they were created by society in the first place.

I recall hearing about a study at some point where they took babies and dressed them in either blue or pink clothing and then asked observers to describe the babies, and the words used to describe the babies corresponded to the gender coding of the color of the clothing they were wearing, and not the actual sex of the babies. This is, as you can imagine, unsurprising. I'll try to dig up the study I'm remembering when we land if anyone is interested.

Pogo said...

"Many of you seem to be arguing that that conservative position is that these differences should be maintained and reinforced, even if they were created by society in the first place. "

No one, of course, said any such thing.

You must be a journalist!

Dante said...

Andy R.

What an amazing idea.

Check out the bird link. It isn't the chick begging for sex.

Check out the animal kingdom. It isn't the chicks fighting each other for sex.

The simple explanation is that in higher order animals, the chick has to develop the kids (eggs, whatever), and that is expensive. Depending on the species, all the dude gives up is a bit of life creating fluid.

Given reproduction is a biological imperative, there are going to be some deep roots, and they will be different for male and female. Obviously.

Pogo said...

"Check out the animal kingdom."

I am not a bird!

I am not an animal!

I am a human being!



As in the ancient Christian heresy of Docetism, the left believes that we are not animals at all.

MnMark said...

Seems like a lot of folks are comfortable saying "of course there are large, important differences between the personalities of men and women....duh!"

Would they be as comfortable saying the same about race?

I'd like to see a study done in the same way to see whether there are real differences in personality between races, including controlling for socioeconomic status. My gut feeling is that there are. I imagine most people's gut feeling is that there are. But most people wouldn't dare say it.

But they'll say it about men and women. Why will they say it about gender but not about race?

Jose_K said...

Dante whilre I agree with you, you forgot two details.
In the rest of the animal kingdom is the male who strut his stuff. The fair animal sex is the male .The only ugly male is the human male.( The rest of apes are not pretty either)
Not only they beg for sex but risk their life for sex. The most atractive peacock is the one who is almost unable to defend itself.
Male ants are 1/10 size of female ants. And usually they end eaten by the female.To avoid that they must hit and run, and run fast...
.
Most atractive men are the one with most testosterone: the warrior ,the murder, the one that die from cancer.

So they give their life for sex.
But in the end, there is no better way to die

R. Chatt said...

The Goddess in her infinite wisdom created men because someone has to "take out the garbage."

Ever notice how when men graduate from the grunt work they take on more "female" characteristics -- like the ability to communicate, organize and plan?

Maguro said...

Well, ya see...those animals have never taken sociology, so they don't know that gender is a social construct. If Andy R could only get that simple idea across to them, it would be a game-changer.

Darleen said...

Would they be as comfortable saying the same about race?

Race is a myth. Sex is not.

Darleen said...

I recall hearing about a study at some point where they took babies and dressed them in either blue or pink clothing and then asked observers to describe the babies, and the words used to describe the babies corresponded to the gender coding of the color of the clothing they were wearing, and not the actual sex of the babies.

So? That's describing the observers behavior, not that of the babies.

Did the babies' behavior change if dressed in different colors?

Alan said...

Didn't the feminists tell us that men and women are just alike, but that women are more superior to men?

chickenlittle said...

Race is a myth. Sex is not.


Different races wear different genes; different sexes fit different genes.

DADvocate said...

The authors conclude that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has therefore been consistently underestimated.

Only by the PC blinder wearing "scientists" of modern day America. And, people wonder why someone would be skeptical of global warming. Too many of today's scientists are interested in promoting myths than facts.

Phil 3:14 said...

Andy,
You should have stopped at " Ok, I've looked over the article."

Andy R. said...

Are there people here who are arguing that there are some innate psychological differences between men and women?

If no one thinks that, then great, we're in agreement. If people do think that nature plays a role in the non-physical differences between men and women, then that is a discussion we could have, but this article doesn't have anything to say about that.

Peter Hoh said...

I think the study proves that there are significant differences in the way that men and women fill out personality assessment surveys.

chickenlittle said...

Andy R. said...
Are there people here who are arguing that there are some innate psychological differences between men and women?

Suppose there were? Would that threaten your worldview somehow? You hint that it's settled science:

If no one thinks that, then great, we're in agreement.

Just curious, not looking for an argument. My data would be anecdotal anyway, based on raising kids of both sexes.

Jay said...

Andy R. said...
Are there people here who are arguing that there are some innate psychological differences between men and women?


Considering men and women have different sized brains, and the brains process information in different manners, yes, yes there are.

It is a fact that is beyond dispute.

pduggie said...

If that holds, then the question is are these GENDER differences or sex differences.

What if all the men who say they feel like women inside pretty much track with the men instead of the women on the personality traits that fit with men?

chickenlittle said...

Geschlechtes Antwort, pduggie.

10 penalty points for trying to deflect and obfuscate with good intentions.

pduggie said...

@peterHoh

FTA:

"Another possible objection is that our findings are based on self-reported personality, and may be inflated by gender-stereotypical or socially desirable responding. Of course, the same objection would apply to virtually all of the published literature 1onn sex differences in personality, including Hyde's meta-analysis [9]. We consider this objection to be weak for two main reasons. First, meta-analytic evidence shows that sex differences in aggression (a highly sex-typed behavior) are very similar when assessed by observation and self-reports, and even stronger when measured by peer-reports [70]. Second, self-reports will actually deflate sex differences if people tend to rate their own personality in relation to members of their own sex instead of “people in general” [11], [71]. Indeed, if people used the mean of their own sex as a reference point, any absolute mean difference between the sexes would simply disappear from self-reported scores. Thus, more gender-stereotypical attitudes can actually lead to smaller sex differences in self-reported personality; this paradoxical effect is a likely explanation of the fact that sex differences in self-reported personality and interests are larger in more gender-egalitarian cultures [11]."

pduggie said...

Interesting point from that quote is that I guess that means that if asked

"Are you more or less aggressive than the average man" most of the time people say they are less.

A lake wobegon effect.

I blame the New York Times for convincing men that more aggression must be bad.

WV SLUinT

geokstr said...

This is such old news. It was proven decades ago by scientific researchers, despite the protestations of the feminist movement, that mens' and womens' brains function differently. The consensus of all knowledgeable scientists in the relevant fields, shown beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt, with graphs and formulas and other iron-clad irrefutable evidence, is that men can walk right past a shoestore without even looking in the window.

Bruce Hayden said...

My theory is that one of the reasons that men and women are assumed to think the same is that the contrary sells books - like John Gray's Men are from Venus and Women are from Mars, or something like that.

I esp. liked the sexual linguistic books by Deborah Tannen. It took me a long time to appreciate the fact that while the two sexes use the same words, they often mean quite different things, and it might be helpful to all of us if the two sexes did use different languages so that we could keep this all straight.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that part of what is so mystifying about all this is that we do automatically accept the differences, and don't really think about them.

One of the differences that struck me a dozen or so years ago was when one girls admitted to another that she peed her pants at some point. The other two girls then confessed to the same. My thoughts at the time were that that wasn't something that three boys would do. The girls were bonding through shared weakness, while the boys bond through contrasted strengths.

Then, I talked with a friend last week who may be losing her husband, and she commented that he had cried. But, when pressed, she admitted that her father, as he was dying, never did cry (I am talking from the dying, and not from the pain). She thought that it was because her father was trying to be macho, and not burden his family with his grief. I suggested that it was more likely that he never thought to do so, because it wouldn't affect the outcome, and wouldn't make him feel better, as it would a woman.

And, woe be to any guy who tries to tell a woman what was said between them more than a couple of minutes previously. (Most) Women really are far better at hearing and remembering this sort of thing than are (most) men.

And, lest you think that I believe that women are superior - there are very good reasons why men make more money than women, on average, and why almost all Nobel Prizes for science and medicine go to to men.

Critter said...

Science!

Tarzan said...

The phrase, "gender is a social construct" acknowledges that in fact these differences have been created by society.

'Acknowledges' wrong word. 'Presumes' correct.

Tarzan feels duty-bound to correct this sort of girly-man thinking.