Without defaulting to the conventional wisdom that men have to protect fragile egos, there’s an aspect to apologizing that implies defeat, which the more competitive male gender is less inclined to concede. Tiger Woods, Anthony Wiener, and Bill Clinton all had personas shaped by winning and success, and their late-coming, highly crafted apologies lacked authenticity. They seemed more driven by those self-preserving, secondary motives of escaping punishment and guilt. It felt like none of them would have apologized had he never been caught, implying the regret originated in being exposed rather than in feeling bad.And all of that drivel is true of the apology from the woman (Kristen Stewart) that's supposed to feel so sincere! Well, there's the answer: The perceiver of the apology has subjective feelings and is judging the woman differently (and patronizingly!).
One of few scientific studies on the psychology of female versus male apologies determined that men are less inclined to apologize because they have a different threshold for perceiving offensive behavior; that is, that they don’t always get what they’ve done wrong until someone slaps them upside the head for it.Now, you're not talking about whether men and women apologize differently. You're talking about whether they apologize at all. And, come on, Kristen Stewart got "slapped upside the head," as you say. And, by the way, her apology — going by the quote at the link — doesn't even say she was wrong. It says she's sorry she hurt people, and what she did was a "momentary indiscretion" that interfered with what she wants in life.
Now... here it comes... brain science!
Disparities between female and male brains may also impact how apologies are shaped and delivered. Men tend to have proportionally more white matter in their heads, indicating a thick web of connections that strengthen organizational skills, spatial relations, and problem solving. But women are understood to have greater connectivity between the left side of the brain, where logic and facts are mostly processed, and the right side in charge of non-linear thought like creativity and perception. The flow of signals between left and right may explain why women are generally better at connecting emotions with language.As usual, "science" says women are better! Considering that the article was written by a man, we do have a data point. Despite the great connectivity between the hemispheres of my brain, I see a bunch of data points going nowhere. An actress, caught in a lie, dribbled out some blather. Maybe emotion is clouding my language. Sorry. (Could you tell how sincere that apology was?)