Thursday, January 12, 2012
New Research Revives Psychological Differences Between the Sexes
The argument that men and women are more alike than different has been supported by expert consensus among those who study personality differences between the sexes. Most notably, a 2005 study by Janet Shibley Hyde, professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who reported that men and women were actually very similar, not only in personality traits, but in other realms of supposed gender difference, like self-esteem, leadership, and math ability. However, this theory is being challenged given recently published findings that women and men are more appropriately viewed as “different species”. A return to the Men are from Mars and Women Come from Venus way of thinking is revived in a new study that suggest that men and women feel and behave in markedly different ways. For example, men are far more dominant, reserved, utilitarian, vigilant, rule-conscious, and emotionally stable, while women are far more deferential, warm, trusting, sensitive, and emotionally "reactive." The two sexes were roughly the same when it comes to perfectionism, liveliness, and abstract versus practical thinking.
In effect, only 18 percent of men and women match in terms of personality profiles, and that's staggeringly different from the consensus view, according to the newest data. It may that because past research usually compared one variable at a time, this method led to underestimations of sex differences because when personality traits are combined the result provides a more significant variation. And, it appears that researchers may have been biased in their methods in order to reduce any gender difference, but a growing recognition that acknowledging sex differences will improve sensitivity to quality care.