Are Men & Women Really That Different?

Yes. Well I contend this is the case anyways.

I was just looking over a bunch of stats concerning men and women and the stats seem to lead to a generalization that cannot help but be reached by an obvious conclusion – men and women do think differently – as in the way they perceive the world and the focus they put on aspects of their environment.

From the show ‘Most Evil’ (weekly show about sadistic killers) – 97% of sexually sadistic murders happen at the hand of men. Another stat that is pretty close is 72% of porn viewed online is done by men. Men are 10x more likely to commit murder and 9 times as likely to go to jail once in their life.

Women are 3x to 4x as likely to file for divorce; in custody battles women are 82% the primary caregivers.

Now I can find more stats to make a case for the vast differences in ‘thought’ between men and women but isn’t it really really really really really obvious to anyone that bothers to observe?

The thing is, who you are is 100% your physical and emotional make-up – which will in turn change your mind to who you are and your experiences. Fact is, many women have similar experiences and the same goes for men…there is no real other way to explain stats that are skewed 75% to one gender over another. Women tend to think alike and men tend to think alike.

Challenge to prove me wrong: Attend a sports event at your local lounge- like the stanley cup – and do it twice. In the first time around attend with just men. The second time around attend with just women. Same exact event at the same exact place and you can even order the same exact things for both occasions. Are there quantifiable differences?

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11 thoughts on “Are Men & Women Really That Different?

  1. “97% of sexually sadistic murders happen at the hand of men…”
    “72% of porn viewed online is done by men…”
    “Men are 10x more likely to commit murder and 9 times as likely to go to jail…”
    “Women are 3x to 4x as likely to file for divorce…”
    “custody battles women are 82% the primary caregivers…”
    “Now I can find more stats to make a case for the vast differences in ‘thought’.. ”
    SVS

    I am not sure these stats prove difference in thought as a difference in cultural upbringing. Are these stats true in other cultures? Are these stats true in cultures where women are the political and spiritual leaders? Are these stats true where equality in upbringing of both sexes exists? Are these stats true in homosexual cultures, transgendered cultures and bi-sexual cultures?

    People are brought up in all sorts of homes. Are the male killers only violent because they are men or are there other traumas in their past to cause their behavior? Are divorces caused because women are women or because there are so many other causes in a relationship that makes it go wrong? If 3or 4x the women divorce doesn’t that stat say that women are pushed into more marriages than men? Our culture is hard on single women or spinsters. Our culture is hard on women who do not have children. Our culture is hard on women in general. They have to looks nice, talk nice, be nice, never raise their voices, always be proper. That is what culture wants from women. Any woman who speaks out is labelled a “bitch” or worse.

    The stats prove that cultural biases need to be changed. Not that men and women think differently.

  2. I agree with Wilfred. I think much of the differences you are seeing have to do with how women and men are raised.

    “They have to looks nice, talk nice, be nice, never raise their voices, always be proper.”

    This is the perfect way to sum it up. Women are taught from childhood to act “lady-like” and that is what men expect. Any women who shows any type of aggression or ambition is deemed to be a bitch who just needs a nice strong men to sleep with her. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “she just needs a good f**king”. But when a guy shows aggression and ambition, he is seen as powerful and smart.

    When it comes to sexuality, women are taught that they either don’t have a sexuality or that their sexuality is somehow “wrong” and needs to be hidden. Any women who flaunts her sexuality is automatically called slut, whore, c*nt, etc. So, most women end up be ashamed by their sexuality and hiding it. Yet men are taught that their sexuality is good. When a man flaunts his sexuality he is thought to be powerful and virile. A man who sleeps with many different women is envied, not shamed.

    Women who are attempting to break into mostly male-only professions, like I am, have to work twice as hard to be thought half as good. Our opinions and ideas are regularly dismissed for no reason other then that they came from a women. It is constantly assumed that woman are not as smart as men or that they only care about shallow things, like shopping or gossiping.

    As for your sports event, I can guarantee their will be differences. As I mentioned before, women are expected to be proper and look nice at all times. A women who acted like a man at a sports event would be seen as improper, unlady-like, and base. If your team wins and you go out and party afterward, women still can’t act the same. Men can go to a bar with their buddies and get wasted. But if any women did the same, people would say, once again, she is being unlady-like, and, even worse, she is opening herself up for sexual assault. And I guarantee you, if she does drink and get sexually assaulted in some way, she will be blamed for it. But a drunk guy who gets mugged on the way home is a victim.

    Just look at how women are portrayed in the media, especially in commercials. Really pay attention. You’ll see many of the stereotypes I’ve listed above.

  3. I have been giving this some thought, great points Wolf and Sammy, and I am starting to truly weigh if this is societal in nature or actually biological (the differences)…I think it’s both – nature and nurture.

    Honestly, a lot of women do act alike – however – this could be due to societal pressures (as both of you stated) and the expectations. This could account for a lot of it, also to answer some of this, most men do want a woman that is nothing like their own baser instincts – so that could also account for much of how women portray themselves.

    Cultural identity also plays a pivotal role, and the stats cannot capture that for other countries – so that makes sense – maybe this is just a Western phenomenon (however internet porn is global so that stat is accurate). I can see culture as part of the social phenom I need to consider more and more – so this is a drawback of making the statement I am making.

    However, regardless of societal upbringing and cultural identity – nature has a part in this as well. Estrogen is a women phenomenon and testosterone a male phenomenon (although both sexes have quantities of both); adding a chemical difference. Physically women and men are built differently and this has to change the way one ‘thinks’ about their environment (ie: men are taller and stronger on avg; women can birth children; etc). To dismiss the physical as part of the way one thinks is to create a dualism between one’s body and one’s brain – things that are likely so interconnected we cannot even decipher why the hand moves when the brain merely ‘thinks about it’.

    But I am coming around on this subject, I am aware men and women are not exactly the same but they have the exact same abilities.

  4. Depends what kind of “women” you’re talking about. I have a group I could take out, but they fix cars and play in softball leagues. I could bring them in with men and it would be an easy Gel. But if I bring in a group of office secretaries, you’ll reach that desired divide you want to see.

    Personality trumps sex every time. What your stats DO prove is that there ARE different chemical amounts being regulated in the brain, more aggressive ones are likely to be pumping in your average male than your average female.

  5. In essence I agree Jeremy, I think the chemical balances result in some of the differences in attitude – likely in some cases men have more estrogen and women have more testosterone- causing bigger similarities – and of course the social environment (nurture) plays a huge role in that as well.

    I agree with their being women with similarities, the cars and sports thing…but even in those cases (I have friends like that as well) they still have a womanliness to them that is different to men…is this because they feel the need to differentiate or is the differentiation just part of the gender process? I really don’t know I just see it some of the time.

    As for the stats, they are just stats and have their shortfalls. However, one thing they do reveal is that men are more aggressive with their physicality than women are. Now I think the blame is placed on testosterone a lot of the time, however science is finding that men use a certain part of their brain quite often that seems to lead to this behavior (and aggression in sexuality and violence is closely linked). Maybe that part of the brain is more ‘turned on’ in men than women?

  6. “likely in some cases men have more estrogen and women have more testosterone” SVS
    This s a good point. It is hard to know how much these chemicals in the brain account for behavior. I am sure it is proven that too much testosterone/estrogen causes major changes in the brain. Much like drugs and alcohol.

    And in my opinion, even if culture has a major influence on behaviors, people still have choice. Any women, man, transgendered person, and all the other types of people, still can change their lives and do something different. I may choose to be an asshole one day and the nicest person you wll ever meet the next.

  7. I agree that there are differences. Some are obvious, like the ones you mentioned: men are, on average, taller and stronger than women. Many recent scientific studies have also shown differences in men and women’s brains. However, we still know so little about how exactly the brain works and what the relationship between brain and behavior is that I believe it is somewhat foolish to attempt to correlate these brain differences into behavior differences. Unfortunately, quite a few pop-science books have been released recently trying to do just that. Non-scientists who read them assume the book’s assertions are based on scientific fact, but that just isn’t true. We simply do not yet know enough about the brain to make those types of conclusions.

    You mentioned aggression as being a behavior more common in men than in women. While I agree that testosterone (i.e. nature) probably plays a role in that difference, I also believe that nurture does as well. Little girls are discouraged from playing rough games. Adults expect them to play with dolls, play “house”, play dress-up, and stuff like that. Little boys, on the other hand, have play fights with various toy weapons, smash cars together, wrestle, and all-together play in a more active, aggressive fashion.

    I am, and always have been, a “tom-boy”. I didn’t want to play with dolls or dress up. I played with Hotwheels and Legos. I had tons of Nerf guns and water guns. I wanted to be an astronaut, so I had tons of space related toys. When I was 6, I decided I wanted to play soccer. We lived in a small town at the time, so their was only a boys soccer league. However, the head of the league did allow girls to join a team, although few did. I was the only girl on my team and one of only 3 girls in the entire league.

    While my parents didn’t usually have a problem with me preferring toys and activities meant for boys, other adults did. I cannot tell you how many times I would be playing games with the boys that lived on my street and one of their parents would pull me aside and say “Why don’t you go play with the other girls?” or “Wouldn’t you prefer to [insert some play activity associated with girls]?”. Sometimes they would even force me to stop playing with the boys, saying they were too rough for me or that I would get hurt, despite the fact that I was around the same age as the boys and that, before puberty, there really is no difference in strength between boys and girls. I cannot tell you how frustrating this was to me.

    Young girls are taught that it isn’t “lady-like” to be aggressive. When boys get into physical fights, most adults dismiss it, having the attitude that “boys will be boys” and that such behavior is normal for them. Heck, I have many male friends who tell me that their dads encouraged them to solve problems with aggression. If they were being bullied, their dad’s told them to hit back. A girl would never be told to do such a thing. We are told to just ignore it or go tell an adult.

    Even as adults, women are discouraged from being aggressive. Like I said in my first post, men who are aggressive are often seen as powerful and ambitious and are respected. If they get angry, it is assumed that he has a good reason to be pissed. However, women who are aggressive are considered “bitches” or thought to be sexually repressed (i.e. she just needs a man to give her a good f**king and she’ll feel better). If she gets angry, she is dismissed as having PMS.

    Considering all that, women often aren’t aggressive not because aggression is a behavior distinctive to men (because of testosterone) but because they know that aggression in women is looked down upon.

    Some stereotypes about differences between women and men might be accurate if you look at averages. But there are two reason stereotypes shouldn’t be used:

    One, many stereotypes are false. There is a common stereotype in Western countries that men are just inherently better at math than women. However, study after study has shown that to not be true at all; women are just as good at math as men are. Even worse, other studies have shown that women who are aware of the stereotype do worse at math than women who either don’t know about the stereotype or are shown the studies showing the stereotype to be false. The stereotype is self-fulfilling. If women believe men are just inherently better at math, then they won’t try to compete with them in math, since they believe they will fail.

    Two, even if stereotypes are true on average (like men are taller than women), that stereotype does not always apply to individuals, especially if the average difference is tiny. It is not hard to find short men and tall women. True stereotypes can be useful for science, but they should not be used to judge individuals. I fit very few of the “typical woman” stereotypes. I don’t wear makeup. My wardrobe is quite plain and is built on comfort, not fashion. I own 3 pairs of shoes. I hate shopping. I love math and science, and am a scientist. People consider me to be stoic, not emotional. I am good with computers and technology. I love video games. I understand and love watching American football. I hate all shades of the color pink. I don’t spend 2 hours doing my hair every morning. I could go on and on. But the point is, if someone judged me to be the typical women, they would be extremely far off. I think that is true of stereotypes in general, no matter what group they are applied to.

    I apologize for writing such a long comment, but this is a topic I am extremely passionate about. As a female who is currently studying and working in a field overwhelming dominated by males, I have faced a lot of discrimination by men who buy into stereotypes about women. For those men, who have to work twice as hard to be thought of as half as good and any time you make a mistake, they assume it is because you are a girl. This comic demonstrates it nicely.

  8. Great comments Sammy, I really appreciated what you had to share and it makes a lot of sense. I know what I am saying is a generalization and truth be told, nothing can be generalized – as humans we all act and think differently to some degree.

    I also haven’t given as much thought to the socialization thing but the more and more I consider it – the more and more I realize this does play a big part in the thinking of each gender (dependent on the culture one was raised in).

    I still think there are differences in the the gender stratosphere – but I use them more for trying to bring about equality and not separate people (ie: like a man and a woman should both be in positions of power so that both genders are adequately represented in that company or even politics).

    Comment may have been long but it was a total worthwhile read and is great food for thought – and this is an issue I am only thinking about lately because I am trying to understand some of the differences I see in society between men and women. It doesn’t mean much but I am trying to understand why the differences are there to be more empathetic to both sides and find the differences and commonalities so there is less problems in relationships – where I see a lot of this mis-communication happening.

  9. “And in my opinion, even if culture has a major influence on behaviors, people still have choice.” (Wolf)

    I agree. The key thing is patterns are only patterns until we change them (even if they are chemically formed and tied to neurons in the brain). Truth is, neuron patterns can be changed, addictions counsellors see this all the time. Choice is what makes everyone unique and its likely a big factor in why a man will try to be a certain way and women a certain way – again there are always exceptions to the rule – and ain’t it the exception to the rule we love anyways?

  10. Interestingly enough even if you factor in culture, men tend to be more aggressive generally than women. This is evident down through the centuries across cultural divides. Methinks our chemical makeup are generally very different and because of that it cant help but influence your views and actions in your surrounding enviroment, regardless of how you are raised.

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