In the early 1990's, a writer and relationship counselor by the name of John Gray, Ph.D. wrote a little book you may have heard of: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. When the book was published in 1992, it became a pop culture phenomenon that eventually led to more books, seminars, a TV sitcom and even a one-man Broadway show.
Despite Dr. Gray's assertion, in 2005, a female University of Wisconsin professor found that the genders weren't so different after all. Her study revealed that "men and women are actually markedly similar, even in areas such as self-esteem, leadership and math ability, all of which have been male-skewed historically." Well then. Leave it to a man to skew things up — yes, that was a pun, though maybe a terrible one.
While studies and research thereafter flipped back and forth on just how similar or different the genders really are, once again we find ourselves with new information that says men and women really aren't the same. The new study, originally published on the Public Library of Science website, showed that of the 10,000 American men and women who participated in survey, the genders really do "feel and behave" in not only specific, but gender-oriented ways.
In comparison to their female counterparts, men are more dominant, reserved, ulitarian, vigilant, rule-conscious and emotionally stable, according to the study. "Emotionally stable?" Pfft. Women, on the other hand, embody traits that are stereotypically associated with the "fairer sex." Those qualities being: deferential, warm, trusting, sensitive and emotionally reactive. "Emotionally reactive?" Pfft. I don't even know what emotionally reactive means... Is it like this: "Why did you just call me fat? I think I'm going to throw my phone at your head, curse myself for the 5 pounds I've gained since Thanksgiving, then cry into a bundt cake!" See, I can stereotype women too.
By the way, the team who conducted this research found that "at the end of the day only 18 percent of men and women match in terms of personality profiles." Well, that's still a bit of an overlap, no?
Takeaway? We're different, but not so different that we should think of men as from a different planet. Except when we're mad at them or if they break up with us, of course. Then it's perfectly acceptable to treat them like aliens from outer space.
How different do you think men and women are in terms of personality?