The Real Reason Men Never Remember Anything

Men are actually hardwired to not remember things.

Woman putting groceries away, man confused at what he forgot Monkey Business Images, Odua Images | Canva 

Do you feel like your man is somehow immune to feelings? Does he noticeably not get emotional while watching a moving movie? Are you also the one that is better at remembering things?

These things are stereotypical for men. Plenty of sitcoms show the clueless husband who forgets an anniversary only to have to run around like a chicken with its head cut off to find his wife a present.

It's funny on television, but in real life, you're pretty bummed when you spend days finding the perfect gift only to get something in return that was obviously picked up on his way from work.


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These same sitcoms will show a wife being able to turn on the waterworks at a drop of a hat whether they saw something that's good or bad. Their husband on the other hand, just doesn't react.


Believe it or not, there's a reason these differences can be found on television and in real life. Men aren't emotionally reacting or remembering due to their hardwiring.

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A research team at the University of Basel used brain scans (fMRI) to look at the brain activity of 696 people and found that women assess negative emotional images stronger. While they assess these images there is an increase in brain activity in motoric regions of the brain.

What this all comes down to is that women find emotional images more stimulating than men do. This also causes them to be more likely to remember them since people generally remember things that have emotional ties to them.


According to the study, women had a particular advantage over men when recalling positive images.

Using fMRI data from 696 test subjects, the researchers were able to show that a stronger appraisal of negative emotional image content by the female participants is linked to increased brain activity in motoric regions.

When the scientists tried getting both sexes to look at images that were emotionally neutral there was no significant difference between them.

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This isn't the first study that looked at gender differences when it comes to memory.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology held a 2014 study where they asked more than 48,000 people nine questions about how well they can remember things, whether they had problems with remembering names and dates, whether they could remember what they did one year ago, and if they were able to remember details from conversations.


Men reported having eight of the nine problems while answering their questions.

This is just even more evidence that men are just hardwired very differently than women. To deal, you shouldn't bank on them remembering emotional occasions like anniversaries. Instead, set up a few calendar reminders.

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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.