Men and women might have more in common than we tend to think, according to a new study.
By reanalyzing data from 13 studies, researchers from the University of Rochester found men and women are not as psychologically dissimilar as previous studies have suggested.
Researchers performed a statistical analysis of 122 different characteristics, from empathy and sexuality, to science inclination and extroversion, involving 13,301 individuals and found men and women tend to rate equally for all 122 characteristics.
While gender lines could be drawn for certain physical qualities (height, hip-to-waist ratio, etc.) and habits (pornography consumption for men, scrapbooking for women), most psychological traits distributed evenly between both men and women.
“The study found most psychological traits
distribute evenly between both men and women.”
Researchers did note they found characteristic differences between men and women, yet they concluded these differences are often exaggerated in the popular imagination and “are not consistent or big enough to accurately diagnose group membership.”
“Those who score in a stereotypic way on one measure do not necessarily do so on another,” the authors note. “The possession of traits associated with gender is not as simple as ‘this or that.’”
Instead, Harry Reis, co-author of the study, said he believed differences between the sexes are primarily proscribed and enforced culturally.
“People think about the sexes as distinct categories. ‘Boy or girl?’ is the first question parents are asked about their newborn, and sex persists through life as the most pervasive characteristic used to distinguish categories among humans.”
Source: Rochester.edu. Photo source: telegraph.co.uk.