Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Point: Proclamation -- Yes, men and women are still different

Ruth over at Empowering LDS Women brought up the summary of a recent study regarding differences between women and men. In the study:

Scientists at the University of Turin and the University of Manchester say they have developed a new method to analyze personality differences between the sexes, which suggests the differences are much greater than previously thought.
They studied 10,261 people — 5,137 females and 5,124 males — and found key differences.
Women scored higher in:
  • sensitivity.
  • warmth.
  • anxiety.
Men got higher scores in:
  • emotional stability.
  • dominance.
  • rule-consciousness.
  • vigilance (wariness).
They noted significant differences in levels of aggression and life interests as well.

The researchers measured behavioural traits in a broader fashion than previous studies did. They argued that these broader definitions provide a more accurate description of personality characteristics. "We believe we made it clear that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has been consistently underestimated," they write.
I just love hearing studies that validate inherent differences in men and women because we ARE different.  Makes me say, "Point:  Proclamation!" I really believe that nurturing comes a bit more naturally to women -- particularly when the nurturing involves young children.  I also believe that men are generally better protectors, in part because of their generally larger size (however, they do need to be taught to protect, not to take advantage of).  I think both men and women are capable of being providers, but they may go about it a little differently.

Ruth brought up a very good point in her post inspired by some of the comments on the study summary.   Apparently, some commenters took the research as evidence that women are inferior to men and shouldn't be in leadership positions.  (So rude!)  Ruth concludes, "That, to me, is the essence of feminism. It isn't insisting that I am exactly the same as men--I'm not, and to be honest, I don't want to be. It is merely insisting that my differences do not make me inferior, and demanding the respect that each of us deserves as human beings. . . ."

The comments go to show what our society values: the men traits.  If we flipped things around and placed greater value, or an equal value on such things as sensitivity and warmth, comments would probably be different.