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Why men and women think alike

Why men and women think alike
Highlights

Scientists have claimed that men and women are not so different after all, and think quite alike.

Washington: Scientists have claimed that men and women are not so different after all, and think quite alike.

Zlatan Krizan, an associate professor at Iowa State University, said that gender stereotypes could influence beliefs and create the impression of the differences. He conducted a meta-synthesis of more than 100 meta-analyses of gender differences. Combined, the studies they aggregated included more than 12 million people.
The results showed an almost 80 per cent overlap for more than 75 per cent of the psychological characteristics, such as risk taking, occupational stress and morality.
Krizan said the study suggested that men and women were relatively similar when it came to most psychological attributes. This was true regardless of whether we looked at cognitive domains, such as intelligence; social personality domains, such as personality traits; or at well-being, such as satisfaction with life.
The similarities were also consistent regardless of age and over time. However, researchers don't dispute that men and women have their differences. They identified 10 attributes in which there was a significant gap between genders. Some of these characteristics fell in line with stereotypes.
For example, men were more aggressive and masculine, while women had a closer attachment to peers and were more sensitive to pain. The purpose of the meta-synthesis was not to identify why men and women are different, but measure by how much. The results contradict what many people think, and Krizan has a few explanations as to why.
One reason is the difference in extremes. The evidence researchers aggregated focuses on a typical range of characteristics, but on the far end of the spectrum the differences are often exaggerated, Krizan said.
Researchers also point out that they did not try to determine to what extent these differences reflect real, physical or biological differences between genders.
The study published in American Psychologist.
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