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Old 09-29-2010, 05:24 PM   #16
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I'd say that article's fairly accurate in my own life experiences. I can be quite stubborn, yes, and it has been hard at times to admit I was wrong, but I do also try quickly to diffuse arguments because I don't like making people mad or hurting people's feelings. I will apologize if need be, to keep the peace. The guys I've known, on the other hand...

I think everyone could do well to have a bit of both stubborness and humility in their lives, male or female.


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Old 09-29-2010, 06:50 PM   #17
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Cool, that study is from my school, I know Dr. Ross.


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Old 04-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #18
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Slate, April 20
In the jittery world of anxiety research, one of the field's most consistent findings is also perhaps its biggest source of controversy: Women, according to countless studies, are twice as prone to anxiety as men. When pollsters call women up, they always confess to far higher levels of worry than men about everything from crime to the economy. Psychologists diagnose women with anxiety disorders two times as often as men, and research confirms—perhaps unsurprisingly—that women are significantly more inclined toward negative emotion, self-criticism, and endless rumination about problems.
If women really were fated to be significantly more anxious than men, we would expect them to start showing this nervousness at a very young age, right? Yet precisely the opposite is true: According to the UCLA anxiety expert Michelle Craske, in the first few months of infants' lives, it's boys who show greater emotional neediness. While girls become slightly more prone to negative feelings than boys at two years (which, coincidentally, is the age at which kids begin learning gender roles), research has shown that up until age 11, girls and boys are equally likely to develop an anxiety disorder. By age 15, however, girls are six times more likely to have one than boys are.

Why the sudden gap in diagnosed anxiety? Well, one answer is that as a flood of adolescent hormones sends these boys' and girls' emotions into overdrive, the difference in their upbringings finally catches up with them. After all, whether parents intend to or not, they usually treat the emotional outbursts of girls far differently than those of boys. "From a socialization angle, there's quite a lot of evidence that little girls who exhibit shyness or anxiety are reinforced for it, whereas little boys who exhibit that behavior might even be punished for it," Craske told me. In my book Nerve, I call this the "skinned knee effect": Parents coddle girls who cry after a painful scrape but tell boys to suck it up, and this formative link between emotional outbursts and kisses from mom predisposes girls to react to unpleasant situations with "negative" feelings like anxiety later in life. On top of this, cultural biases about boys being more capable than girls also lead parents to push sons to show courage and confront their fears, while daughters are far more likely to be sheltered from life's challenges.

...The result of these parenting disparities is that by the time girls grow into young women, they've learned fewer effective coping strategies than their male counterparts, which translates to higher anxiety. The sexes learn to deal with fear in two very different ways: men have been conditioned to tackle problems head-on, while women have been taught to worry, ruminate, and complain to each other (hey, I'm just reporting the research) rather than actively confront challenges. These are generalizations, of course; the fact that I have always been an Olympic-caliber worrier offers us just one example of how men can fret with the best of them, and everyone knows at least one woman who appears not even to know what fear is. Still, these differences in upbringing clarify quite a bit about the gender gap in anxiety.
We have an odd tendency to label women as anxious even when they aren't. A recent, highly revealing study showed that even in situations in which male and female subjects experience the same level of an emotion, women are consistently seen—and even see themselves—as being "more emotional" than men. It shouldn't be too surprising, then, that this bias holds for anxiety as well; we buy into the fretful-women stereotypes far too often. Another report, for example, found significant differences in the way doctors respond to patients who report common stress symptoms like chest pain: Whereas men get full cardiac workups, women are more often told that they're just stressed or anxious, and that their symptoms are in their heads.

It should be pretty clear by now that the claims about women being far more innately anxious than men are suspect, but before I depart in a blaze of justice, one final point is in order: Men are getting off much too easily in the anxiety discussion. Probably the most significant reason why women get diagnosed with anxiety disorders twice as often as men isn't that they're doubly fearful. It's because anxious men are much less likely to seek psychological help. The flip side of being raised to always show strength is that men come to feel that going to a therapist is a sign of weakness or failure (think of Tony Soprano's mopey resistance to the benefits of psychiatry), which is why men constitute just 37% of therapy patients, by some estimates. If nearly twice as many women seek help from a psychologist, then they'll obviously be diagnosed more often with anxiety disorders. Troublingly enough, the evidence shows that while women deal with anxiety and stress by worrying, men are more likely to try to bury these feelings with alcohol or drugs—which offers one rationale for why men are at higher risk for "antisocial" disorders like alcoholism.
The point that parents (and, in adulthood, other adults) tend to respond differently to distress depending on the sex of the person manifesting it, sure seems right; I notice such behavior all the time, including from myself.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:36 AM   #19
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Men and women are more alike than different -- that's been the consensus view for many years among the researchers who study personality differences between the sexes. But a new study claims this wisdom is wrong. By correcting for measurement errors, three researchers put forth a study that was published on Wednesday on the Public Library of Science website saying they've found that men and women feel and behave in markedly different ways. They're almost like "different species," Paul Irwing, one of the researchers, told The Huffington Post.

The research, conducted by Marco Del Giudice of Italy's University of Turin and Irwing and Tom Booth of the UK's University of Manchester, involved getting 10,000 Americans to take a questionnaire that measured 15 different personality traits. According to their analysis, men are far more dominant, reserved, utilitarian, vigilant, rule-conscious, and emotionally stable, while women are far more deferential, warm, trusting, sensitive, and emotionally "reactive." The two sexes were roughly the same when it came to perfectionism, liveliness, and abstract versus practical thinking.

"If you translate it into the simplest terms," said Irwing, "only 18 percent of men and women match in terms of personality profiles, and that's staggeringly different from the consensus view."

The consensus view, most persuasively set out in a 2005 study by Janet Shibley Hyde, a professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, demonstrated through a meta-analysis of 46 other studies that men and women were actually very similar, not only in personality traits, but in other realms of supposed gender difference, like self-esteem, leadership, and math ability.

In the early 1970s, Hyde became one of the first researchers to focus on the psychology of women. "Before that, psychology had been a psychology of men," Hyde told The Huffington Post, and many theories had been developed based on entirely male samples. So she began to study women, and the differences between women and men, and was surprised at how small those differences turned out to be. "I mean, I was trying to study difference," Hyde said.

Hyde says the final figure Irwing, Del Giudice, and Booth came up with -- the "global sex difference" -- is "really uninterpretable, it doesn't mean anything."

In past studies on this topic, researchers would simply add up all the survey responses, according to Del Giudice. This led to imperfect results because of careless responses and misreadings. Through a sophisticated method called "structure equation modeling," the researchers claim they were able to remove this random error. When asked if he could translate this concept for a lay person, Irwing replied: "I teach courses on this and it takes me approximately 20 hours."

Past research also usually compared one variable at a time, Del Giudice said. He believes this method led to underestimations of the sex difference because when you actually combine all personality traits, with all their small discrepancies, the result is a much more significant difference. For example, if you were to examine the difference between men and women's body types using the traditional method, you would look at torso circumference and waist-hip ratios and torso-leg ratios, one by one. In Del Giudice's method, you would crunch all these figures into one much larger number. And that's what he did with personality.

"They kind of globbed together all these personality dimensions and said there was a big difference," Hyde said. "They're throwing together apples and oranges and dishwashers to get this thing in 15-dimensional space. We don't know what 15-dimensional space looks like."

But Del Giudice contends that his team didn't measure "a haphazard list of traits." Rather, they considered 15 facets that could offer a reasonably complete picture of a person's personality.

Irwing thinks that some researchers in the past may have been biased in their methods, in order to reduce any gender difference. "It's for totally laudable reasons," he said. "People are very concerned, or were very concerned, that women didn't get equal opportunities, and that there was a lot of bias in selection processes."

"People are afraid that studies like ours will turn the clock back," Irwing added.

Hyde is one of those people. "This huge difference is not only scientifically false," she said, "it has unfortunate consequences for places like the workplace and education and heterosexual romantic relationships."

But the authors stand by their results, and are currently drafting a lengthy response to Hyde's objections. "I think distorting science because of what you would like to believe, or because of what you think the political consequences are, is very dangerous," said Irwing.

The study doesn't speculate as to whether the alleged differences are due to nature or nurture, although Irwing points out the results are consistent with standard evolutionary theory. Even if these differences aren't indelibly printed in our genes, Hyde believes there's still cause for alarm.

If men and women have wildly different personalities, "then how can we do the same job men can, and deserve equal pay for equal work?" she asked. "A married couple have marital difficulties, and they go to the therapist, who says 'he's from Mars, you're from Venus, you'll never be able to communicate. It's hopeless.' If you have a gender similarities point of view, you just need to work on communicating."

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