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  • Dr. Joe Malone

Consistent Male and Female Sex Differences

• Males tend to have higher rates of risk and sensation seeking, criminal behavior, and openness to experience and to mating with strangers than females (Costa et al.,2001)

•Males are three and a half times more likely to die from all accidental causes and two and a half times more likely to die in road accidents than are females (Kruger,2004)

•Males have higher rates of impulsivity and poor compliance with routine and prescribed behavior (Struber, et al., 2008; Cross et al., 2011)

•Men use aggressive behavior more often than women. Recent reports suggest that men use more physical aggression, whereas women use more verbal aggression (Archer, 2004; Idaho State Department of Education, 2013)

•Males have greater upper body strength and physical endurance and faster tempo than females, especially youths (Bishop, et al.,1987)

•Males have superiority in mechanical reasoning, spatial abilities, and ability to simplify and generalize new information. This coincides with a tendency of males to perceive ambivalent objects as more simple, easy to handle, and not challenging (Halpern, 2012)

•Females have higher fluency with words and better verbal memory, verbalanalogy, spelling, language-related reasoning, and naming objects (Halpern, 2012)

•Females exhibit significantly higher empathic, teaching, parenting, rule-driven, and imitative behavior, and males exhibit significantly higher exploratory and competitive behavior from a very early age. This is consistent with their choice of toys and later choice of profession (Baron-Cohen, 2003,2011)

•Females exhibit better communication skills and use of language; they interrupt less and show more tentative speech than males (Leaper & Robnett, 2011)

•Females have higher rates of social endurance,extroversion,and agreeableness (Trofimova, 2010)

•In jobs with a need for single ability, either verbal or physical, there is a preponderance of females in social and secretarial services and in children’s education (more than 90 percent of US banktellers,receptionists, registered nurses, and preschool and kindergarten teachers are women) and a preponderance of males in physically demanding jobs (more than 90 percent of firefighters, mechanics, and pest exterminators are men) (Browne,2002)

•Women are more sensitive to punishment (Cross et al., 2011)

•Cross-culturally,females are superior to males at recognizing emotions in faces, voice, gestures, and nonverbal cues and at interpreting a range of mental states (Baron-Cohen,2011)

•Females are superior to males at perception, discrimination, and remembering taste odors, auditory tones, and colors (Halpern,2012)

Well, what do you think? Remember, these psychological traits represent averages across populations in Western societies. Therefore, there will be exceptions. Even so, does your life experience agree with these sex differences regarding many of the people you know?

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