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Archive for the ‘Mars and Venus? On Gender Differences’ Category

Oh, yeesh, I haven’t been writing on this topic for like seven months. Guess you do forget about certain topics when you’re too broad. o_o
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Before we start, let’s clarify those few things again:
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  • I will not agree to the statement that men (or women) are superior. Both have equal qualities, though may be better in different departments.
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  • I’ll be taking the stereotypical view of both genders, just so I don’t have to keep saying “but there are exceptions!” and making myself sound like a broken recorder. I know there are exceptions, just don’t make me repeat that so many times. =(
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  • The reason why I’m doing this is not to belittle the other gender, it’s for me (and hopefully, my boyfriend~) to understand the differences between the two, and maybe even appreciate them! I know I appreciate him knowing the roads better than I do. xP
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  • This has nothing to do with the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. I’ve read an excerpt of it, but this is not meant to steal things from there. This is to inform people (who’re interested enough to read this, anyway) in a way that I understand with my own experience!
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Okay, now let’s start~!

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Men and Venus? On Gender Differences

Chapter 2: Too Focused, Blur-case, or Deaf? Too Excited, Aggressive, or Just Can’t Stop Talking?

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Sometimes, I see complaints of one person on the other gender. Like, “ZOMG, he just doesn’t listen to me! I told him that so-and-so happened and to do this-and-that, but he doesn’t listen!!” or “ZOMG, she just talks too much! Why doesn’t she shut up?!”
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Sounds familiar?
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My boyfriend and I haven’t really encountered this problem badly yet. Or rather, he hadn’t complained to me yet. Though for me, sometimes I can see the truth in these complaints.
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Like, for example, sometimes when I talk and talk, he doesn’t respond. It’s like, “Hey, you know, next time we should go to so-and-so and do this-and-that!”
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Silence.
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Girls, like me, tend to wonder, “Hey, did he hear me or not?”
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Yep, it sounds familiar.
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However, there’s most likely a reason behind that.
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When I do ask my boyfriend if he heard (after a bit of talking and little response), he actually heard me. What’s more, he could repeat most of the information I gave him!
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Yeah, he did miss out some information, but who cares? He heard me!
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But hey, what about other couples? Why are there so many arguments on why he don’t listen and why she talks too much?
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After a lot of reading, I can finally come here and write a blog post about it. It helps me understand my boyfriend, too. =D

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Part 1: Back to the Prehistoric Days…
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Yep, we date back all the way to the prehistoric days where we all still live as cavemen. Back then, the roles of males and females were pretty clear cut; men go hunting all day and bring back hunted animals (for food, clothing, weapon materials, etc), while the women stay home, guard the home, and gather fruits, herbs and stuff.
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As quoted from Kat Caverly (link at the bottom of the post):
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“Men evolved from hunters who didn’t do much talking. (If you’ve ever seen your grandpa and uncles hunt and fish, you know this to be true. Hours and hours go by, and no one speaks.) While there is evidence to support that communication was needed among early hunters, most of it was done prior to setting out to hunt, leaving little for discussion during the hunting trip itself. This was practical. Too much noise (conversation) would alert the prey — at best scaring it away; at worst turning hunter into hunted.

On the other hand, women went out-and-about not to hunt, but to gather. As they did this activity in groups, they would keep up a stream of conversation in order to make sure no one had fallen behind or prey to animals. For a woman, conversation was literally life itself!”
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Further quoted from a commenter on the post by Kat Caverly:
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“Along with that, women were responsible for raising the children, and being sensitive to communication was/is key. Such as the need for details, tones, and the “closeness” or intimacy that is entwine in women’s conversations.”
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Makes sense, right?

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Part 2: Talking and Listening Today
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And so, that prehistoric trait difference brought along the complaints; men don’t listen and women talk too much. This difference even brought along quotes from famous people through the ages.
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But is it really true?
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Research showed that the female brain is more geared for language and emotion related stuff, due to that part of the brain being bigger (this is writing from memory gained from reading, so I forgot the name o_o). They’re also basically better equipped for multitasking, since the connection between the two hemispheres of the brain is bigger compared to that of the male brain.
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But, while this finding concludes that women do talk more than men (6,000 words compared to 4,000 words… wait, what?), other research show that this is nothing more than a myth. As said by an article from PBS: Language as Prejudice:
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“When women and men are together, it is the men who talk most. Two Canadian researchers, Deborah James and Janice Drakich, reviewed sixty-three studies which examined the amount of talk used by American women and men in different contexts. Women talked more than men in only two studies.”
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What?! That’s the complete opposite!!
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Forget the women talk too much part…

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Part 3: Difference Between a Talking Man and a Talking Woman
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What difference? Both men and women use words!
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Duh.
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Well, aside from that, people of both genders use speech for different purposes.
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For a start, men talk for informational purposes; they don’t like talking unless it’s information requesting or information sharing or something. That explains why guys talk more than girls, huh? After all, we’re in the information age!
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Guys also have a heavier tendency towards actions. Once you gain the necessary information, act on them. That’s what they did during the prehistoric times, right? Device hunting plan, then carry out hunting plan and don’t talk during action.
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Women, on the other hand, use communication mainly for relationship building. When feeling anxious or happy or anything, they feel the need to share the emotions with someone else, and from this communication, they form relationship with each other. Even during prehistoric times, they talk to ensure that their friends are still around (you hear her, then therefore she’s safe, right?) and to pass the time while they gather. So basically for them, talking = better relationship.
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See the big difference here?

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Part 4: Difference Between a Listening Man and a Listening Woman
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Remember what I said about the prehistoric times when guys don’t talk much and girls talk a lot?
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When the guys go hunting, they talk before the hunt, then they stay silent during. Their focus is always on the prey, so that it doesn’t get away.
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The consequences? Most of the time, guys have a single-track mind. When they focus, they focus hard and do one thing really well, but they don’t really hear anything else.
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Sure, guys can multitask, but not all of them can do things and listen at the same time. Which reminds me of Ammaro’s post (link at the bottom of this post):
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It happened again, today. My wife called me when I was coming home from work, and the conversation (well, the part I heard anyway) went something like this:

“Hi honey, can you ….. by the supermarket … get …. …… ……, some tomatoes….., …. ,….. ,…… ….. , ok dear? Thanks. Bye”

…so now i’m at the supermarket, buying what she wanted; I pick up the tomates and… Hmm… I can be pretty sure she mentioned FIVE items. Why do I only seem to remember one? Umm…

Ok, time to call her again. Uhh, honey, what did you say you wanted?

“Get ….. fat-free white cheese,….. ….. ….. tomatoes, and ….. …., with the …. …. next to the …. counter, ok? Bye…”

So I go to the cheese section, but realize there’s like 3 million different varieties of fat-free cheese. Dammit, another phone call. What was that cheese you wanted hon? And what else?

“Yeah, …. was the Kraft fat-free cheese, and by the way, ….. ….. ….., …. you find a pack of …., and a family pack diet coke”

I swear to god, I must have called her 6 times today while I was in the supermarket… to pick up 5 things!
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It cracked me up. xP
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Guys are easily distracted. He hears his favourite tune in the background, there goes his mind. You tell him things during a movie, he doesn’t remember much of it after that.
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I can relate to that, too. When I tell my boyfriend things while he’s driving (women’s favourite past-time o_o), he remembers less than if I lock him in a quiet room and run off with his book. So I learned my lesson and make sure I run off with his book before I tell him things!
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Well, that’s the guy.
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For girls, when they do things, they respond better when you call them in the middle of things. They multitask well (though they may not be perfect), so they pick up information better when they multitask. That’s because, as mentioned in the previous section, the two hemisphere of the female brain is better wired compared to the male brain.
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So… where’s the problem?

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Part 5: Problems in a Relationship

Now that we know the difference between a talking/listening man and a talking/listening woman, now we can see what’s up with the couples who complain about their partners.
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When a guy loves a girl, he doesn’t say “I love you”, because guys don’t like to look weak and vulnerable. He acts out on the feelings of love, and gestures and actions become important. Action speaks louder than words, in the guy’s case.
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When a girl loves a guy, she says “I love you” often. She talks a lot and always conveys the feelings in words, and she always wants to touch (hug, kiss, etc).
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So when the problem occurs?
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Due to the fact that there are differences in talking/listening needs between the two couples, both needs are not fulfilled. Women talk, thinking that the men don’t listen enough, but the men get swamped with all the words and responds with actions.
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Both feel that the other doesn’t understand them, and this turns into a fight.

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Part 6: So… what now?
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Compromising. That’s the only way the vastly different male and female can be happy together.
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Understanding that a guy acts out on feelings rather than say it, and understanding that a girl needs to talk and hear things to feel secure.
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Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s always the woman who does the talking and the guy who does the, well, non-listening. There are certain times when a guy talks more than a girl. Take my occasional situation, for example… nowadays, when I talk to my boyfriend, I try not to talk too much, and sometimes I drop the subject when he doesn’t respond all that much. I became not-so-sensitive to his near lack of response when he listens, because… well, I do that myself sometimes. When my boyfriend becomes enthusiastic on something, he, too, will tell me loads of information about it; how it goes, what happens, what he thinks about it, etc… similar like the way I do it. Sometimes, though, it becomes too much information for me, and I couldn’t do anything but nod dumbly. I do try to understand and ask questions, of course… but I do lack the pro grey matter he has (mentioned in Article #1: The Map Question: “Why’re you reading it upside-down?!”)! I may be on the programming side, but he stores more information in his head than I do. @_@
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Still, knowing and understanding is the first step to a good relationship. And writing this article has helped me to understand loads!

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~Estrelita Farr, not so insecure~!

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References:

  • Kat Caverly: Why DO women talk so much? (Link)
  • PBS: Language as Prejudice: Language Myth #6, Women Talk Too Much (Link)
  • Ammaro: Women Talk Too Much and Men Don’t Listen (Link)

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Yay! A new serial!
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I just feel like writing a serial, like a monthly magazine or something. xP
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There’s always been this “battle of the sexes” thing going on for years and years, and lots of people are generally stuck to the stereotyping of both genders. Even studies show that men and women are generally different when it comes to which part of the brain they use more.
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I’ve always been interested in these sort of things, because I find it amusing. Especially when it’s obvious when I’m with my boyfriend! xP
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Though, before you start, let me clarify a few things:

  • I will not agree to the statement that men (or women) are superior. Both have equal qualities, though may be better in different departments.
    .
  • I’ll be taking the stereotypical view of both genders, just so I don’t have to keep saying “but there are exceptions!” and making myself sound like a broken recorder. I know there are exceptions, just don’t make me repeat that so many times. =(
    .
  • The reason why I’m doing this is not to belittle the other gender, it’s for me (and hopefully, my boyfriend~) to understand the differences between the two, and maybe even appreciate them! I know I appreciate him knowing the roads better than I do. xP
    .
  • This has nothing to do with the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”. I’ve read an excerpt of it, but this is not meant to steal things from there. This is to inform people (who’re interested enough to read this, anyway) in a way that I understand with my own experience!
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Now that we’ve settled with these things, let’s start~!
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Men and Venus? On Gender Differences

Chapter 1: The Map Question: “Why’re you reading it upside-down?!!”

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Yep, the ever existing question. It has long been a longstanding firm thinking that females simply can’t read maps and that men don’t need maps.
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While it’s true that there are exceptions to this case (like my mother, for example, she doesn’t really get that all lost!), I, however, am one of the poor unfortunate souls who can’t find her way out of a peanut butter jar. Of course, let me drive the same way a few hundred times and I’ll learn the road eventually, but seriously, I can never learn the road well even after some time!
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My boyfriend, on the other hand, is like your typical guy. No, it doesn’t mean he’s perfect when it comes to reading maps (he’s perfect in other departments though=D), but he still surprises me sometimes. Even before he starts out on a journey (by car or by foot), he’d map out the road he’d take! He’s been lost a few times, I’m know, though all or most of those times are because it’s his first time in the area (“this is outside my territory” was his exact phrase o_o) and because he followed my uselessly inaccurate directions!.
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Different, isn’t it? Here’s one of the points that shows how different both genders are.
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The human brain consists of roughly 40% grey matter and 60% white matter. Men use 6.5 times more grey matter than women, who use more white matter.
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Here’s the catch: grey matter is the brain’s CPU (not unlike the computer CPU), where all information in the brain is processed. This includes mathematical stuff (so that’s why he’s can calculate stuff in his head faster than I do! xO), remembering roads (I asked him if he has a mini-map in his head, like those in video games, and he said yeah O_o), and intellectual thoughts.
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White matter, on the other hand, is mainly used for emotional thinking, language usage and where the multitasking ability comes from.
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Sounds familiar?
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Here’s an excerpt from the Netscape News article I read (link at the bottom of post) to convince you further:
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What is the difference between gray matter and white matter? Gray is central to processing information and plays a vital role in aiding skills such as mathematics, map-reading, and intellectual thought. White matter connects the brain’s processing centers and is central to emotional thinking, use of language, and the ability to do more than one thing at once. Because women use less gray matter–critical to map-reading–they tend to have more difficulty with this skill than men.”
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Of course, there’s also that issue of differences in male and female visions, but I’ll cover that next time!
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So now I know why he’s so enthusiastic over calculating computer prices, and why he parks his car way better than I do… O_o
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Reverse parking FTW!
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Now that you know that my boyfriend has a mini-map in his head, what about what goes on in my head while going out?
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I don’t have a mini-map in my head, so I’m pretty scared of going out to new places on my own. As with most women, I recognise places by appearance and familiarity alone, hence why I use landmarks as my guide. If let’s say you just come up to me and ask me how to get somewhere, I won’t be able to tell you unless I’m actually taking the road myself. To put it simply, I go by the ah-I-remember-now-that-I’m-supposed-to-turn-right-at-this-traffic-light thinking, I wouldn’t know where to turn unless I’m looking at that exact spot. Plus, if I don’t recognise the place at all, my intuition will often point me in the wrong way. =(
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That means I get completely lost when my parents and boyfriend bring me to new places, and I’ll have to rely on them to show me about. T_T
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Here’s an excerpt from the BBC News article I read (link at the end of post):
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“This is because men and women navigate in different ways. Men take a bird’s eye view of their journey to get an overall sense of where they are going, whereas women break it down into bite-size chunks, navigating in relation to where they are at the time. This is why women turn maps around to match the direction they’re facing, and use landmarks to find their way.”
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But contrary to popular belief, I actually don’t read maps upside down. Besides, when women read maps upside down, it’s because they’re rotating the map so that it’ll match their surroundings, which again brings us to how females use appearances to remember roads. But I’m one of those who reads a map straight. O_o
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Then, based on the Sydney Morning Herald article that I read (link at the bottom of post), Dr Michael Tlauka, an expert in gender differences and spatial ability from Flinders University, said the explanation on this difference is based in both nature and nurture. An excerpt from the article:
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“Little boys are more likely to be given toy cars and train tracks to play with, and pushing these toys around develop spatial concepts that dressing a Barbie doll, for example, doesn’t.

Little boys are also more likely to be put on a soccer or football field than their sisters, Tlauka says, which also needs them to understand positioning and direction.”
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Eh, I’ve never played with dolls in my childhood; I played with toy cars and dinosaurs on my table. Then again, I don’t really play sports… o_o
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I still get lost. T_T
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So, ladies and gents, the moral of this story is: don’t ever ask me for directions!
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(I hope he’s reading this.)
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xP

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~Estrelita Farr, doesn’t like driving in case she gets lost. o_o
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.References used:

  • Netscape News: Why women can’t read maps (Link)
  • The Sydney Morning Herald: Why men can and women can’t read maps (Link)
  • BBC News: Battle of the sexes (Link)

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