Women are an interesting lot. Come to think of it, humans are an interesting lot too with their need to categorize groups of people in order to navigate the very confusing world they live in. It frees up their mental space. Interestingly, we now know that everyone uses stereotypes, even if we’d like to think otherwise. None of us is even really aware we’re doing it.
When it comes to women, there are a lot of ideas about them, many of which are perpetuated through the media. But is there any kernel of truth to the fact that women are supposed to be the more emotional sex, or that they can’t handle their liquor? We bring in science to help us weed through all of the myths and legends, but keep in mind that for every study that supports the idea that women are more emotional, there are bound to be a couple of studies that prove the opposite. Nevertheless, it is still interesting to take a look at whether our stereotypes about women are not entirely bogus. Of course, let’s not go ahead and assume that just because some of these stereotypes may be true, that they apply to each and every woman. Without further ado, here are 15 stereotypes that are scientifically true about women.
16. Women See More Colors Than Men
Assuming you are a male reader and in a relationship with a female, you may have experienced disagreeing with your girlfriend over the colour of something. The research does show that women are superior when it comes to seeing colours. In a study by the University of Maryland, the results showed that the ability to see the color red is only found on the X chromosome, meaning that women clearly have the advantage. Since the ability to distinguish colors is based on being able to see the colors red, blue and green, it is apt to say that men are (somewhat) color-blind compared to women. But why is this? It is thought that there is an evolutionary reason for this difference. Back in the hunter-gatherer days, women had to learn to pick between colorful fruits in order to avoid choosing a fruit that could potentially kill her and her family.
15. Women Have A Better Sense of Smell
Why is it that women are unable to tolerate the smell of those month old leftovers that you forgot to take out of the fridge as much or as long as men are? While this isn’t exactly a stereotype, it is still interesting nonetheless. Interestingly, although there are no differences in the male and female nose, women do have a greater ability to smell things, making them perfect candidates to go on smelly sock patrol (just kidding). Females also use more of the brain to decipher these scents. But why is this? It is thought to have an evolutionary basis. A strong sense of smell was necessary for women to detect the chemicals produced in a man’s body odor when they were feeling extra frisky. The ability to tell when a man was aroused based on the chemicals in his body odor (all subconscious, of course), gave her the competitive advantage to be able to become baby mamas.
14. Women Care More Than Men
How many times have you found yourself listening to your girlfriend talk about her problems while you pretend to listen? Don’t lie to us. Indeed, a study by Griffith University found that women cared more about their partner’s problems and also displayed more empathy than men displayed toward their partners. Interestingly, the male capacity for empathy was higher when it was an event that directly pertained to them. In other words, this study would suggest that females should vent to their girlfriends because their boyfriends simply didn’t care about their problems.
However, it would unfair not to admit that these results did change if the couple had children and that men displayed more empathy. Nevertheless, when your girlfriend asks you why you don’t care about her problems, you can tell her that you’re basically wired that way and can’t help it (and then proceed to direct her to this article).
13. Women Can Do More Things At Once
Women are supposed to be able to juggle it all while men are generally thought to be unable to do more thing at one time. This is yet another stereotype but is there a kernel of truth to the fact that women are better multi-taskers than men? Indeed, it looks like the research supports these stereotypes. In 2010, a study was carried out by The University of Hertfordshire, which found that women performed better than men when given three different tasks to accomplish at once, including a math problem, locating restaurants on a map and sketching how they would go about finding an imaginary key. Researchers believe that women trumped men on this because they stood back to think about the problems first. Just don’t use this research as a means to justify why your girlfriend should do the dishes and dry them. That would be sexist.
12. Women Are Cleaner
When it comes to hygiene, women are thought to be the cleaner of the sexes. And science tells us it’s true (kind of). State University of San Diego and The University of Arizona found that men’s offices had significantly more germs than women’s and that their chairs and phones were particularly nasty. The study chops up the results of the fact that men are typically less hygienic than women, as well as to the fact that they are bigger in size.
However, that’s the thing about science. When one study finds something to be true, another study finds something entirely different. When looking at Australian men and women’s bathroom habits, men often trumped women. 77% of men cleaned the seat before doing their business while only 59% of women did this.
11. Women Feel More Pain
Women may be able to grow a tiny human in their very own bodies but they are still known as the “weaker” sex that needs to be protected by a big, beefy man. A beefcake, if you will. Do you tease your girlfriend for her inability to tolerate pain as well as you can? Or do you roll your eyes when she complains about her monthly cramps? Well, if we take a look at the science, your girlfriend may, indeed, be a bit of a wimp. But it’s not her fault. Women can’t tolerate the same level of pain as men because they have more pain receptors in their skin, which makes them much more likely to feel more pain than men. It is thought that this might be due to the lack of a protein called GIRK2, which regulates the amount of pain people experience. In the same way, women also need twice the amount of aspirin than men.
10. Women Are Not As Funny As Men
From Tina Fey to Amy Poehler to Amy Schumer, we are living in the golden age of funny women. Yet it is still thought that men are funnier. In order to test out this stereotype, the University of California decided to see what they could find. They asked men and women to write funny captions to go along with a series of New Yorker cartoons. 600 people then were then asked to rate how funny the captions were but they were not told whether it was a male or female who wrote them. The captions written by men were rated as funnier overall, but only by a slight margin. Interestingly, men also rated the captions written by other men to be funnier than the women’s captions, suggesting that men may have their own brand of humour.
9. Women Can’t Hold Their Liquor
Give yourself a pat on the back if you are a male who can proudly slug back a six pack without having to make a mad dash to the loo to vomit. The stereotype is that women can’t hold their liquor nearly as well as men, but is it true? Yet again, the science says it is. It actually has nothing to do with body size, but there are a couple of biological reasons. For one, it’s partly because women’s bodies are made up of less water than men’s (52% versus 61%), which means that their bodies water down the booze by a whopping 10% less than in men. They also have less of a liver enzyme that breaks down alcohol. So, think again before calling all the women in the room to play a second round of beer pong (the poor souls just can’t handle it).
Interestingly, a new study was just published that said that millennial women have officially closed the gender drinking gap and are now drinking as much as men per research conducted by Columbia University and Australia’s University of New South Wales.
8. Women Really Do Talk More
Are you tired of your girlfriend constantly interrupting your TV show because she has to tell you every detail of her day? Perhaps you should consider the fact that she’s basically wired that way. Indeed, it not only a mere stereotype that women love to talk while men commonly respond with a grunt. Women speak three times more than men do or an average of 20,000 words while men speak a mere 13,000. Women also get a high similar to that of being on heroin as soon as they start talking! This work was published in the book, The Female Brain, by physiatrist Dr. Luan Brizendine, the research of which was based on 1,000 scientific studies. There are several explanations for why women are gabbers, including a recent study that found when rats were given the protein Foxp2, they generated more sound. Women were then found to have more of this protein than men. Not only do women have more of this protein, but the region in the brain responsible for language is more than 17% larger than that of males.
7. Women Are Worse Drivers
This one probably doesn’t come as a surprise. Indeed, how many times has your girlfriend gotten lost and had to call you to help her out? In 2008, research conducted by the University of London found women (and gay men) to be the worst drivers. Both their navigational skills and spatial awareness were not as good as straight men. For example, men can use general cues to figure out if they are headed north or south while women (and gay men) lack this skill. Since women (and gay men) lack a sense of direction, this means they take longer to get to places because they tend to make a lot of wrong turns. We know: you’re not surprised.
The findings mean that women and gay men would have more difficulties driving in new locations than straight men because women (and gay men) tend to rely on landmarks to get them from point A to point B and don’t take in their surroundings as readily as heterosexual men.
6. Women Are More Emotional
When it comes to stereotypes about men and women, the idea that women are more emotional than men is one of the most perpetuated. Women are supposed to be emotional messes who are so non-rational that they turn to ice cream after a breakup while men are the much more rational sex that never allows their feelings to get in the way. But is this true? In some ways, the research does support the idea that women are the more emotional sex. A study published by researchers at the Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal and the University of Montreal recently put it to the test again and found that women did indeed respond more strongly when shown emotional images than men did. The researchers also took a look at the brains of both men and women. While the same parts were activated for both men and women, the connection between them was stronger in male brains, which was why the men in this study didn’t react as strongly to the emotional images. Don’t cry, girls.
5. Women Don’t Think About The Deed As Much As Men
When it comes to which sex thinks about lovemaking more, there are a lot of myths out there. In fact, it was once thought that men would think about sex every 7 seconds and that in general, men think about sex way more often than women. However, this particular topic wasn’t even widely studied, so Ohio University decided to pursue it further and found that the 18 to 25-year-old men in their study did think about sex more than the females in the group. However, the differences between the two were not as great as what has been perpetuated in the media. When asked to record their thoughts during the day, they found that men thought about sex twice per hour while women thought about it once per hour. From this data, we can see that while 18 to 25-year old women do think about sex less often than men, they still think about it quite a lot.
4. Women Want It As Much As Men (Even Casually)
Sex is a popular topic which is why we’ve included another entry about it. Just because women may think about sex less than men (at least those in the 18 to 25 year-old category) in the study above, doesn’t mean that they don’t crave it as much as men. Indeed, female’s sexuality has been commonly suppressed and it is generally thought that women don’t want as much of it as men. On the contrary, a survey of 500 women by a fertility awareness app found that women’s desire for getting down and dirty is just as strong as that of men’s. In fact, 75% of the women in the study said they wanted to engage in sexual activity more than three times every week! Further, a 2015 study found that women are just as interested in casual sex so long as the environment is safe and the social stigma of women doing so is diminished.
3. No Boob Is Created Equal
Let’s address the always popular ta-tas. Tig ol’ bitties. Call them whatever you want, we really don’t care. All we want to tell you is that those bad boys are sisters, not twins. What we mean by that is that breasts are never equal in size – one is always slightly larger than the other. Who knew? Having two symmetrical breasts sounds a bit boring anyway, doesn’t it? After all, friends come in all shapes and sizes [insert wink emoticon here]. Plus, trying to balance two martini glasses on non-symmetrical breasts makes the task infinitely harder, making the task also a lot more fun. And everyone loves to balance martini glasses on breasts, right? Exactly.
2. Women Find Food As Thrilling As “Doing it”
Also, did you know that the same part of a woman’s brain lights up during sex as when she’s going to town on a slice of pizza or other delicious food? That’s right: pizza is just as good as sex, at least for the lucky women out there. But is anyone surprised? Now you know why your girlfriend always needs to indulge in that weekly slice of ‘za, by which we mean to say an entire box of pizza. But no one is judging.
We suggest you keep this little tip in your repertoire for those times when your girlfriend wants a thrill but you’re feeling a little tired. Just pull out the frozen pizza – you know, pizza on demand. Tell her, “It’s not delivery, it’s Mr. Delissio.”
1. Gender Bias Is Real
Let’s get serious for a moment. Gender bias is, sadly, a very real thing with troubling consequences. In a landmark study by Yale University in 2012, researchers examined whether gender bias played a role in hiring people in the field of science. Scientists were given job applications that were randomly given a male or female name. The study found that the male applicants were much preferred and were rated higher in terms of competence and hire-ability than the females, even though they had identical resumes! Scary. Males were then offered higher salaries to accompany the perceived notion that they were more competent. Interestingly, both males and females both committed gender bias. So, there’s that…