Gender Differences Are Often Small And Inconsistent Essay

Gender Differences Are Often Small And Inconsistent Essay

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Theme 1: Psychological Gender Differences are Typically Small and Inconsistent
In Margaret Matlin’s textbook The Psychology of Women, the first consistent theme discussed is in regards to gender differences. Contrary to popular belief, psychological gender differences are typically small and inconsistent. Throughout the text, there are numerous situations, examples, and statistical data to support these findings. One example is the lack of gender differences in cognitive abilities. Matlin (2012) states, “Unfortunately, however, when people who are not experts discuss gender comparisons in thinking, they almost always emphasize gender differences. Meanwhile, they ignore the substantial evidence for gender similarities” (143). When people who are not experts discuss gender comparisons information is inaccurately exchanged which can contribute to people’s incorrect attitudes of gender differences. Furthermore, Matlin affirms that there are no reliable gender differences initiated in cognitive abilities such as overall intelligence, common knowledge, concept construction, problem-solving, ingenuity, or learning style. Gender differences in verbal skills are minimal as well as gender differences in mathematical ability (162). Research results have shown that there are minimal gender differences in terms of verbal skills, but boys tend to be more likely than girls to possess a reading disability (162). The research findings regarding cognitive differences so much different than what people assume about men and women. In addition to minimal gender differences in cognitive abilities, there are also minimal gender differences in social and personality characteristics. Matlin (2012) writes that men and women are correspondingly empathic wh...


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...d be a full-time mother. However—especially if you are well educated—you should definitely work outside the home, rather than wasting all that education by not living up to your potential” (341). This is often referred to as a “no win” situation because no matter what the mother chooses to do, she will receive negative commentary regarding the choice she makes. Some women feel that their employment is a vital part to their identity and who they are. Matlin (2012) explains that if these women leave their job to become a stay-at-home mother, then they may suffer severe depression due to the fact that they may feel they have lost a part of themselves. Throughout their lifespan, women face numerous situations where they have varying options of what to do. Because each woman is different, they choices that they make will cause these women to differ widely from one another.

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