How about this for your opening line at the sports bar this week: “Hi honey, do you realize that taxometric analysis demonstrates you and I are more alike than different…?”
In 1992 John Gray wrote a best seller titled: ‘Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus.’ Most readers were perfectly satisfied with his opinion, for after all it was only his intuitive opinion. But not so a pair of behavioral science researchers from St Louis, Bobbi Carrothers & Harry Reis. They snitched to the New York Times this week that Gray was all wrong. Their new research tells them — are you ready for this? — men and women are definitely from the same planet, because we are fundamentally the same.
Just to show how serious they were, the professors studied 122 distinct behavioral attributes among more than 13,000 subjects. Making them my 2013 nomination for the biggest waste of time, talent and treasure in the scientific community. Well, there are still eight months to go in which some visionary research team might be able to out-waste them.
I appreciate their conclusions that we should stop attributing so many characteristics according to gender [eg. men are taciturn, women are talky; men are goal oriented, women are care oriented]. Most characteristics are simply human rather than gender-driven [eg. the usual suspects such as pride, envy and sloth]. But I don’t think even Mr Gray denied this, nor would he need 12,000 test subjects to affirm it.
Look, everyone in every age has learned: ‘They’ are hard to understand. They being the other sex. Still, we have learned that ‘they’ are always like ‘us’ at the same time ‘they’ are not. It is simply one of those givens in the life span of anyone reading this. Period and end of any need for any more research.
Well….I do have my own intuitive opinion on the matter. Care to hear it? I’ll tell you anyway. I think the really big turning point in the life-and-times of the male and the female all starts with tree climbing. Seriously. You see, girls are not expected to climb them, boys are. Sign of masculinity and courage, etc etc. But a funny thing happens to a guy when he climbs up there. He sees his world in a different way than most girls. He sees it as bigger, bolder, more challenging. For the rest of his male existence he’s had a taste of grandeur. An appetite for power, conquest and glory.
Just look at all the tree-climbing guys throughout history who’ve raised armies, started wars and in general have tried to bully everyone back on the ground. Meanwhile the gals down there are busy trying to live their life with far less bravado. At least until today’s Feminism.
That, my friends, means that yes guys and gals both come from the same planet; only gals are usually so much kinder and caring while they’re here.
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