Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Study - Men are NOT from Mars and women are NOT from Venus

Men are NOT from Mars and women are NOT from Venus - gender differences are 'down to how we are raised

Psychologists would have us believe that men and women are so different they could hail from different planets.
But now a controversial new claim says the difference between the genders is down to the way we are raised.
Scientists say the idea we are hard-wired at birth - promoted by international bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus - is outdated.
They say it is nurture rather than nature that has the largest affect on the skills, attributes and personalities of an individual.
Experts say children are not born with intellectual differences but learn them in our gender-divided society.
So boys aren't born with better map-reading and parking skills, mathematical prowess and a liking for the colour blue.
Similarly girls do not inherit the ability to express for emotions and multi-tasking, better communication skills and a love of the colour pink.
Instead they develop them as they grow and are steered towards gender-defined skills by parents and teachers.

Dr Lise Eliot, of the Chicago Medical School, said: 'All the mounting evidence indicates these ideas about hard-wired differences between male and female brains are wrong.
'Children don't inherit intellectual differences. They learn them. They are a result of what we expect a boy or a girl to be.'
She said: 'We are being told there is nothing we can do to improve our potential because it is innate. That is wrong. Boys can develop powerful linguistic skills and girls can acquire deep spatial skills.'

Professor Robert Plomin of the Institute of Psychiatry in London, found that in verbal development - where girls often learn to speak first - there was just a three per cent variation between the sexes.
He said: 'If you map the distribution of scores for verbal skills of boys and of girls you get two graphs that overlap so much you would need a very fine pencil indeed to show the difference between them.

'Yet people ignore this huge similarity between boys and girls and instead exaggerate wildly the tiny difference between them. It drives me wild.'
 He said: 'A man's sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results. A woman's sense of self is defined through her feelings and the quality of her relationships.'

The publication of John Gray's Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, in 1992 stressed the differences between the minds of men and women.

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