Emotions and Gender
Researchers have found the following similarities and differences between males and females:
- They are experienced at comparable rates, but women more readily remember them later
- Women seem “more emotional” because they report more intense emotions and more readily “catch” emotions due to higher levels of emotion recognition and empathy
- Women experience anger at same rates as men, and at the same or higher levels of intensity
- Women experience anger for longer periods, but also are more likely than men to feel ashamed about their anger
- Men express more frequently and intensely contempt, loneliness, pride, confidence, guilt and excitement; women express more frequently and intensely positive feelings
- Both sexes are more emotionally expressive to women, but express greater anger towards men
- Women are more emotionally-skilled, and compared to men are better at:
- Recognizing emotions in themselves and others
- Decoding non-verbal expressions of emotion
- Using emotions to better understand situations and facilitate solutions to conflicts
- Managing their emotions overall
- However: When sufficiently motivated, and given some time and effort, men can match women’s emotion recognition and processing skills
Gross, J. (2008). Emotion regulation. In: M. Lewis, J. Haviland-Jones & L. Feldman Barnett (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, pp. 497-512. New York: Guilford.
Salovey, P., Detweiler-Bedell, B., Detweiler-Bedell, J., & Mayer, J. (2008). Emotional intelligence. In: M. Lewis, J. Haviland-Jones & L. Feldman Barnett (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, pp. 497-512. New York: Guilford.
Simon, R., & Nath, L. (2004). Gender and emotion in the United States: Do men and women differ in self-reports of feelings and expressive behavior? American Journal of Sociology, 109 (5), 1137-1176.