The mismeasure of woman

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An article in The Economist last week on the ways in which men and women think differently stated:

Not surprisingly, on average men were physically more aggressive (d=0.6). But in this case other work shows the danger of jumping too rapidly to a conclusion. A study done in 1994 hints that if women think nobody is watching and judging them, and there are no physical consequences, they might be more aggressive than men.

In this study, participants played a video game in which they defended themselves from attackers, and the number of bombs they chose to drop was a measure of aggression. When participants thought they were known to the experimenter and were having their performance assessed, men dropped more bombs than women did. But when those same participants were given the impression that they were anonymous, women became the more enthusiastic bombers.

I find this incredibly fascinating and would love to hear some of our female readers weigh in. What say you?

The article also states that "female is the default brain setting. Until the eighth week of gestation every human fetal brain looks female."

I wonder what former Harvard president Larry Summers would think of that one.
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August 14, 2006 - 3:53am
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