Are women more emotional than men?

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Are women more emotional than men? Maybe. Men could be described as more emotional than women, too. It depends on the type of emotion, how it is measured, where it is expressed, and lots of other factors. It is also important when answering that type of question not to dichotomize sex differences as necessarily being either “entirely absent” (i.e., gender blank slate-ism) or so large that men and women “can’t relate to one another” (i.e., the old Mars versus Venus claptrap). Most psychological sex differences fall somewhere in the middle (Petersen & Hyde, 2010).

From an evolutionary perspective, it is likely there are some sex differences in emotion. Indeed, the odds of men and women having evolved the exact same emotional psychology are basically zero. It would be nothing short of a Darwinian miracle for men and women to have evolved precisely identical emotional designs. The forces of selection acting on humans would have had to eliminate all previous sex differences in emotionality stemming from our lineage as mammals and primates, actively select against any and all sex-specific emotional adaptations developing during our hundreds of millennia as hunter-gatherers, and maintain a perfectly androgynous psychology of emotion in men and women post-Pleistocene epoch (Buss & Schmitt, 2011).

For one to expect absolutely no sex differences in human emotion, one would have to believe in a god/godess-like creature, Androgyna, having actively intervened throughout all of human history to make sure men and women reproduce in ways that maintain precisely the same emotional psychology (and all the while mysteriously maintaining sex differences in physical traits such as strength and size, persistent patterns of hunting versus gathering and childrearing, pubertal timing and menopause, as well as, sex differences in reproductive variances and young male syndrome). As Vandermassen (2011) has noted, “that human males and females should have evolved to be psychologically identical, for example, is a theoretical impossibility, and, indeed, turns out to be untrue”. READ MORE…

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