As a society, understanding the difference between men and women is hard to pinpoint. Due to cultural customs, gender roles, and individual views on gender, it's really tough to tell someone what the actual, statistical differences between men and women are. Yet, we can somehow make a compromise and figure the difference between men and women with the scientific knowledge we have now.
- Men are, usually, taller. Does that even come as a surprise to anyone? Regardless, this is one of the key differences between men and women. Human height, in more developed countries especially, tends to be greater in males by about 1/2 a foot on average. Of course, there will always be short men and tall women who overlap each other. We're talking generalizations here.
- Women have lighter skin, in a given population. While it won't be true on every individual comparison, one of the physical differences between the men and women of the world is skin color. The ladies seem to have an adaptation towards receiving Vitamin D for the baby from sunlight.
- Men have bigger brains. No way? Well, seeing as men are larger (in general), this really is not a surprise. Yet, even when height and weight are adjusted for, a female will still have a smaller brain in comparison to a male of the same, exact size. Unfortunately, guys, before you go celebrate, this doesn't mean much. Women have more densely-packed brains with more neurons overall and this is especially true in regions of the brain responsible for language.
- Studies suggest women have more compassion. In a game involving dividing $10 with a total stranger, women were twice as generous on average (Catherine Eckel and Phillip Grossman). Popular opinion of genders also seems to reflect this idea.
- Men are more likely to take risks. While many people would agree with this, popular support for an idea should always be questioned. Men and women are similar in many ways, but it seems that men are more likely to do things in risky fashions. Men are almost four times as likely to kill themselves, more than twice as likely to die in a car crash, and much more likely to die in war. This can play out quite interestingly on the dating-scene, where men are expected to attract the women, where as the reverse is much more rare. Many see this as the crowning difference between men and women.
The real difference between men and women is not just one difference. There are a variety of things that men and women differ on, but they are mostly very similar creatures with almost identical brains, bodies, and aspirations for life. It is not prudent to judge men and women based on their physical characteristics or a bunch of statistics. It is much better to get to know the partner you wish to woo, and work from there.
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