Debate on Psychological Sex Differences

The heated debate on the average differences between the minds of men and women rumbles on. A perfectly rational and psychologically sound article published earlier this week in The Guardian elicited some furious letters from readers.

Helena Cronin
makes all the usual and unassailable points about psychological sex differences and then draws evolutionary psychology into the argument. Whether you buy the evolutionary aspect of her argument or not – and many psychologists hate the evolutionary approach with a vengeance – the article does accurately represent the scientific evidence available.

None of the letters published in the paper criticised her science, one in fact admonished her for talking about science at all, saying:

“Helena Cronin is wrong to bring science into a discussion of the possible differences between the minds of men and women.”

The real subtext, of course, is political:

“There is much that is offensive in Helena Cronin’s attempts to rehash sexual stereotypes as scientific realities…”

By contrast, articles like this one entitled “It is official: Women are better drivers than men”, won’t even raise an eyebrow. And why should they?
From IC Wales



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About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 18 March 2005

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