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…”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
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