The Sex That Really Does Have a Better Memory

Study tested which sex has a better memory for events, words, faces and meanings.

better memory

Study tested which sex has a better memory for events, words, faces and meanings.

Women may well have a better memory than men, new research concludes.

Certainly middle-aged women outperformed men of a similar age on all tests of memory, in a new study.

The results come from a study of 212 men and women aged between 45 and 55.

It tested all different types of memory including memory for:

  • events
  • meanings
  • words
  • and faces

Women showed they had a better memory on all measures.

The results should not come as a shock to men, who apparently know their memory is worse, on average, than women.

Here’s how I described a previous study on the subject of women having a better memory:

“…men, on average, think they are more forgetful than women.

In the study, people were asked nine questions about how good they think their memory is.

The questions asked included:

  • Whether they had problems remembering names and dates.
  • How good they were at remembering details of conversations.
  • If they could remember what they were doing one year ago.

For eight of the nine questions men reported more problems with their memory.”

Menopause and memory

The researchers also looked at the effect of the menopause on memory.

They found that after menopause, women’s memory declined.

Lower levels of estradiol, the primary female sex hormone, were linked to lower levels of performance on the memory tests.

This is probably why women often report a ‘brain fog’ descends over them when going through the menopause.

On top of this, women are at a higher risk of dementia and memory problems than men.

Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, the executive director of the The North American Menopause Society, commenting on the study, said:

“Brain fog and complaints of memory issues should be taken seriously.

This study and others have shown that these complaints are associated with memory deficits.”

The study was published in the journal Menopause (Rentz et al., 2016).

Author: Dr Jeremy Dean

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.

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