“Six Myths about Sex and Gender, Busted,” by Anna North, via Jezebel. (Yeah, yeah, I read Jezebel–I wouldn’t have stumbled on an article in Current Directions in Psychological Science otherwise.)
Surprise, surprise. “Gendered” behaviors and personality traits aren’t hardwired into our brains–they are conditioned. But rather than finding statistics to bust various myths, the study authors tried to identify and account for various cultural factors that might influence the data.
It’s nice to see a predominantly quantitative study in a “hard science” journal sneak in some observation-based theories to foreground the data (and of course, to encourage further studies).
Some unsurprising findings from the study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science titled, “Men, Women, and the Bedroom“:
- men inflate their number of past sexual partners
- men think about food, sleep, and sex more than women
- men have more orgasms than women (although I imagine this is a balance of enculturation and physiology, as scientists are still trying to figure out the biological purpose(s) of female orgasm)
The study doesn’t include data on intersexed, transgendered, or gender-fluid individuals, but I think the emphasis on identifying cultural factors that impact gender expression ultimately supports continuum theories that reject notions of a male/female binary and theories that rely solely on physiological characteristics to explain sex, gender, or sexuality.