Think like a woman

Victoria Klein, USA

Freelance writer and photographer. http://victoriaklein.net/

(Submitted by the Art of Living Team)
Here’s a big shocker: men and women are different! Wait, we already knew that … but the differences among us have a continuous impact on how we perceive and interact with the world around us. Case-in-point: more women believe in the scientific consensus of climate change than men do.

This news comes from Aaron M. McCright, associate professor of sociology at Michigan State University. In a study published in the September 2010 issue of the Population and Environment journal, McCright shares the results of analyzing eight years of Gallup polling data. His conclusion: the variance among gender is connected to "gender socialization" a.k.a. how society expects the different genders to act. McCright’s theory says that boys are taught that being masculine "emphasizes detachment, control and mastery." In contrast, femininity "stresses attachment, empathy and care - traits that may make it easier to feel concern about the potential dire consequences of global warming."

Understanding the difference between men and women on the topic of climate change, "the most expansive environmental problem facing humanity," according to McCright, is vital to any desired progress. "Women and men think about climate change differently, and when scientists or policymakers are communicating about climate change with the general public, they should consider this, rather than treating the public as one big monolithic audience."

Add another notch to the "women versus men" chart, but this one is a hefty opposite. Another common fact: men hold more leadership positions than women.

Are we still behind the times? Do we need to take the concept of equality further? One answer just leads to many more questions…

Image credit: Wall painting, Pompeii, circa 65 AD.

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