My reader Quisp kindly suggested a link to an article by Janet Shibley Hyde titled "The Gender Similarities Hypothesis." This is a truly great piece of research that is aimed at dispelling the "Men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus" myth through meticulous scientific research. It is so refreshing to read such a well-constructed and well-reserached piece after all the junk science dedicated to promoting this fallacy that bobmards us on a dily basis.
Not only does Shibley Hide present a lot of data to counteract the gender difference myth, she also talks about its social consequences: "Gilligan’s (1982) argument that women speak in a different moral “voice” than men is a well-known exampleof the differences model. Women, according to Gilligan, speak in a moral voice of caring, whereas men speak in a voice of justice. Despite the fact that meta-analyses disconfirmher arguments for large gender differences (Jaffee & Hyde, 2000; Thoma, 1986; Walker, 1984), Gilligan’s ideas have permeated American culture. One consequence of thisoverinflated claim of gender differences is that it reifies the stereotype of women as caring and nurturant and men as lacking in nurturance. One cost to men is that they may believe that they cannot be nurturant, even in their role as father. For women, the cost in the workplace can be enormous. Women who violate the stereotype of being nurturant and nice can be penalized in hiring and evaluations."
In conclusion to her great article, Shibley Hide says the following: "It is time to consider the costs of overinflated claims of gender differences. Arguably, they cause harm in numerous realms, including women’s opportunities in the workplace,couple conflict and communication, and analyses of selfesteem problems among adolescents. Most important, these claims are not consistent with the scientific data." The essentialized view of gender offers us an illusion of simplifying the world's complexities. But the price we pay for this fallacy on a daily basis is too higgh.