The issue of whether the differences between men and women are real or imaginary has been a matter of much debate. Now a new study conducted by the University of Turin in Italy and published in the journal PLoS ONE claims to have uncovered evidence that large differences in personality exist between men and women.
Previous research has lent little credence to the popular school of thought that men and women are so different that they may as well live on different planets. However, lead author Marco Del Giudice claims to have developed a more accurate method to measure and analyze what he says are significant personality differences between men and women.
Under Del Giudice, investigators took personality measurements from more than 5,000 men and 5,000 women. They measured 15 different traits, including warmth and sensitivity. Unlike previous studies, Del Giudice’s project compared comprehensive personality profiles that considered many different traits, rather than focusing upon differences in the incidence of individual traits between the sexes. When the data is looked at this way, very large differences between men and women are seen.
Del Giudice admits that these individual differences, taken separately, do appear much less significant. He contends, however, that previous researchers not only neglected to correct for measurement errors, but that their practice of looking at one trait at a time obscured the big picture. As a result, according to Del Giudice, previous investigators failed to recognize the full extent of personality differences between men and women.