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[flagged] Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do: Study (sagepub.com)
153 points by Indirector 18 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 227 comments

> Second, there may be gender differences in the perceived causes of breakups. Women blame their male partners more often for breakups than men blame their female partners (Choo et al., 1996). In addition, women more frequently report problematic partner behaviors as the reason for a breakup, such as infidelity, substance abuse, and mental or physical abuse (Amato & Previti, 2003; Morris, Reiber, & Roman, 2015). Men, in contrast, are more likely to claim that they do not know what caused their past breakups (Amato & Previti, 2003).

This feels like the important bit to me. People view their ex’s less favorably if they blame them for the breakup; and women blame men more than men blame women. Women also reported receiving less support from their partners than men. Reading between the lines, men in average like the women more because the women put in more effort to the relationship.

Alternatively, society ascribes agency to men in a way it doesn't to women, and so men are less likely to blame external factors or expect support.

Right, they just need to man up. I say that in jest but you hit on an important part of it. While some may not admit fault in the open, Men (I know I am generalizing) do internalize failure, it is a core part of their ego and identity. So it would seem natural for them to internalize the failure of a relationship.

>>they just need to man up

This is exactly what men are told.

One good example where the difference can be demonstrated clearly is forums devoted to dating questions. A lot of people come there to whine and they get very different responses depending on gender. Guys almost always get something along the lines of "be more confident, go to gym, be more interesting, etc", while girls gets reassured that they are totally fine, just not lucky yet

That doesn’t mesh with my anecdata nor data on the proportion of housework women handle. But I do think the blame comment has merit.

Not to mention a lot of guys won't break up with someone when they want to, but will instead do things to get the person to dump them.

I’m not sure this varies by gender

Thank you. I looked at the paper initially wondering whether their sample acknowledges the disproportionate number of men who murder their ex-female-partner, and, while not resolving that, I ended up finding that while the researchers record the type of breakup (substance abuse, personal problems, infidelity, etc), none of their quantified metrics appear to use this as a variable. I'd be curious to see how the outcome varies based on type of breakup.

Anyway I found this quote telling:

> there may be gender differences in the perceived causes of breakups. Women blame their male partners more often for breakups than men blame their female partners (Choo et al., 1996). In addition, women more frequently report problematic partner behaviors as the reason for a breakup, such as infidelity, substance abuse, and mental or physical abuse (Amato & Previti, 2003; Morris, Reiber, & Roman, 2015). Men, in contrast, are more likely to claim that they do not know what caused their past breakups (Amato & Previti, 2003).

> wondering whether their sample acknowledges the disproportionate number of men who murder their ex-female-partner

Curious how this is relevant to the study?

Roughly 0.001% of women are killed by a male partner each year in the US and - while terrible in of itself - I can't see it affecting the results of this study in any significant way.

Murder’s only the most extreme outcome. Physical harm happens at much higher rates than murder, and abuse might well affect this study.

Rates of violence between partners show men instigating and abusing more often. A couple of different UN and US sources here are showing that a little over one in five women experiences abuse during her lifetime, compared to a bit under one in ten men: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_in_the_Uni...

Sure. They talk about physical harm and abuse in the study, and it's obviously an important factor. I haven't (and wouldn't) claim otherwise.

But I was specifically asking the OP about murder because it isn't obviously a significant factor in this study (and I was interested to hear why they thought otherwise).

I'm confused as to what point you're trying to make.

Except humans aren't rational actors, driven by statistics, and obviously the women who were murdered can't be interviewed. But if there are more stories out there about women being murdered by a partner, and the stories are amplified by the news, it's easy to imagine this could have an effect on perception of the danger of a non-murderous but angry former partner. As to whether this is measurable in a sociological study, I have no idea.

Among US women, fear/wariness-of and preparedness-for attempts at bodily harm and abusive behavior by men appears to be near-universal.

EDIT: Removed bad pre-coffee math. See replies below for better math.

I hope this helps you see why such a consideration could be considered relevant to the study.

> 0.001% of US women is somewhere in the six-figures territory (125,000 per year if I do my math right)

No - you're off by two orders of magnitude. Much closer to ~1500 women/year.

That's still ~1500 too many, no question. But is it likely to impact this study in any meaningful way? Seems unlikely to me (to put it mildly).

> Among US women, fear/wariness-of and preparedness-for attempts at bodily harm and abusive behavior by men appears to be near-universal.

That sounds like a reasonable assumption and not one I'd argue against (as someone with no real insight here).

But the question was explicitly regarding murder. Not more general violence/abuse.

I welcome the well-meaning comment and think your contribution was valuable in its own right, but please don't move the goalposts.

I apologize that my reply does not meet your standards. It is not my intent to "move the goalposts", but simply to convey a mindset you seemed not to recognize, in order to help you understand why they might have included that concern. You now grasp that mindset, even if my construction was terrible. I am grateful that you were able to discern my intent regardless.

The 0.001% is a few magnitudes off. In 2018, there were ~15,500 murders in the US with spouses and family members in general being ~15% of those victims.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States#Hom...

(125,000 per year if I do my math right)

You're high by a factor of 100.

Thanks. We've changed the URL above from https://sciencebeta.com/mens-ex-attitude/ to that link.

My bet is that men tend not to have emotional support or positive attention in their lives, unless it's from a mate, hence they value it more.

Also, (since we're speculating) from an evolutionary perspective it's advantageous for men to have positive view of and attraction to as many women as possible, while at the same time it's advantageous for women to be as sceptical and critical of men as possible.

>while at the same time it's advantageous for women to be as sceptical and critical of men as possible.

I don't know about this. These days, I've seen and met many women who have numerous male friends. Sure, ultra-conservative and religious women don't, but lots of women aren't conservative any more.

I think "friendships" are further removed from base evolutionary instincts than sexual relationships are. Your base evolutionary instinct to select for mates is different than the ones we developed to form societies.

To put it bluntly, the colloquial prevalence of "thinking with your [genitals]" certainly indicates that people's higher social brain function tends to be clouded more often (reverting to base instinct) when sex is involved.

(Obviously, good relationships are based on friendship as well, but by definition the relationships in this study were not successful ones.)

He's talking about evolution though, and it definitely seems to hold up for our past as a species.

I wouldn't be so sure. This line of thought seems to reflect a bias towards modern-day societies and how they operate ("modern" being the last couple thousand years or more). In ancient hunter-gatherer societies, people most likely lived in small tribes, so this idea that women have to be skeptical or critical of men doesn't really hold up. Men who are a real problem would have been cast out of the tribe or killed, and marriage probably didn't exist back then at all. We've seen in other primitive societies that monogamy is not the norm for humans at all.

> people most likely lived in small tribes, so this idea that women have to be skeptical or critical of men doesn't really hold up.

This premise and your thoughts on polygamy can coexist with my suggestion about women being selective. If you can have only a handful of pregnancies in your lifetime each of them carrying the very real risk of death for both yourself and the baby, as well as the burden of taking care of any children that survive, then you really need to make sure that your shots count and you're choosing the best mates from the tribe. Men don't have the same burden of pregnancy and childcare - additional partners only increase their chances of passing along their genes, so as a result they become far less selective.

Awesome point!

Alternative hypothesis: Or the lack of emotional support means they don't have people around them feeding their resentment, so they just move on with their lives.

Here's my not-so-scientific hypothesis partially formed by my last relationship: women frequently get "BFFs" (other women best friends) who they're extremely close to emotionally, sometimes much more than their own boyfriend/husband. And sometimes (frequently?) these BFFs are extremely "toxic" women, who give them terrible relationship advice, try to break up their relationship because they hate the woman's bf/husband or are jealous, etc. So, as you said, after the breakup, the BFF feeds her resentment, continually telling her what a POS her bf was, and how she's better off without him even if it means being forever single, etc.

Is this true for same-sex couples, too? (Meaning, for example, that two gay men will on average have more positive attitudes towards ex-partners than two women, on average?)

This would be a very interesting comparison.

I love my wife completely. She is perfect for me. I cannot see my life without her. When I travel for work, everyday I am away I miss her and she is never far from my mind. We have been together for 20 years. There was a whole set of women before her. There was one for 5 years. The other day it was her (5 year relationship) birthday and I remembered randomly after noticing the date and dropped her a short note wishing her a happy birthday. So as a proof point for me at least, I guess this is true. Looking back at all the relationships from the past, with the exception of one, I generally still have a positive view to all of them. In some way the things I learned from those relationships have made my marriage so much stronger. It is strange because as I write this I think back to how I handled my relationships and breakups when I was younger and I cannot understand my behavior at that time anymore. I wonder if it is just time that removes any negative view? It would be interesting to know if the positive attitude has a time component.

This is my perspective as well... only 1-2 women I've dated do I have negative feelings for and it's mostly a "do not ever talk to them, ever" kind of feeling, not an "I have to get revenge" feeling.

I've been with my girl for 5 years now and there's no other girl for me. If we're apart for more than a day it feels like I've lost a limb or half of my soul.

I think this is the danger of social science. Everyone has anecdata, and you tend to believe (and share) the studies that support your anecdata.

> time that removes any negative view?

I was taught in college psychology that most people start to forget the negative aspects of relationships and cling to the good aspects.

A quick Google search suggests I was misinformed, though: https://www.google.com/search?q=humans+forget+negative+thing...

I have had some amazing relationships with amazing women, and looking back, I didn't always understand at the time the exact cause of the breakup, but knew it was my fault.

Now I understand that it was always my immaturity and selfishness that was causing it.

I still have a lot of Love for all those women who put up with me while I was growing (and continue to).

Some will never speak to me again though ...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that men and women are wired differently when it comes to sex and relationships.

The instinctual influence over men to have sex with multiple partners, I believe influences their desire to still "feel good" about prior partners.

...whereas a woman's instinctual desire to find a man to protect her offspring influences her desire to "feel bad" about prior partners who didn't stick around.

Of course, we're above these instincts cognitively, but it's folly to think they have no influence on our emotional association to past partners.

Is it possible that it's folly to think we're above these instincts cognitively?

I think we're capable of rising above our instincts as a sentient species, and as a result human relationship desires are far more diverse than they would be for any other species of great ape, but instinct is not the only source of selection pressure involved, since those instincts are often reinforced by culture and society, religion and sometimes by law.

I'd put it down to privilege. Women in traditional relationships are expected to perform more emotional labor over the course of the relationship and so the experience of being in a relationship is generally better for men, so they'll have more positive feelings afterward.

Wikipedia explains emotional labor is a term reserved for the effort involved in managing one's own emotions for a job.

You might be referring to emotional work which is related notion involving effort put in to manage one's emotions in a relationship.


Your theory would also predict that men would desire and pursue relationships more than women, and I'm not entirely sure that's true.

> expected to perform more emotional labor

Can you explain what you mean by this?

> the experience of being in a relationship is generally better for men

Seems wildly speculative.

Internet is inverted therapy, beware the negativity please!

When we have a internalized, skeptical view on something, we have a tendency to seek confirmation of it and ignore clues that can open our minds.

There are other, more accepted perspectives we can use to understand relationships. I hope this can be helpful to people!

Attachment Theory: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/1d36/ac75d7081fcd86d467f6d2..., http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/attachment/online/inge_orig...

Schema Therapy: https://www.guilford.com/excerpts/young.pdf

Also I recently found some nice study notes relationships:

http://fiupsychology.com/ch.6.htm, http://fiupsychology.com/ch.7.htm, http://fiupsychology.com/ch.8.htm


Yet it's common for lesbian women to be friends with ex-partners.

Anecdotal, however I find that in my lifetime I was/am able to 'move on' and forget about things such as minor disagreements between partners where they (female partners) have tended to dwell on things longer than my male friends. Could have been the same if I had male partners I suppose, although that isn't my personal taste.

Not just in relationships but even among co-workers I notice there is a lot more gossip between the biological females and they tend to bring up things like, "Do you remember when so and so did [Insert minor issue from 2 months ago]?"

To repeat this is just my observations from 20 years of office work and a half dozen or so relationships I had before settling down with the current love of my life.

The point of all of this, I feel is that to many people, the epiphany the article is making was quite obvious, although it is neat to see this quantified.

Relationships are more "loaded" with negative personal consequences for women. Less so than in the past, but it's there.

There's often a negative interpretation of a woman having more relationships or ending one that isn't really a factor with men. IMO, this creates a bias to justify ending a relationship for cause.

With a man, there's no threshold where your next girlfriend will lead to you being categorized negatively. If anything, you get more respect in some circles.

It seems to me the negative consequences are about the same for men and women. Lots of women speak poorly of their exes and get their friend groups turned against them...

I mentioned to a group of friends that I had run into a female acquinatance from 20+ years ago, who is now a judge.

The reaction: "Lol. She was quite the party girl." Not the reaction that you'd get re: a dude.

? Why that's a pretty common reaction for a dude too

Idk, I'd say the same about a party dude turned judge.

It's always interesting to see "common knowledge" quantified in studies. I've had a few of the same observations as you, although I have a slightly smaller sample size to work from.

>>The point of all of this, I feel is that to many people, the epiphany the article is making was quite obvious, although it is neat to see this quantified.

Weirdly that runs contrary to what the study found actually. They mention that during polling, people expected, on average, to find no difference between how heterosexual men and women would feel about their ex-partners.

I guess I'm reading this wrong.

>Two studies revealed that men are more likely than women to evaluate their former romantic partners more favorably. A third, larger study replicated this finding. All three studies yielded medium effect sizes (Cohen, 1988). A fourth study indicated that these findings are not intuitively obvious to most laypersons since only one in four laypeople (24%) anticipated these findings (and with most people predicting no gender difference).

>In closing, the present research documents a new phenomenon that seems far from obvious to most people. Women tend to have more negative attitudes toward their former romantic partners than men do. While our studies document this stable gender difference, we do not know its specific origins. Even though both evolutionary and gender role theories provide some valuable insights, additional research is needed to pin down the key origins. The use of longitudinal studies in which individuals are followed across time and relationships to determine how and why ex-partner views develop will be particularly helpful in this regard.



Your point: >>The point of all of this, I feel is that to many people, the epiphany the article is making was quite obvious, although it is neat to see this quantified.

Their Point: >> A fourth study indicated that these findings are not intuitively obvious to most laypersons since only one in four laypeople (24%) anticipated these findings (and with most people predicting no gender difference).

Your point and their point are in conflict. You say "many people think this finding is quite obvious". I guess 24% is technically "many" people, but it's a clear minority. I wouldn't describe something that only 1:4 people expected as being something "many people" expected. Maybe "some" or "a minority of people".

I guess how I looked at it was comparing the 24% vs the 14% to compare the fact that those who did perceive a difference leaned almost 2:1 towards the idea that males had a more positive view vs females.

To me I find that anyone thinking that there are no differences between the sexes:

>Of the 487 participants, 62% (n = 302) indicated that they did not believe in the gender difference.

Are the ignorant majority and would rather focus on those who were smart enough to perceive a difference and then which way those people were leaning.

I am probably falling into my own bias doing it this way, I am no statistician and just wanted to explain my reasoning on this.

I do agree with you that 24% out of the entirety of the study is a clear minority.

I guess I should have phrased it better, "The point of all of this, I feel is that to many people who are not ignorant to the differences in sex, the epiphany of this article was something quite obvious" or something like that.

I forget everything conflict related basically ... I think it is a defensive mechanism but it sure can be bad because you forget about things and you might end up in a new "normal" that is anything but normal.

My ex whom I dated for 5 years cheated on me towards the end of our relationship. It was hard initially, but now I don't have any negative feelings towards her. I accept that I wasn't perfect either. While, I don't want to make excuses for her, people do dumb things and make mistakes. I would never be with her again but I don't see a reason to still be upset about it.

Cheating towards the end of a relationship usually points to someone that was probably emotionally checked out of the relationship already. Basically, the cheating was just an effect of the relationship dying. So yeah, no point in being upset about it I think; the relationship was probably already doomed at that point. I think this happens a lot: someone really wants out of the relationship, but instead of just saying so, and initiating a break-up (because becoming single again is scary, after all), they take advantage of an opportunity to cheat and this ends up being the straw that broke the camel's back.

Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned?

It's probably because men are trash.

Social Psychology has one of the worst reproducibility problems in all of academia. Claims like this make is easy to see why. Simple scientific inquiry into this claim leads me to the question, “Okay, but why?

That women potentially harbor worse feelings of their ex partners on average than men is one of the most interesting but useless things I’ve heard. The confounding explanations for this type of research are mind boggling. Does this research hold cross-culturally, are there any other psychological variables that explain this phenomena? Is it possible that the current nature of modern relationships is a confounding variable and sex has little to do with it? These are the more interesting questions to answer than whatever question this dubious result is trying to answer.

In the first paragraph you're asking for causal explanation. Then in the second paragraph you're dishing out a bunch of potential causal explanations as confounders. Some researchers would deem it over-reaching to dish out causal explanations willy nilly. Most of those questions should be relegated to follow-up studies or a BRIEF mention in the discussion section.

It's perfectly okay science to simply observe a phenomenon. If they did try to provide causal explanations as you say, they'd then be open to being lambasted for overreaching based on shaky social science research.

If you don't have the causal explanations then you cannot generalize beyond the population you sampled.

What does that mean? That the correct conclusion to draw is very narrow:

Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do [in Graz, Austria, in the year 2019]

That's correct, still, it is ok. That's why you don't make bold, generalized claims based on one study.

Not every bit of research results in a simple conclusion. That doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

>>Men [in their 20s] View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women[in their 20s] Do [in Graz, Austria, in the year 2019]

Fixed that for you. It's even more narrow in scope.

For the medical equivalent, see: https://twitter.com/justsaysinmice

>If you don't have the causal explanations then you cannot generalize beyond the population you sampled.

At the individual level.

You can still know that you have statistically applicable results to the whole population, without having to sample everybody -- just enough to be representative of all kinds.

If you do a random enough pick, then if some people fall outside your sample ("you didn't test for people that don't like water, and the casual explanation requires being OK with water to work, so excludes them from showing the same results") they'll still be outliers statistically.

I mean, isn't incremental observations how science works? We got to the theory of evolution built on finch beaks in the galapagos.

Yet another study about WEIRD people:


I think for the HN headline at least, the word "may" could fit after "men".

> The confounding explanations for this type of research are mind boggling.

Yes! This is very true, your questions are good questions to ask of any study of genders & attitudes. It’s even more important to ask of studies that try to factor out cultural issues, because confounding explanations are extremely difficult to remove.

> Social Psychology has one of the worst reproducibility problems in all of academia.

This is true, but it’s not scientifically fair to imply this study isn’t reproducible just because others weren’t.

> Simple scientific inquiry into this claim leads me to the question, “Okay, but why?

Science doesn’t necessarily answer why. Physics has one of the better reproducibility rates, and we’d love to know why, but we don’t truly know why yet. We don’t know why gravity exists, we know it’s a force that’s there, and we can predict what it’ll do, we know it happens in proportion to mass and inverse squared distance, but why? Science hasn’t answered that.

> we’d love to know why, but we don’t truly know why yet

This isn't much of a mystery. It is simply easier to control for external factors in physics, making it easier to isolate the causal links of interest. In the social sciences, you have layers upon layers of biological, psychological and then cultural complexities. Secondly, physicists have higher IQ as greater economic incentives attract brighter people. Lastly, physics cannot be abused politically as easily.

Just a few remarks, notwithstanding your/my opinions.

Physics has not "one of the better reproducibility rates" but 100%; per the Scientific Method any valid theory must:

- be reproducible (verifiable empirically)

- have predictive power

- not negate existing theories

This constitutes 'acceptable proof'.

It yields a 'compound effect' to theoretical research: for instance, Newton's Laws were never wrong, just narrower in scope than Einstein's. No future valid theory will ever prove any of these two wrong, it can only generalize more, because we know these two to be true. True is true forever, barring a fundamental change in this universe itself. So we keep the theoretical foundations forever, they're solid.

Their interpretation, however, may change as we widen the scope, and that is the 'human' part in science, the art of it, to produce valid representations linking the math with the experience of reality. That changes a lot, in time, and even from person to person.

The 'why' things are is another matter entirely and not a concern for physics nor science in general; we search for the root causes to explain 'how' things work the way they do. We stop there in theory for beyond is mere interpretation, opinion, belief.

Now this would exclude all social sciences and biology and countless others from the realm of 'science' and that's not fair; these fields yield very usable results despite the nigh impossible search for pure theory. I like the 19-20th century view that 'empirical sciences' gain value when we try to the best of our ability to apply the Scientific Method and mathematical tools to account for fuzziness.

Deep learning is certainly a formidable upgrade to the tooling of empirical sciences, brute-forcing 'how' things work for lack of a better truth than retrospective.

Just don't compare it to e.g. physics, don't ask for predictability (as you wouldn't ask a fish to fly), it's pointless and only serves to undermine the value of empirical sciences, while overemphasizing that of theory.

Because you know, in theory, practice and theory are the same, but in practice they're not... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I think you might have misunderstood? Academic physics publications do not have perfect reproduction rates. Especially theoretical physics. The criteria for a valid theory doesn’t prevent human mistakes.

Everything you said applies to social sciences too. Per the scientific method any valid theory must be reproducible and predictive. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that the academic research and publication process allows results that turn out to be untrue, both in social sciences and hard sciences.

Maybe have a gander at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_theories_in_scien...

I'll give you that it's a bit of an idealistic view, to be filed under "epistemology".

It is my understanding that margins of error in reproducible rates are on-par with our limits in engineering capabilities to 'test' experimentally. The validation becomes statistic because the real world is too chaotic/complex/whatever external cause, but the sum of evidence must tend to show (mean, SD, etc) that the theory applies to the real world, and predicts "a range of possible within some margin of error", which in practice results from our imprecisions. E.g. how we continuously prove Einstein's GR.

Quantum uncertainty is a whole other paradigm which I don't think can be discussed in the same terms; a lot of our 'logic' does not apply and thus I'd rather refrain from using classical frameworks of thinking to even characterize it.

But the fact stands that you should always be able to verify experimentally a valid theory; our failure in practice, sometimes, has nothing to do with theory.

Social sciences look at category of problems considered "hard" by any scientific metric because of their complexity. It's like meteorology and indeed astrophysics, we lack the processing power (both our brains and computers, for now) to go all-in on theory. I was however surprised, in my studies, that the more down-to-earth approach of anthropology (naive, dare I say seeking first principles) seemed to yield observation 'closer' to theory than its modern sister sociology, whose subtopic —the modern world, as opposed to very specific cultures for a quite narrow spacetime— is vastly too multi-factorial to even begin to modelize, let alone theorize.

Perhaps you can help shed some light on my apparent misunderstanding? See this other comment: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21365183

I’ll give it a try. I can’t speak to the downvotes, but from my perspective you started talking about physics itself being repeatable. That is a separate topic from whether academic publications are repeatable. The thread’s context was the top comment suggesting the research linked at the very top is questionable because of it’s conclusion and it’s category (social science). My argument is that neither the conclusion nor the category can be used to assume the linked article is less than scientific, and that no sciences are designed to tell us why things are the way they are. When you add that physics itself is 100% repeatable, while true, it isn’t relevant to the topic nor does it help reflect on the article’s validity.

> Physics has not "one of the better reproducibility rates" but 100%

I'd ask if you ever taken a good look at cosmology, but your username would suggest that you have. Which makes it all the more surprising to me that you make a claim like this.

I suppose it's too late to ask for a deeper explanation. I must admit I'm puzzled on this one; these are principles that were taught to me very early on and never questioned since. I can remember by physics teacher along the lines of "physics is exact, if your experiment fails it's not the theory that's wrong, it's you!" and students were expected to make the experiment work for a good grade. If education grades can be subornated to the certainty that carefully designed experimental protocols should work within margins of error, this goes to show how confident we are that valid theory is valid... I don't know.

As for the scientific theory it was taught to me even in History class, it's just a set of principles.

Astrophysics, as far as I know, do not contradict existing theory? However it very much shows the limits thereof — but what's beyond this limit is not part of our undertanding of physics, of our theory, yet or ever. Maybe you can solve gravitation at the quantum level, maybe not, either way our accepted current theory work and keep being confirmed afaik.

Genuinely curious to know why the downvotes to GP.

The worst part is that this doesn't stop people from concluding things that they can't, especially if they have an axe to grind.

I can easily imagine someone reading the headline and interpreting it as either proof of women being less reasonable, or proof of men being worse ex-partners, depending on which side of the sexist coin they land.

I agree. It seems to be to be a case of 'sounds like it might be right, lets see how far we can run with it'. Ultimately, I can only see a few benefits of this line of enquiry.

E.g. "Honey, I'm sorry - but it's not really my fault, it's just my genetic make-up .."

Ultimately, while we may be descended from lizards, rationalising behaviours based on our physiological origins might not be that useful.

Especially when such sweeping statements are made about a _vast_ group of people who—when looked at in terms of their other attributes—vary enormously.

People need to learn that statements about differences in group averages are not "sweeping" statements. Almost all psychological measurements vary much more within groups than between groups, and reports of differences in group averages tell us basically nothing about any individual.

Yet, the effects might appear in contexts involving many individuals.

It might be useful for providing therapy to understand the differences in how men and women see things.

Perhaps, but personally I think we all vary a great deal.

Any truly effective therapy needs to be based on the individual.

Generalisations can be lazy - and in a pragmatic sense, only really seem useful in very specific circumstances.

Reproducibility is terrible in this field but for this particular study they explain their statistical methods as well as provide links to the data. You could do your own analysis if you wish.

The recruits were found via email in an Austrian University so I don't think the authors would make any cross-cultural claims.

"Social Psychology has one of the worst reproducibility problems in all of academia."

Not to be defending social psychology in any way, but I have to point out this assessment is seriously misled. Social psychology gets bad impression on reproducibility, because there are tons of research on the reproducibility of social psychology studies. The statement makes it sound like there are reproducibility examinations across all fields in academia. In reality, it is rare. Most fields in academia do not get this kind of examination at all.

Also, reproducibility examinations mostly are focused on experimental research. However, this study is observational research, which is a totally different kind of social science study.

>Simple scientific inquiry into this claim leads me to the question, “Okay, but why?"

Well, the "why" is relevant to whether the statement is true. So it's not like you need to answer the "why" to be able to see if something is the case or not.

>That women potentially harbor worse feelings of their ex partners on average than men is one of the most interesting but useless things I’ve heard.

Useless because you can't think of a specific utility?

Not all discoveries have some immediate utility -- but they can pile up, and lead to useful discoveries. Baby steps and all...

But even this information alone, could be useful for social workers, con-men, marriage counselors, advertisers, and other categories, even without a why attached...

I'm living mit multiple partners and they are also dating multiple people.

Since they tell me about their dating experience, I got more insight of how other men behave to women, then when I lived monogamous.

What I wanted to say is, after what I heared from my partners about men they dated, I totally understand these results.

Men are the WORST! BLEGH!

>What I wanted to say is, after what I heared from my partners about men they dated, I totally understand these results.

Ex-partners are not exactly a reliable source of "the whole truth" even before we consider the content of the article.

Edit: current partners are probably not the best source either, ask your local marriage counselor if you don't believe me.


Thing is, they already talk about these men before they are exes.

I get the whole story, from first meeting to breakup.

Getting one side of the story is not getting the whole story.

I know, most of the time the side I was getting was the side of the story my male friends told me.

But for the last 5-10 years I also got the side of my female partners.

Sometimes even both sides in parallel, because my partners would date my friends.

OK so you have no more information than anyone else? We all have friends who talk about relationships and its all anecdata. Not to mention you have a very specific group of open and non-standard people which could give a very different selection of behaviors than the normal population.


Your fun little hippie commune doesn't extrapolate very well to society at large.

That's not very charitable.

What about trans people?


Url changed from https://sciencebeta.com/mens-ex-attitude/, which points to this.

Oh boy, research showing differences between biological genders. This is going to either be ignored or absolutely explode.

It's sociology and psychology research, not biology. Biological explanation in this article is speculation not backed by the study.

Brains are biological constructs.

And biology is chemical constructs, yet we don't call them chemical genders.


> Biological explanation

You can't study that these days. The orthodoxy insists that any differences in outcomes are solely due to environment, power structures, implicit and explicit biases.

Perhaps that is because we can identify the implicit and explicit biases, power structures, and environmental issues that are in front of our faces, and that there are more differences that can be explained by them than by biological causes.

Yes, I hear you on this. It's the old nature vs nurture debate. And the leftist orthodoxy is against any theory, finding or research that would assign some non-trivial level of blame to nature. My beef is that the left, who like consider them pro-science, can at times be just as anti-science as the right.

> And the leftist orthodoxy

Please. Take this nonsense elsewhere.

>biological genders

The word you're looking for is "sex." There's no such thing as a "biological gender."

"a term for a grammatical subclass to join sex in referring to either of the two primary biological forms of a species"

Don't try to rewrite grammar to fit trends.


It's not a trend, it's an increase in scientific understanding.

Language is fluid, or we would all be speaking some variant of old German on this forum (try reading Beowulf in the original).

It's not grammar, it's semantics.

Words are social. When one person tries to rewrite the meaning of a word, unless they have significant social clout they are just going to be misunderstood. When many people rewrite the meaning of a word, they change the meaning of that word.

The problem with this argument is that you are using descriptivist reasoning ("Language is fluid", "Words are social.") to support a prescriptivist conclusion ("There's no such thing as a 'biological gender.'") If historically 'gender' and 'sex' were mostly synonymous but recently people have decided to use the words differently then that's fine, but it doesn't make it wrong for people to still use the words the old way.

> If historically 'gender' and 'sex' were mostly synonymous but recently people have decided to use the words differently then that's fine, but it doesn't make it wrong for people to still use the words the old way.

But using the phrase “biological gender” isn't using them in the old way: the way in which they were synonymous is in reference to a idea which conflated sex, gender identity, and socially ascribed gender. If one wants to refer to that meaning, there's really no reason to prefer one or the other, though either will be unclear to many modern audiences without additional explanation referencing the outmoded concept being invoked, because the concept being referred to has lost currency.

But if one is discussing the separated concepts, then one cannot honestly use “sex” for the sociological or psychological components or “gender” for the biological component and say it is the “old way”, as the old way doesn't recognize the there being separate components.

"But using the phrase “biological gender” isn't using them in the old way: the way in which they were synonymous is in reference to a idea which conflated sex, gender identity, and socially ascribed gender."

You just contradicted yourself. If the term 'gender' conflates several ideas, and adding the term 'biological' distinguishes them, then the previous poster hasn't changed the meaning of the word 'gender'. He's incorporated the new understanding but adapted the older language. Either way, the mere fact that nearly every person reading this understood his meaning shows that his expression was adequate to express his meaning.

> If the term 'gender' conflates several ideas

It doesn't. It, when used in the old sense for which sex was equivalently used, refers to one idea which does not recognize the physical, psychological, and social elements as distinct. It does not conflate different ideas, it predates the idea of a distinction; the idea of the distinction is concurrent with the terminology which incorporates it.

“Biological gender” is neither the new common usage (which labels the biological element “sex") nor the old usage (which refers to an indivisible trait.)

It can become wrong to use words the old way. Try throwing a "fag" on the fire...

Thousands of people in Britain put 'fags' in their mouth everyday. People understand your meaning through context.

You appear to be confusing grammar and biology. Why shy away from the word 'sex' when discussing sex?

Honestly? Because sex is a borderline bad word in polite company, and can get you into trouble if someone misses context and thinks you're talking about sex sex, while gender isn't a problematic word. The United States is so damned puritan in its culture that it's risky to use words that have a normal context that's problematic.

[For instance, someone could overhear it out of context and think you're being inappropriate. That may not amount to anything in isolation, but then they might start selectively watching for problematic things you say or do based on their initial mistaken impression, and if you look for something hard enough you're likely to find it.]

Also, I've noticed even when I use the word sex in that context, I'm immediately on guard against making any kind of sexual reference or anything that might have double meaning, and that's just exhausting. I'd rather use gender and save myself the trouble.

GP quoted the wrong definition, but the right definition is there too, also from Merriam-Webster:

2a: SEX sense 1a the feminine gender

Well here's the thing: if you're talking about socially presented traits of a person, you're talking about gender.

If you're needing to use the word sex, it means you're talking about the difference in shape of a person's private parts. The word is exactly as socially acceptable as it seems to be.

If you're trying to compare a bunch of people in a room, like to say you should divide up teams by ___, you probably want gender, not sex. It's medical professionals who usually have cause to care about the sex of a person they know. Unless you're dating someone, and then it is sex sex you're talking about...

The only way for the political correctness nonsense to go away is to desensitise society to it.

Sex is not a bad word. If someone misinterprets your use of a word, that's their problem.

To support your point: I've seen products avoid using "sex" on a form in favor of "gender", when what they mean is "sex". Like, the difference was brought up in meetings, and they just didn't want to have the word "sex" appear in their program because it seemed more immediately eye-catching and distracting (and they're probably kinda right).

To be fair, until recently almost everyone considered gender to be a synonym for sex.

Now people are taking "gender identity" and shortening it to be gender and taking exception to people using the synonym as we always have.

I saw the shift to "gender" as the social side of sex way before I ever heard or read the term "gender identity". Though maybe that is what happened and "gender identity" was just very, very niche at the time (like, 25 years ago, probably) such that its descendent term "gender" outran it, so to speak. However, I got the impression that the distinction between "gender" and "sex" predated my encounter of it by decades.

Webster's 1913 does appear to regard "gender" as exclusively a grammatical quality, so far as definitions related to this topic go. So the modern usage may not be quite that old.

[EDIT] huh, whaddaya know, Garner's Modern English Usage puts the move to "gender" in places where "sex" would previously have been used (to refer to all or to any part of the whole deal, not just the biological bits) as right around when I first encountered it, at least outside an initially-narrow set of academic disciplines. Go figure. It is newer than I thought, by a long shot. I figured it dated to the 60s or so in academia, mainstream by the 80s and I just hadn't encountered anyone who cared to make the distinction until later.

Yeah the shift for social psychologists probably happened 25ish years ago. Though, I'd argue up until 5 or so years ago if you asked the average person the majority would tell you gender == sex. Even today I'd guess close to half couldn't tell you the defined difference between the two.

> Even today I'd guess close to half couldn't tell you the defined difference between the two.

I kinda halfway try to follow this stuff, and honestly, I'd have trouble defining most of the terms involved in a way that didn't step on someone's toes—and I'd be trying not to! No wonder people are put off by it.

If someone wants you to refer to them as $GENDER, then just refer to them as $GENDER. Don't treat people differently because they don't conform to the traditional gender binary. Don't treat attraction between the same sex as being fundamentally different than attraction between opposite sexes.

That's 99.9% of it, right there.

I don't even mean pronouns. I mean the stuff like elsewhere in this thread where people are stepping in it (depending on the perspective of the reader) re: whether gender identity is wholly a social construct. "Yeah, it's entirely social" is no longer the safe fallback answer for careful liberals (I write, as a careful liberal)

I think you have to accept that gender identity is a contentious issue for a lot of people, even among the liberal/feminist/LGBTQ set, so any possible position you take is probably going to offend someone.

So just be honest and try to be polite, that's the best you can ever do. Whether or not you claim that gender is "entirely social" should depend on what you believe, not what you think the safe answer is.

I dunno how many times I've had to explain this to people. Usage and grammar literally aren't the same thing.

Well grammar is agreed on. Usage is something we agree on. Don't disagree on someone on the basis that his usage is wrong. His usage is as worthy as yours.

The definition of gender that applies to people is “ the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex”. I don’t see the part you quoted, where is it?


Ah, I see, it’s a quote from the explanation of grammar, not one of the definitions. As the others mentioned, this is explaining grammar, gendered words, not people.

There are not even genders on humans, just sex.

I honestly can't tell if you're joking. If you're serious, do you not believe there's a meaningful distinction between a person's biological sex at birth and the degree to which they self-identify with social constructs of masculinity and femininity?

If gender identity is not biological, what is it?

It's all the social stuff that goes along with being a "man", "woman", or whatever other identity we adopt.

I don't understand how someone can simply adopt stereotypes of another gender, consider themselves that gender, and then be considered that gender. If I'm a man according to my chromosomes, but my mannerisms, grooming, music and fashion choices are considered feminine, am I woman? Or just a feminine man? And if I'm a woman, but I'm still attracted to other women, am I entitled to represent myself as a lesbian? All I've done is choose to express some preferences, and then consider myself a part of a group based on stereotypes of that group. How is that not stereotyping and appropriation? The only thing left is what label I want to put on myself, which is largely meaningless.

> The only thing left is what label I want to put on myself, which is largely meaningless.

That's... that's the point. I'll refer to you however you want to be referred (inb4 helicopter joke). There's nothing more to it. Just accept other people's preference and move on with your day. It's that simple.

I'm fine with that day-to-day. Has literally never been a problem for me. But when it's affirmative action, sports divisions, or in this case, people discussing if a study is reflecting biological sex differences or things people choose to express in a study, yeah let's be really fucking clear that someone is choosing to express social stereotypes and that's not always the same thing as "being a woman".

You're confusing sex with gender. Sex is biological, gender is cultural, albeit often correlated with biology.

For instance - it was once considered perfectly masculine behavior for men to wear pantyhose, high heels and makeup, and to kiss each another on the mouth. Now, those traits would likely be considered feminine (or at least, not masculine.)

Does that mean men were formerly somehow more biologically female, because they expressed what we would consider feminine traits? Obviously not. Was their gender female, then? Not in the context of their own culture, they were men being what men were considered to be.

It does mean the constructs of "masculinity" and "femininity" are not innately biological, and that the correlation between sex and gender is mostly a manifestation of cultural norms, not biological imperative.

All of the confusion in your comment seems to stem from the assumption that sex and gender are a priori the same. You may find Wikipedia's article on gender to be useful[0].


No, I very intentionally never used the word sex, because everything I mentioned was gender. My concern is when stuff that is entirely social (okay, let's keep calling that gender) starts getting codified or labelled, and I'm still confused why we have discrete labels for things that, according to many of the same people using the most labels, are a completely fluid spectrum. I'm okay with completely fluid spectrum, but here's what happened in this HN discussion: someone commented about the research being about "biological genders", and everyone says they're confused. Do a Ctrl+F of the linked article for "Gender" and "Sex" and then tell me that the research isn't also confused because everyone is confused all of the time, especially people who are "confused".

>and I'm still confused why we have discrete labels for things that, according to many of the same people using the most labels, are a completely fluid spectrum.

Visible light is a spectrum, yet we still use labels for distinct colors, despite "color" being arbitrary (a "social construct".) Labels can still be useful for communicating concepts and establishing a common ground, even if they're imprecise, or if different cultures don't even agree on the difference between "blue" and "green."

>Do a Ctrl+F of the linked article for "Gender" and "Sex" and then tell me that the research isn't also confused because everyone is confused all of the time, especially people who are "confused".

Everyone isn't confused all the time. People do disagree, though, and society is still working out just what gender means in the modern day.

That would be expected identities from society, as opposed to the personal identification to one of them.

If you believe that a persons gender identity is put onto them by the expectation of society, might as well forcibly decide which identities are valuable and supress all the rest. It would have no downside.

Gender identity is an emergent social construct, there isn't anything biological about it.

The distinction between a social construct and biology is artificial. Reading and writing are a social construct but learning to read and write at a young age has a profound impact on your brain structure.[1] I think what you mean to say is that there is no instinctual sense of gender identity that people are born with... that it is purely a learned identity. I'm not certain that is true as gender distinctions are pretty deeply ingrained nearly every culture around the world including most hunter-gather cultures, (The exact extent and nature of the distinction varies, but mere existence of an distinction is close to a constant.) and there is reason to believe that the sexual division of labor was key to the evolution of human sociality, which would make gender identity distinction hundreds of thousands of years old at the youngest. I'd be interested in any studies demonstrating that there is no instinctual component.

1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23273798.2018.1...

Besides the concepts of motherhood and fatherhood. Ignoring those glaring omissions, you're closer to having a point.

The parent is completely correct, why are you fighting it? This isn’t something you can out-logic, the words have definitions. Sex is the biological part and gender is the social & cultural aspects of sex.

According to Merriam-Webster, gender /includes/ the social & cultural aspects of sex. The exclusion of sex from gender is an extremely recent development that isn't widely accepted yet.

Also, motherhood and fatherhood are biologically gender-linked roles. They are measurable biological phenomena that tie strongly into your definition of gender.

Gender doesn’t exclude sex. Gender relates to sex, but it is not the same thing.

> The exclusion of sex from gender is an extremely recent development that isn’t widely accepted yet.

What are you talking about? The use of gender as a sex “role” was coined in 1955, over 60 years ago. Before that “gender” referred to grammatical gender, not to people. So if you use “gender” relating to people, that form of the word has always meant the social aspects of sex, not the biological aspects. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender

There was never a time when “gender” meant the same thing as “sex”.

> Also, motherhood and fatherhood are biologically gender-linked roles.

You’re confusing yourself. Being a mother & father are sex based facts. Fatherhood and motherhood as words that can mean that someone is factually a mother or father, or it can in context be referring to the gender roles of motherhood and fatherhood. The stereotype of a father playing catch with a son is a gender role, not biology. You’re choosing words which have both meanings, which doesn’t help you understand what sex and gender actually mean.

>The exclusion of sex from gender is an extremely recent development that isn't widely accepted yet.

This is not an extremely recent development in the slightest, the distinction was being made almost 60 years ago in modern dictionaries.

If there is nothing innate to the human on Gender identity, if its purely a construct, then you can engage in full repression of gender identities with no consequences.

Weird, doesn't seem to work that way with religion.

Religion is an organization. Gender identity is an individual concept.

Social conditioning? Let's start at the basics: What do you think "gender identity" means exactly?

It's social psychology and not biology.

The research is about social psychological differences, not biological. More nurture than nature.

This is an unsurprising position to hold when you don’t know (or refuse to acknowledge) the difference between gender and sex. Do you think people who transition to a different gender think there’s no difference between the two?

I'm fully aware of the supposed distiction. Feel free to read my statement as "biologically implied gender".

If you meant to say "assigned gender" you should just say that because otherwise it comes across differently.

Gender has until recently been a synonym for sex. If you are referring to gender identity, then use that term.

I don't know if I would say recently, this distinction started becoming used in the early 60s which was almost 60 years ago.

Not where I grew up. UK, so we know the language fairly well.

Gender was used synonymously with sex before the differences between the things known as ascribed gender, gender identity, and sex were identified and became things that needed distinct labels.

First of all, for the sake of clarity, most scientists differentiate between gender (a social role) and sex (a physiological characteristic)[1][2]. By "biological gender," I assume you mean, "The gender most often associated with the sex of the person."

Second, you should probably also know that sex is also not binary even on a cellular level and is much more complicated than most laypeople understand[3].

Those things said: differences between biological sexes are not at all controversial except for maybe a few fringe-y people on Twitter or reddit. You really shouldn't assume that the loud, anonymous people on the internet represent any larger group.

The actual argument from social liberals (in the US, where I live) is that there are biological differences on average, but that does not allow you to draw conclusions about a specific person based on their sexual organs.

There is also a long history of extremely flawed gender research in the social sciences, partly because it's very easy to design and conduct a biased social experiment that no one will ever reproduce.

1. https://www.who.int/gender-equity-rights/understanding/gende...

2. https://www.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.003...

3. https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/sex-gender-and-sexuality-it...

not science until it can be reproduced. and since this is a psychological study...

By that logic, for example, math and some quantum physics are not science. This distinction is useless.

Not all branches of psychology are the same. Social psychology is generally pretty rigorous. For example you can calculate the average attitude and this will be consistently reproducible, assuming your methodology isn't too flawed.

Of course there was a particularly public reproduction crisis, but the problem is endemic to academia as a whole, if perhaps in lower numbers (this remains to be seen).

Edited, thanks.

Sexes, not genders.

Sexes are biological: chromosomes, hormones, body morphology.

Genders are social: baby boys and girls have definite sexes, but their gender identifies are not the same as of grown-up straight men and women, to say nothing of genderqueer people, etc

My hope is that the biological aspects are still in the realm of science.


Personal attacks are not ok on HN. We ban accounts that do that.

There are lots of (correctly) flagged comments in this miserable thread, but I'm afraid you've been breaking the site guidelines repeatedly. Could you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and take the spirit of this site to heart so we don't have to ban you again?

Yes. Gender is arcane, fuzzy, some inscrutable configuration of the brain. Sex is concrete, logical, your allosome configuration.

Phew. A bastion of sense in this crazy w--

>Genetic women with Turner syndrome have only one X chromosome; they often display less-developed female sexual characteristics than other women. And people with a genetic mosaic possess XX chromosomes in some cells and XY in others. So how do we determine if they're male or female? Hint: Don't say that it depends on the chromosomal makeup of the majority of their cells, since women with more than 90 per cent XY genetic material have given birth. [0]


>Sex can be much more complicated than it at first seems. According to the simple scenario, the presence or absence of a Y chromosome is what counts: with it, you are male, and without it, you are female. But doctors have long known that some people straddle the boundary—their sex chromosomes say one thing, but their gonads (ovaries or testes) or sexual anatomy say another. Parents of children with these kinds of conditions—known as intersex conditions, or differences or disorders of sex development (DSDs)—often face difficult decisions about whether to bring up their child as a boy or a girl. Some researchers now say that as many as 1 person in 100 has some form of DSD. [1]

>When genetics is taken into consideration, the boundary between the sexes becomes even blurrier. Scientists have identified many of the genes involved in the main forms of DSD, and have uncovered variations in these genes that have subtle effects on a person's anatomical or physiological sex. What's more, new technologies in DNA sequencing and cell biology are revealing that almost everyone is, to varying degrees, a patchwork of genetically distinct cells, some with a sex that might not match that of the rest of their body. Some studies even suggest that the sex of each cell drives its behaviour, through a complicated network of molecular interactions. “I think there's much greater diversity within male or female, and there is certainly an area of overlap where some people can't easily define themselves within the binary structure,” says John Achermann, who studies sex development and endocrinology at University College London's Institute of Child Health. [1]

>These discoveries do not sit well in a world in which sex is still defined in binary terms. Few legal systems allow for any ambiguity in biological sex, and a person's legal rights and social status can be heavily influenced by whether their birth certificate says male or female. [1]

... ¦´C

0: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/amp/opinion/think-gender-com...

1: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sex-redefined-the...

> Humans do not have five fingers on each hand, because polydactily is a thing.


We ban accounts that post like this to HN. Would you please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and take the spirit of this site to heart when commenting? We'd be grateful.

Edit: unfortunately the vast majority of your comments to HN have been unsubstantive, and many have broken the guidelines. We ban accounts that post like that, so please don't post like that.

This is a perfect example of an attempt at Kafkatrapping, specifically I'd say it is a "model S" Kafkatrap: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122

> Skepticism about any particular anecdotal account of {sin,racism,sexism,homophobia,oppression,…}, or any attempt to deny that the particular anecdote implies a systemic problem in which you are one of the guilty parties, is itself sufficient to establish your guilt.

"All birds have wings. Airplanes have wings. Therefore, airplanes are birds". Does this really need its own term, or is Raymond's coinage just a sneaky way of injecting an ideological vantage point into a conversation?

Your comment just sent me down a rabbit-hole learning about Kafkatrapping. Really interesting to see a new term coined out of thin air that encapsulates so much meaning. It's pretty crazy how hard it is to defend against, I feel like viable defenses are still evolving.

You should be a little careful about using this term; it has a pronounced ideological origin you might not want to affiliate with (or maybe you would, who knows). Raymond did not invent the notion of a circular or illogical argument.


Any papers to confirm?

Learned the hard way.

What sort of men? Cisgender men? Heterosexual men? Arabic men?

There's no such thing as a man -- "man" an abstract concept that needs definition before any useful statement can be made about people in that category.

"The requirement for participation [in this study] was having a heterosexual orientation and a former romantic relationship that had lasted at least 4 months."


If you need "men" defined for you, you're going to have trouble participating in useful communication. Use a bit of intuition.

It's absurd to group half the population into one group, and then try to work out what makes that group as a whole tick.

It makes a lot of sense however, to separate people based on a criterion and find out how the resulting groups differ from each other.

I believe the criteria needs to be more nuanced that 'man' and 'woman' to be able to elicit anything valuable about society.

It's enough for the criterion to be real in order to be of interest. And this one is definitely real.

Okay, this is where I leave you I'm afraid.

You are essentially arguing that all gender studies are useless because there is parity among individuals in each gender. It's true there is parity, but the scientific division between male and female is very clear. It seems VERY useful to study the differences. To throw them away because all men and women aren't identical feels to me like a terribly short sighted perspective.

I'm saying I believe the premise and criteria should be more nuanced. Men vs. women suggests comparison of two binary absolutes.

That's besides my point. My reply was directed at OP's statement. Just crack open Webster's and pick the definition that fits in the context. We don't need to make English any harder.

If you believe the original point was questioning the dictionary definition, I'll leave you to ponder what else they could have been trying to say.

Personally, I think grouping all men together isn't constructive a lot of the time.

Sexuality and gender attributes aren't binary. Most attributes can be defined on a scale. I think this was the nub of the OP's argument.


From a sociological standpoint: Because you're doing bad social science. When you're talking about values/cultures, those things are inherently rooted in a culture. Saying "all men X" is almost entirely useless because there's almost always going to be a culture or subculture that makes it "most men" instead.

This specific article was based off a study conducted in Austria with mean ages of men/women involved in their 20s. IDK what this says about world cultures as a whole, or even the culture of Austria as a whole. I would assume that the possibility of people late stages of life might have different feelings on the matter exists and they don't mention it as a variable they accounted for. Never mind all the other variables that one could suggest might affect this matter that aren't specifically mentioned in the abstract. And, in fact, they mention that this paper they're presenting is the first to really delve into the subject of ex-partner feelings, so their results might be completely disproved as more people look into the matter.

Thanks for explaining in more detail. This is not my area of expertise at all. Would it not be possible to draw strong conclusions about “men’s” behavior broadly in the same way we do for male Chimpanzees for example?


Dear burner troll: What? There's nothing about my points that this study is not done independent of cultural influences that implies a blank slate or lack there of. It's entirely tangential at best. Cultures exist. We know this. They're observable and have observable differences. To say "men" implies "all men regardless of cultural and age factors which we didn't control for in any way in our experimentation".

There can be both: inherent differences in biology that influence behavior AND cultural difference that influence behavior, and pointing out that a study doesn't control for one or the other doesn't imply the belief or non-belief in it.

doctor_m's question is legitimate though. "Men" is a very large group (obviously), and subgroups may have very different behaviors on this topic; hence asking for "which men?" (although they badly phrased it)

And it's worth noting that the study only focus on heterosexual people, so a more accurate title would be "Heterosexual men hold more positive attitudes towards ex-partners than heterosexual women do"

> And it's worth noting that the study only focus on heterosexual people, so a more accurate title would be "Heterosexual men hold more positive attitudes towards ex-partners than heterosexual women do"

At some point you're just going to have to read the paper if you want full accuracy.

Wow, I'm having trouble determining if this is satire.

The article says they only looked at heterosexual relationships, so there's that.

But the articles title just says "men" and "women" not "straight/heterosexual men/women". Seems like a more accurate title would include the fact since you're talking about people in relation to their sexual partners.

It's a title. If you want full details, read the article.

Hackernews: this title is clickbait and offends me!

Also Hackernews: Why would you expect this article's title to explain what it's about?!

My point: Unclear title is unclear and misleading, and striving for clarity of language isn't a bad thing. If you're going to talk about science, be more clear or expect to be called out on your bad titles.

So women blame others and men take responsibility?

Was it something I said?

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (and dumped).

My hot take: Women give and men take in relationships.

See life expectancy of married vs unmarried men and the same for women.

When a breakup happens women loses more as she committed more.

Since when life expectancy is measure of a good and meaningful life? It is more a measure of risk-avoidance.

Cardiac health is correlated with mental health/happiness

Put another way, both men and women seem to agree that breakups are more likely the man's fault than the woman's. What I found curious is that at the same time, apparently the majority of "laypeople" when asked about it in an online survey, expected no gender difference at all.

It's a strange disparity in the data, I wonder if it's due to sampling or if people genuinely think their own experiences are atypical.

Edit: I'd be interested in finding out what's so offensive about this observation. I'll gladly take 100 more downvotes and flags, but please tell me what caused so much consternation.

Can't help but wonder if maybe this is because violence towards women in relationships is higher than it is towards men.

Edit: Before you dismiss my comment, feel free to look at the details. There have been countless studies that confirm this. https://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/

In case you're genuinely interested, see wiki[0] for an overview of the evidence of parity and controversy.

[0] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_me...

No, because violence towards women in relationships is not higher than it is towards men. In fact, it's almost 50:50.

What percentage of relationships include violence? I doubt this is a strong explanation for the difference stated in the article.

I hate to be dismissive, but literally google your own question. Start here https://www.thehotline.org/resources/statistics/

Actually it was up to the original poster to give the numbers. He was right to ask. You can't prove your point and hope that everyone will know the numbers you are relying on to prove your point.

Moreover, you original question suggets that you didn't read the published article.

That does not include per relationship statistics.

Are you talking about physical violence or psychological violence? If you are talking about total violence, then I'd argue they are about the same.

That's incorrect.

It’s worth considering that although the absolute incidence of violence female->male is higher, common sense dictates that the incidence of terrifying and potentially seriously injurious violence is much higher male->female, which is why more concern is directed at it.

"common sense" isn't the best justification, as plenty of studies provide empirical evidence of exactly that. Iirc there's near parity in general IPV but something like a 2:1 ratio in grievous bodily harm, with even higher ratios when it comes to outright murder.

That would work the other way, as more men are physically abused by their partners than the other way around.

Got a source for that?

Had read the paper but didn't keep a link: it was a fairly uncontroversial one that more men reported being physically/psychologically abused in relationships, but of lower intensity/lethality. Im sure you can find it.

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