How do men think? That's assuming that men actually think. Assuming that they do, they use their noggins in an entirely different way than women use their brains.
This article is not an opportunity for gender-prejudice, as of course, there are exceptions to the rule.
However, it's still interesting to discuss the issue in an informal article. In contention:
LISTENING - MEN USE ONE SIDE OF THEIR BRAIN
Do men just not listen? Women are surprised when they hear Men make the comment: "You talk way too much". This perception, although possibly pejorative, demonstrates one thing: Men do not view speech the same way that Women do.
However, there is empirical evidence to suggest that Men use the right side of their brain to listen to conversations, while Women can use both left and right. (Lurito, 2000) The left side of the brain responds to non-language stimuli, while the right side of the brain responds to language and feeling.
STYLES OF COMMUNICATION
Notice the way men speak to women. Often, they use categorical imperatives (You should do this, you shouldn't do this). Men tend to view situations as problems that need to be solved, rather than opportunities to discuss.
Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, wrote an entire book on this subject: "You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation" (2001, New York: Quill)
RELATIONSHIPS AND SEX
How do men think of sex? This example may clarify something for women.
A famous psychology experiment (Clark, R.D. and E. Hatfield. 1989) describes a study demonstrating that 75% of male college students say YES when a female student asks if they want to have sex (without even knowing the person).
ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of female college students said NO when a sexual relationship was proposed by a male (without knowing the person).
The point of this study? Men perceive sex in a different way than women; in fact it's central to their self-identity as men.
Not to say that Women are sexless creatures; it's just that Men view sex differently than women.
As far as relationships go, a study by Rutger's National Marriage Project shows a few ways that men think about marriage:
1. Men are worried about divorce; they hesitate to commit because of it
2. Men fear the change in lifestyle accompanying marriage
3. Men want "the one" and perceive flaws in their current partner.
The problem with these perceptions, of course, is the typical set of psychological error-testing issues, e.g.:
cognitive dissonance - changing beliefs after experience
fundamental attribution error - explaining other people's behavior in terms of personalities rather than situations
impact bias - over-perceiving the impact of future events
I'll leave the complexities of psychology and relationships for another article.
The moral of this article? Men don't even speak the same language, you ladies might need to translate.
Also, scientific research only proves what facts it can prove. Don't let science rule your heart, let it rule your head. But understand that certain behaviors have a psychological underbelly.
Lastly, although this may not be implicitly stated, men and women are not that dissimilar. They think a lot like women do. They just feel different about it.
Labels: Men Think