Gender Difference, Essay Example

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Essay

It is observed that, generally speaking, men respond to stress and traumatic situations in ways far more aggressive than those of women.  The agent is perceived as threatening by both genders, but the typical male response is to either directly confront, and presumably defeat, the source of the problem, or retreat from it.  Women, conversely, are driven, not to assault the threat, but to protect (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2010, p. 462).  It is reasonable to assume that this contrast in reaction is at least partially driven by social influences; in most cultures, men are typically expected to “take care” of threats and manifest a level of authority, as women are traditionally encouraged to shelter and nurture.  This reasonable view, moreover, may well be based upon biological forces not easily discounted.  In plain terms, as the woman bears children, it is likely that her instinct to protect will be stronger, just as the male’s inability to bear children and usually stronger physicality induces a more “external” drive.

If there is validity to this view, however, it comes with a high price for men.  A study reveals that providing care and social support actually goes to lengthening life, which may be taken as improving health (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2010, p. 463).  Aggression is a draining process, often creating stresses of its own, and one by no means beneficial to the person’s well-being in physical or psychological terms.  This being the general reality, women are then poised to address stress and trauma in ways that promote the betterment of themselves, as well as for those being protected by them, whereas the male reaction is likely to have an adverse effect on health.

References

Aronson, E., Wilson, T. D., & Akert, R. M. (2010). Social Psychology (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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