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Men and women are from Earth: Examining the latent structure of gender.

February 13, 2013

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In a recent study published at The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Bobbi J. Carothers of Washington University in St. Louis and Harry T. Reis of the University of Rochester say:

“Although gender differences on average are not under dispute, the idea of consistently and inflexibly gender-typed individuals is. That is, there are not two distinct genders, but instead there are linear gradations of variables associated with sex, such as masculinity or intimacy, all of which are continuous.”

Analyzing 122 different characteristics from 13,301 individuals in 13 studies, the researchers concluded that differences between men and women were best seen as dimensional rather than categorical. In other words, the differences between men and women should be viewed as a matter of degree rather than a sign of consistent differences between two distinct groups.

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