However, scientists have found masculine and feminine traits and behaviors that are mostly attributable to the respective genders.
Second Chance, you're going to have to name some papers or journal articles where you get that from "scientists have found....", because Abbie my friend has just finished her degree and her dissertation was on Feminism for which she had to do a tonne of research and there is none evidence that that is the case. (she got a first)
So i need to know the source of that statement.
The source of the statement was me; it was my conclusion from having been exposed to various such materials over the years. Most importantly, as a planner involved in the delivery of behavioral health services, I am constantly reminded by the professionals on the staff as well as my readings that there are indeed some real differences. You see, the problem here in the USA in the health delivery field is that the providers (doctors, nurses, counselors) had been treating everybody without regards to gender-based differences.
I hope that This may be a more a matter of nuances and connotations than straight out differences. Nonetheless, here it goes.. As a starting point for your own research (I am bolding those sections that deal with behavior):
From Wikipedia: Both genes and hormones affect the formation of human brains before birth, as well as the behavior
of adult individuals. Several genes that code for differences between male and female brains have been identified. In the human brain, a difference between sexes was observed in the transcription of the PCDH11X/Y gene pair, a pair unique to Homo sapiens. It has been argued that the Y chromosome is primarily responsible for males being more susceptible to mental illnesses
Reference Cited: Lopes, Alexandra M.; Ross, Norman; Close, James; Dagnall, Adam; Amorim, António; Crow, Timothy J. (2006). "Inactivation status of PCDH11X: sexual dimorphisms in gene expression levels in brain". Human Genetics 119 (3): 1–9. doi:10.1007/s00439-006-0134-0. PMID 16425037.
Hormones significantly affect human brain formation, as well as brain development at puberty. A 2004 review in Nature Reviews Neuroscience observed that "because it is easier to manipulate hormone levels than the expression of sex chromosome genes, the effects of hormones have been studied much more extensively, and are much better understood, than the direct actions in the brain of sex chromosome genes." It concluded that while "the differentiating effects of gonadal secretions seem to be dominant," the existing body of research "support the idea that sex differences in neural expression of X and Y genes significantly contribute to sex differences in brain functions and disease
Reference cited: Arnold, A. P. (2004). "Sex chromosomes and brain gender". Nature Rev. Neurosci 5 (9): 701–708. doi:10.1038/nrn1494. PMID 15322528.
* Females have a more sensitive sense of smell
than males, both in the differentiation of odors, and in the detection of slight or faint odors.
* There is also indication that females are better at discerning differences in colours
, while males are more aware of, and capable of discerning movement
* Females have more pain receptors in the skin. That may contribute to the lower pain tolerance
Reference cited: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051025073319.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences#Genetic_and_hormonal_causes
Here is a rather long article that deals with gender differences in coping,
Gender differences in coping strategies are the ways in which men and women differ in managing psychological stress. These differences are important to psychology, sociology, and medicine as well as every-day life and social interactions. In general, women tend to employ emotion-focused coping and the "tend-and-befriend" response to stress, whereas men tend to use problem-focused coping and the "fight-or-flight" response.
Psychological stress depends on how people perceive external events, or stressors, rather than external events alone. Men and women often tend to perceive stress-inducing situations differently, which results in gender differences in how males and females handle stressful situations. For instance, since societal standards encourage men to be more individualistic, men often use problem-focused coping mechanisms; however, women are often expected to be interpersonal, which explains why most women seek social and emotional support during stressful situations.
Research has found that women are indeed more likely to engage in emotion-focused coping strategies, which involves addressing internal emotional states as directly as possible. Although men also use emotion-focused strategies, they tend to use problem-focused coping strategies that attempt to solve the external problem more frequently. This type of coping involves incorporating cognitive and behavioral changes to modify or eradicate the stressor. It is important to note, however, that gender preferences for coping strategies are (in part) the result of social conditioning and the strictly genetic component of these differences is still debated.
Scientific inquiry into gender-specific coping mechanisms, however, has only existed since the 1970s. Questions researchers seek to answer include:
* How do the stressors faced by men and women differ?
* How do sex and gender affect coping strategy and effectiveness?
* What are the sociological factors that contribute to masculine / feminine coping strategies?
The scientific study of gender specific coping mechanisms began in the 1970s, ultimately resulting in a few different theories that concern stress-management differences in gender. All research conducted prior to the 1970s focused on coping strategies employed by men and did not explore a large enough scope to apply to large groups of people. However, within ten years, women started participating in stress management studies, but the difference between genders in regard to coping strategy choices still remained unclear. One study in 1981 said: “There were gender differences in the sources of stressors, but gender differences in coping were relatively small after controlling for the source of stressors". This initiated new interest into this particular area of research, so studies began to compare and contrast sources of stressors for both males and females. The results indicated that males often develop stress due to their careers; whereas, females often encounter stress due to issues in interpersonal relationships.
The age at which stress occurs also has an impact. One study employed a psychological approach and found that females in emerging adulthood experienced more stress than their male counterparts, because of the strong psychological implications that appear in their lives. The higher level of stress emerging adults experience may be due to new pressure that arise during this time frame, such as becoming more independent and choosing a career path.
Hormones also play a part in stress management. Cortisol, a stress hormone, was found to be elevated in males during stressful situations. In females, however, cortisol levels were decreased in stressful situations, and instead, an increase in limbic activity was discovered. Many researchers believe that these results underlie the reasons why men administer a fight-or-flight reaction to stress; whereas, females have a tend-and-befriend reaction. The “fight-or-flight” response activates the sympathetic nervous system in the form of increased focus levels, adrenaline, and epinephrine. However, the “tend-and-befriend” reaction refers to the tendency of women to protect their offspring and relatives. Although these two different reactions are generally associated with their respected genders, one should not assume that females cannot implement a “fight-or-flight” behavior or that males cannot implement a “tend-and-befriend” behavior.
From a social perspective, how parents choose to raise their children can also play a role in how males and females cope with stress differently. For instance, males are often encouraged to be independent, while females are expected to comply, which may influence each gender's choice of coping mechanism.
There have been a number of empirical studies done to support the theories described above. Here are a few noteworthy studies and meta-analyses:
Hastings et al. (1996). Teresa L. Hastings, Stephen J. Anderson, and Mary Lou Kelley studied the difference in coping behaviors of girls with conduct-disorder (CD) and boys with CD, and they also compared each gender with non-conduct-disorder (NCD) girls and NCD boys. Specifically with boys, they found that CD boys have ineffective methods of coping, which can lead to aggression
and an inability to follow through with their goals. Boys with CD are more likely to deal with stress by directly confrontational aggression, and girls with CD are more likely to cope by using relational aggression. Overall, girls with CD had a higher level of daily stress than boys with CD; compared to these girls, NCD girls had a greater number of coping strategies
. Hastings states that adaptive, or healthy, coping is problem-focused whereas maladaptive, or unhealthy, coping is emotion-focused. All individuals with CD were more prone to cope with stress on an emotion-focused level than NCD individuals. Finally, females who deal with CD experience more psychological distress than their male counterparts
Davis et al. (1999). A meta-analysis of 119 studies demonstrates that “stress is sometimes more frequent and usually more intense across the lifespan and across domains in females compared to males
.” Davis also found that the stress differential was widest with regard to interpersonal stress, and suggested that because many women are taught to be more relationship-oriented than men, they may also be more at risk for internalizing negative social experiences.
Washburn-Ormachea (2004). Washburn-Ormachea primarily focused on how eighth-grade and ninth-grade public junior high school students coped with peer-related stressful incidences. Overall, same-sex arguments and/or fights were reported as the most frequent and stressful situation encountered among the students. In addition, the study found that gender-role orientation, not gender, was the highest predictor of what type of coping strategy the students used
. This may lead to an argument that social factors rather than genetic factors underlie preferences for certain coping mechanisms. In general, Feminine-typed boys and girls employed more emotion-focused coping strategies than did undifferentiated-typed or masculine-typed students
. This is due to societal expectations placed on children at a young age. Females are expected to express their emotions, whereas, males are supposed to actively solve their problems and suppress emotions. (Second Chance: This may be a study that your friend would like).
Wang et al. (2007). Wang and company discovered the increase in cortisol levels that relate to a higher chance of the fight-or-flight behavior in males. In females, they discovered that instead of increased cortisol levels, an increase in the activity of the limbic system was initiated. Females’ increased limbic activity gave proof to the tend-and-befriend theory for female coping strategies and says that females are more likely to alleviate stressful situations by nurturing and running to acceptable social groups
Brougham et al. (2009). College students completed an inventory examining their level of stress and the coping strategies they often choose after dealing with stressful situations. Different types of stressful events, such as family and/or academics, were examined as well as coping mechanisms, such as accommodation or self-help. Overall, the results demonstrated that women often deal with a larger amount of stress, and they tend to cope with stress using emotion-focused strategies.
The emotion-focused coping mechanism dominated for both men and women; however, women did report greater use of this particular coping strategy on average.
Results obtained in these research studies can help psychologists and therapists create specific stress-reduction programs that focus on the particular strategies each gender prefers to use when coping with stressful situations. Both men and women sometimes employ maladaptive mechanisms, such as avoidance and self-punishment, to handle daily hassles. New programs should be designed, and perhaps incorporated into college and work orientations, in order to help redirect people’s coping strategies to more adaptive problem-focused mechanisms.
Washburn-Ormachea et al. emphasize how imperative it is to take into account both gender and gender-role orientation when examining coping behaviors.
Psychologists and therapists should be aware of how differences in gender-role orientation can vitally impact how one deals with stressful situations and the particular coping mechanisms one employs in order to implement better therapy programs.Women tend to deal with a larger amount of stress, which increases their risk for developing depression during adolescence and later on in life.
 Thus, one possible application of research is to help women employ better coping mechanisms in order to avoid this danger.
Stress is often a primary factor in models of illness and disease. Differences in the prevalence of diseases by gender may stem from each gender’s choice of coping mechanisms and how effective those particular coping strategies are at alleviating high levels of stress.
Therefore, understanding the connections between stress, coping, and gender can help to inform programs aimed at preventing stress-related illness.
Controversy over whether males experience more stress than females, or vice versa still exists today. In Western culture, men are often expected to strive in "achievement, competency, and competition". However when level of stress, work hours, and number of deadlines are compared both men and women have high correlations. Men are expected to work hard and pay the bills for their households as well as provide for their families. In contrast, females in Western culture often "have less access to power and control than do males," which can lead to more stress. They are not given equal opportunities or positions in jobs and often are not paid as well as men. Along with their careers outside of the home, females are still expected to maintain responsibility over their homes and nurture their children. Given all of these responsibilities, females find it hard to take care of their own personal needs, which men often do not deal with. Overall, research has determined that genders experience different kinds of stress: the greatest stressors for typical males come out of their careers, while most females are more likely to find stress in their interpersonal relationships.
Moving forwardResearch has shown that people under extreme amounts of stress often exhibit cognitive deficits, illness, increased levels of depression and anxiety, lower self-esteem, bad health, and lack of sleep
. In particular, college students of both genders who employ problem-solving strategies have better health and increased self-esteem. However, men and women often try to resolve situations using avoidant coping mechanisms, which can be maladaptive.Therapists should consider both gender and gender-role orientation when examining coping behaviors
, because differences in gender-role orientation may contribute to how one copes with stressful situations. For example, one study has indicated that emotion-focused coping strategies in homosexual men may contribute to a wide range of negative health effects. Further research on the relationships between gender, gender roles, coping strategies, and health hold promise for helping people manage stress effectively.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_coping#Empirical_studies