Compare and Contrast Essay between Men and Women:
People have seen a lot of changes in the way we treat each other. It is clear that men and women cannot be perfectly equal in every way, but recently we have developed the understanding that nevertheless, regardless of one’s gender, all humans should be treated equally. The conception is that equality is a new concept only recently implemented through modern day thinking. However, the story of Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman to ever graze the earth, dictates differently. The Hebrew Talmud reads as follows: “The woman came from a man’s rib — not on his feet to be stepped on; not on his head to be superior, but on his side to be equal; under his arms to be protected and near his heart to be loved.” The following paper will discuss the similarities and differences between men and women using physiological, psychological and social criteria. Through research it may be concluded that these differences and similarities may be the cause of some self-conflict, interpersonal conflict and general misunderstandings.
It is a generalization to think that women are more emotional than men. However, it is a fact that the psychological composition of a man is different than that of a woman. In a study at Vanderbilt University, an assessment was made regarding the expressive, experiential, and psychological responses of men and women. The findings, using measures such as skin conductance and a facial expression coding system, showed that women were in fact more expressive with their emotions than men when put through the same tests (Kring and Gordon. 1998). Although there is argument whether this theory applies to all emotions, the general consensus is that women have the ability to be more expressive with more emotions than men, including sadness, disgust, fear, surprise, happiness, and anger (Kring and Gordon. 1998).
The Vanderbilt study did not determine that men experience less emotion than women, in fact the two genders do not differ in this regard. In another study, performed by the University of Texas, researchers found that both men and women who experience intimate partner violence (IPV), are equally likely to develop poor health, depressive symptoms, injury, substance use, and developing chronic disease (Coker et al. 2002). Although women were more likely to experience IPV, men were less likely to report verbal abuse as IPV. Even with differences in the findings, it is clear that both men and women can be affected and should therefore be treated with the same respect.
If one looks at men and women from a physiological point of view, merely as a collection of living matter, it is not hard to find the differences. Women are able to give birth while men are, as a whole, physically stronger. When it comes to disease, men and women vary in their level of susceptibility. For example, women are less susceptible to pattern baldness and suffering from high cholesterol while men but are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis (Mirkin, 2009). A lot of this has to do directly and indirectly with the processes of giving birth and menstruation. Cognitive ability is another area in which men and women differ in more than a few ways. There is a general consensus that men outperform women in tests of visuospatial ability and in mathematical reasoning ability (Chandra 1999). Women, however, score higher in tests of verbal fluency and the production of rapid speech (Chandra 1999). Findings such as these can both encourage and discourage men and women in regards to career path and social standing.
Because men and women perceive the world differently (in the sense that women are more expressive), operate their bodily functions differently (in the sense that men do not give birth) , and have different roles in life, it becomes a delicate issue when discussing opportunities and career paths for the subjected sex. It is less common to find men as early child hood educators or in any position that involves multitasking. The fact is that women and men are only physically equal for the first 42 days of their lives (Seeman 1997) and this can serve as a moral lesson for the future as well. The differences that develop later can contribute to the development of friendships, romance, career, family life, and many other aspects. Let us consider the physical state of a pregnant woman. It is vital that she has a job where she must not perform heavy physical work, work under high temperature or be exposed to toxic substances or diseased patients. This creates a conflict for the woman, where even in today’s liberal society, many people are still more comfortable with a female physician rather than one who is male.
Equality is a sensitive subject and one can understand why when analyzing the many differences and similarities between men and women. Therefore it is vital to treat everyone with utmost respect and consider physiological, psychological, and social differences when communicating. Men and women are different in nature, but we are similar in the way that we are all human beings. As human beings, we all long to contribute to something which is good in whatever way we can. Equality stems from the fact that each person is different from the next, man or woman, and one’s gender does not depict the whole story.
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