It confounds logic that, still today, people believe men and women are two different species. Didn’t theorists as far back as the 70s (earlier, among the enlightened) debunk the myth that people can be pigeon-holed into gender stereotypes?
John Gray’s 1992 pop psychology bestseller, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, remains a ubiquitous ‘handbook’ to fathoming the mysteries of what your opposite-sex partner “really thinks/feels/means”. Yet his claims just don’t stack up.
Recent research in neuroscience shows that brains are not ‘wired’ male or female.
“What we show is that there are multiple ways to be male and female, there is not one way, and most of these ways are completely overlapping,” says psychology professor Daphna Joel.
If we’re not programmed differently then, what use is advice based on a perspective that assumes we are? Books, websites, blogs, videos, memes etc etc that reinforce differences along gender lines are just going to mess with your love life.
“Men and women often fall into the trap of stereotyping each other, which can disconnect them from their common humanity and cause problems in relationships,” says clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson (quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald).
If you want to give your significant other a real Valentine’s treat, skip the painfully forced experience of dinner-for-two at an average restaurant with a 1.5 hour time limit, and just snuggle up together with this insightful TED talk:
Happy Valentine’s Day from Venture English!
By Lorna Lythgoe