Only occasionally do studies come out that improve the image of men as more than stubborn, violent and incorrigible beasts with malfunctioning moral compasses. The study I’m about to talk about isn’t one of them.
For this peek into male shortcomings, we turn to the Spanish Journal of Psychology. Researchers wanted to test the hypothesis that women in the West experience an especially high level of guilt as compared to men, and that these elevated guilt levels correlate with high levels of interpersonal sensitivity.
Three hundred and sixty children, adolescents and adults were recruited and divided into male and female groups. Psychologists then put the groups through a battery of psychological tests to determine what elicits the participants’ feelings of guilt, and to gauge levels of interpersonal sensitivity.
What the research team found is that women in all three age groups experienced significantly higher feelings of habitual guilt than men, with the 40-50 year-old bracket experiencing the most. Female children and teens also experience more guilt than males in their respective age groups.
The correlation with interpersonal sensitivity followed suit for all age groups (women higher, men lower) – but, for men in the 25-33 age bracket the sensitivity score was especially low. The researchers noted that with such low scores, men in this group have a serious empathetic guilt handicap. Safe to say, not an appealing personality trait.