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What are the main differences between men and women in personality and behavior?

Over a wide range of personality and social variables, there is much evidence of gender similarities. For the Big Five personality dimensions, there is no gender difference in openness to experience (d=.03) and small differences in conscientiousness (−.13), extraversion or gregariousness (−.14), and neuroticism (−.25); there is, however, a large difference in one aspect of agreeableness, termed tendermindedness or nurturance (−.97). The gender difference in self-esteem is small (.21). Likewise, there are many gender similarities in the realm of social behavior. The direction of the gender difference in helping behavior depends largely on the situation. In small groups, men and women are similar in their instrumental and expressive behaviors. The gender difference in democratic vs. autocratic leadership style is small (−.22 for democratic style). The research evidence does not support popular media claims about enormous gender differences in language use. The gender difference in self-disclosure is small (−.18). There are several exceptions to this pattern of gender similarities. Gender differences are moderately large for aggression (.50), smiling (−.63), and sensitivity to nonverbal cues (−.52).

Source: “Gender Differences in Personality and Social Behavior” from International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Pages 5989-5994

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