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Annu Rev Psychol. 2014;65:373-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115057. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Gender similarities and differences.

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Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; email: jshyde@wisc.edu.

Abstract

Whether men and women are fundamentally different or similar has been debated for more than a century. This review summarizes major theories designed to explain gender differences: evolutionary theories, cognitive social learning theory, sociocultural theory, and expectancy-value theory. The gender similarities hypothesis raises the possibility of theorizing gender similarities. Statistical methods for the analysis of gender differences and similarities are reviewed, including effect sizes, meta-analysis, taxometric analysis, and equivalence testing. Then, relying mainly on evidence from meta-analyses, gender differences are reviewed in cognitive performance (e.g., math performance), personality and social behaviors (e.g., temperament, emotions, aggression, and leadership), and psychological well-being. The evidence on gender differences in variance is summarized. The final sections explore applications of intersectionality and directions for future research.

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