Sunday, June 17, 2012

Is mind-reading (thus empathy) a female thing?

Mind reading is one aspect of empathy, a skill that shows significant sex differences in favor of females. They tested 16 young women from the general population, since women on average have lower levels of testosterone than men. The decision to test just females was to maximize the possibility of seeing a reduction in their levels of empathy.
Published as research here.
The new study has several important implications. First, that current levels of testosterone directly affect the ability to read someone else's mind. This may help explain why on average women perform better on such tests than men, since men on average produce more testosterone than women.