Thursday, December 19, 2019

Weird Sex Difference Science

It is controversial to observe that there are differences in the personalities of men, taken as a group, as compared to women, similarly grouped. Nevertheless, as a recent Scientific American article reports, studies show these exist across cultures.

Furthermore, our experience of fellow humans suggests those studies are correct, recognizing that we speak of men and women as groups, exhibiting differences on average. Individuals may vary widely from group averages.
There is a truly striking difference between the typical male and female personality profiles. (emphasis in original) Just how striking? Well, actually, really striking. In one recent study, Tim Kaiser, Marco Del Giudice, and Tom Booth analyzed personality data from 31,637 people across a number of English-speaking countries. The size of global sex differences was D = 2.10 (it was D = 2.06 for just the United States).

To put this number in context, a D= 2.10 means a classification accuracy of 85%. In other words, their data suggests that the probability that a randomly picked individual will be correctly classified as male or female based on knowledge of their global personality profile is 85% (after correcting for the unreliability of the personality tests).