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More press doesn't mean more significance

What's more interesting to people: similarities or differences between the sexes?

If the results of two quick searches on Google are any indication, there's a lot more interest in sex differences ("about 1,030,000 for "sex differences" ") than in similarities ("about 10,700 for "sex similarities".")

As I think about it, this makes sense. It's more exciting to hear about how groups of people are different, as that seems more meaningful than finding out how groups are similar. It seems like more information is embedded in the statement, "Males produce more testosterone than females," for example, than in the statement, "Males and females breathe oxygen to survive."

Is it because the latter statement isn't ground-breaking? No, because at this point, it's fairly common knowledge that males produce more testosterone than females do (Though, of course, cultural shorthand leaves out the important "most" in that statement. It would be more accurate to say that most males produce more testosterone than most females.)

We look for differences to help us define how we think about who we are, as individuals and as members of a group. For this reason, studies, articles, and statements that highlight differences are appealing and interesting. When these resources reinforce things we already think about the world and about sex differences, it can be even more satisfying: "See? I knew men and women were different!"

Yes, we do know that men and women are different in many ways, but we also know that men and women are similar in many ways as well. It's easy to forget, amidst the exciting talk of difference, that just because it gets more play doesn't mean it's the only game in town.