New study gives truth to trope: Women are more empathetic

Women have long been considered the more empathetic gender. New research confirms that notion, Fortune reported Dec. 28. 

The publication summarized a study conducted by neuroscientists and psychologists at international universities — Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University; Cambridge (U.K.) University; Lucca, Italy-based IMT School for Advanced Studies; Ramat Gan, Israel-based Bar-Ilan University; and Haifa (Israel) University — and published in the journal PNAS in December. 

Researchers used an online test to gauge empathetic reactions in 300,000 people in 57 countries. Participants were between the ages of 16 and 70. 

Women scored higher than men in cognitive empathy —  the ability to understand another person's feelings and perspective — in every country studied. In 36 of the 57 countries studied, women's scores were much higher than men's. The researchers were not able to identify why, but believe nurture is as causal as nature. 

"Our results provide some of the first evidence that the well-known phenomenon — that females are on average more empathetic than males — is present in a wide range of countries around the globe," Dr. David Greenberg, psychologist and professor at Bar-Ilan University and a lead author of the study, told Fortune.

Copyright © 2023 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars