Are women really the fairer sex?

If you think back to the last corruption scandal you heard about, it probably involved a man. Same with bribery. Same with sex scandals. Same with extramarital affairs.

Are women really angels, or are they just much better at keeping their scandals in the dark? Could it merely be because men have more of the spotlight, and their bad behavior is given more attention? Or do men and women really have different moral compasses?

In competitive contexts, it has been shown that women are, in general, more “moral” than men. In those cases, women are more likely to “make their decisions based on how it impacts others – which tends to produce better decisions,” while men “have a more individual approach and are more self-interested.”

Men’s decision-making under stress could have to do with their socio-cultural upbringings, where masculinity and victory are held in very high esteem. And crazily enough, women might even avoid certain careers to keep their ethical integrity uncompromised.

It could have to do with how men and women respond to stress. This study found definitive proof (as if we didn’t know it already) that when under stress, men respond with increased blood flow to their right prefrontal cortexes – the area responsible for “fight or flight” mode. Women responded to stress with increased blood flow to the limbic system, the area of the brain associated with emotions and memory. That could also explain why the stress response lasted longer in women.

Proof of something? Who knows. I guess we’ll have to wait until women rule the world to find out.

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