in Personality and Abilities
*Interest in and beliefs concerning the nature of sex differences date back to ancient times. Throughout much of history, apparent differences between men and women have been considered natural and innate. Even today, most people believe there are differences between men and women and boys and girls in many areas of personality or intelligence. According to the beliefs or stereotypes held by most people in our society, the average woman is passive, dependent, quiet, gentle, unintelligent, and generally inferior to the average man. The average adult male, on the other hand, is believed to be active, aggressive, independent, neither quiet nor gentle, intelligent, and superior to women. How valid are such stereotypes? Are these commonly held beliefs verified by data on how women and men actually behave? Although in many instances the data are incomplete and/or inconsistent, it appears as though the actual differences between the sexes are not as great as many believe. Many studies have either failed to find the expected differences or found them to be relatively small.
Sex differences are just one of the many differences between groups of people. Others include age differences, social-class differences, race differences, and____________________