Have Men Evolved To Have Better ‘Making Up’ Skills?


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It’s a well-worn stereotype that men are better than women at resolving conflict - from ‘bitchy’ female friendship groups to negative rivalry in the workplace.

And according to science, this might actually might be true. But do we buy it?

According to the BBC, researchers examined the aftermath of same-sex sporting events and found men spent more time touching, embracing and talking to their opponents than women did.

The idea is that such behaviour is an effort to patch things up, meaning that despite the conflict, they’ll be able to work together again in future.


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Apparently studies on chimps have shown similar patterns - that male chimps are more likely to engage in these ‘reconciliation behaviours’. So researchers decided to look at recordings of boxing, table tennis, badminton and tennis involving women and men from 44 countries.

While women are considered to be more touchy-feely than men in society as a whole, in a sporting environment, the opposite was the case.

Prof Joyce Benenson from Emmanuel College and Harvard University, who lead the study, argues that this ability to reconcile is an “evolved sex difference that still operates today”.

“It’s the idea that you can have a mechanism that allows you to go from that tremendous competition to beat others to being able to form groups and create human society.


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"Really men have done that in business, in religion, in education and the military - they form these relationships where they are willing to die for each other in some cases.”

She concludes that those traits damage women’s positions in the workplace, but that women can still exercise this ‘making up’ ability well in family settings.

So is it that men are better at ‘making up’, or are they just more comfortable with conflict in places where men have always ruled the roost?

What do you think? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.

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