Did you ever have a man tell you after you’ve recounted a detailed story that he didn’t remember that happening at all, despite being there?
Maybe this writer is dating Jason Bourne and you all have managed to snag yourself Rain Man. However, if you’re worried about your partner’s memory and think his inability to remember your go-to dish in every ethnic takeaway might be indicative of his not caring, don’t worry, there is a scientific reason/excuse for all these forgetful spots of amnesia.
In nymag.com Melissa Dahl looked at all the research analyzing men and why their memories are not as sharp as the female of the species’. It all goes back to how boys are treated during their childhood, apparently.
Research has found that women remember things better than men. Not only do we recall things faster, but also we remember facts and events with way more accuracy and in greater detail.
A study has found a possible explanation for this lies in how parents speak to their children, with massive differences between how each gender is treated. This disparity manifests itself in the development of memory skills. Dahl details research that has shown mothers tend to share more details when talking to their daughters and ask more about their emotions than they would of their sons.
All this focus on girls’ feelings means that when they describe events, they’re more detailed. Over time it becomes second nature to women to remember more vividly, hence the outstripping boys when it comes to retelling stories. Maybe this is partly why girls outperform boys in school examinations?
In conclusion: When you treat your children differently because of gender, you’re affecting their memory skills. And next time you’re writing a detective drama, feature a woman with excellent recall skills in the lead.
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun