At last, official, research-based proof that men are more forgetful than women! I think it’s safe to venture that anyone among us who has lived with a man at some point in their lives is hardly surprised. Next time he forgets to pick the milk on the way home or leaves his keys at work by accident, take pity. It’s not his fault that you have a better memory than he does — it’s science!
A study published in BMC Psychology late last year surveyed over 48,000 participants. They were asked nine questions about their memories, including whether they could recall what they were doing one year ago and whether they remembered details from conversations. For eight out of the nine questions, men expressed the most difficulty.
Both sexes struggled with the same subjects, particularly names and dates. It was also found that for both sexes, higher education correlates with better memory and that anxiety and depression lead to more forgetfulness. Another interesting find is that age isn’t nearly as big a player in forgetfulness as we tend to think. Women between 30 and 50 years experience the same level of forgetfulness.
“It was surprising to see that men forget more than women. This has not been documented before. It was also surprising to see that men are just as forgetful whether they are 30 or 60 years old. The results were unambiguous,” said Professor Jostein Holmen of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), who worked on the study, in Science Daily.
Scientists have yet to discover why men have more memory problems than women, but what they’re hoping to learn next is whether the younger participants who reported memory problems are at higher risk for dementia. So while we don’t quite know what it means just yet, we do know that maybe he wasn’t just making excuses when he told you he forgot to empty the dishwasher.