It’s International Women’s Day today, and what better time to celebrate being a woman? There’s enough statistics, inequality and gender imbalance to give us women something to shout about, but instead of focusing on the negatives, we wanted to take today to focus on all the positives that come with being a woman.
Women tend to have a better approach to expanding our minds. Research shows we’re also more flexible, attentive and organised, which all make for better learners. This makes sense when you realise that girls get overall better grades, in all subjects, all over the world, according to a meta-analysis reviewing data from hundreds of studies by the American Psychological Association. The biggest difference is in languages and the smallest is in Maths but even then we tend to do better. This brings me to my next favourite fact about women…
We’re more likely to graduate
In recent years, the gender balance in third-level education has shifted. Women are now more likely to graduate from college with a degree than men. As of 2013, over half of women aged 25-34 had a third-level degree, compared to just over 40% of their male counterparts. We’ve come a long way from not even being allowed to attend third-level education. The first female college students in Ireland were admitted in Cork in 1885, and the first female professor was appointed just over 100 years ago, in 1910. We’re still waiting for our first female President of an Irish university. Hopefully one day, all women will have access to education up to third-level.
We have stronger immune systems
We can thank our oestrogen for this one. The mostly female hormone is said to confront a particular enzyme that hinders your body’s first line of defence against infections and viruses. So with our hormones protecting our own defenses, we’re free to recover from sickness much more quickly. This is probably evident when the men in your life are struck down with the dreaded man-flu, and probably why they really can’t fight it as well as we can.
We are less impulsive
The easiest place to see this in real life is definitely on the road, where men tend to be more reckless. Aside from the obvious testosterone levels, which make men more aggressive and impulsive, women’s secret hormone weapon is, once again, protecting us from making rash decisions. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that those with those with lower estrogen levels in the first session showed higher measures of trait impulsivity. This is probably why we should be in charge of the household finances!
We’re better in job interviews
Sometimes it can feel like women suffer at the hands of inequality when it comes to jobs, interviews and the career ladder in general. However, research shows that women actually fare better in job interviews than men, as well as being able to handle the stress that comes along with it. The University of Western Ontario found that women tend to be better prepared by researching on the company and having mock interviews with friends before the final day. Men, on the other hand,tend to take things easy and only prepare at the last minute. Speaking of women in jobs, an Ibec report released today shows that companies that have proper gender balance are more profitable.
We’re better communicators
This one probably comes as no surprise, especially when you realise that women speak a lot more than men in general. Studies have shown that women say an average of 13,000 words more than men per day, about 20,000 words in total! Bearing this in mind, is it any wonder we communicate more about our emotions and talk through our problems more than men?
We really are better at multitasking
Women have been shown to have stronger memories and better concentration than men. That is why women are better at multitasking. And no boys, pretending to read the paper while keeping an eye on the TV doesn’t count as multitasking, but cooking the dinner, while helping the kids with their homework and thinking about tomorrow’s business presentation does, and we’ve got that down to a tee.
We heal faster
This comes down to the differences in our brains. Women’s brains have about 4 times more neurons than men, and they tend to be more interlinked across our entire brain, whereas men’s neurons tend to be compartmentalised by each section. With brain messages being more interlinked across the brain, women have better healing abilities. The bigger number of interlinked neurons are another reason we’re so capable of multitasking.
We get genuine pleasure from chocolate
Okay, not always a good thing when you’re on the ball with your fitness, but just take a minute to appreciate what it must be like to get no comfort or pleasure from a piece of chocolate. Think about all those bad days or sluggish afternoons in work, or even a bad breakup, when some of the best comfort came from Cadbury’s. This is because research shows women’s serotonin levels are higher and more sensitive than men’s. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for your mood, and chocolate has been shown to raise your serotonin levels. This is why you genuinely feel a sense of warmth, calmness and comfort when you indulge in some chocolate. This pleasure doesn’t tend to come for men.
We live longer
A classic truth about women, according to a New England Centenarian Study, 85% of those over the age of 100 in the world are women. In general, women tend to live 5-10 years longer than men. Sorry, boys!