The Real Differences Between Men In Their 20s And Women In Their 20s

by Lauren Martin

Men are from Mars, women are from Venus and everything else is just grey matter. As we get older it seems like the dirty rhyme we’d recited on the schoolyard had more validity than the lot. How come, in our twenties, we still haven't been able to figure out the opposite sex? Why has this mystery still not been solved? Why does it seem like the older we get, the more the two genders grow apart?

I originally intended to write this as a fluff piece of gender-slurring rants to assuage my aching soul, feel better about my inability to find a suitable guy at 23 and give heed to the consistent conversation I overhear at girls' brunches.

However, after beginning the first few paragraphs, I realized that my futile attempts became overreaching generalizations and I was looking pretty goddamn ignorant. “Men want to have sex; women want to get married.” Could that be any more petty, sexist or just any worse writing?

I realized that while my points were naïve and immature, this general notion that men and women are different, especially in their twenties, isn’t a ridiculous notion.

There’s a reason I feel this way and other women feel this way. There’s gotta be some scientific reasoning as to why men and women are just so different. Why does it seem like we always want different things at completely different times?

According to a study published in the Los Angeles Times, brains of men and women show strong hard-wiring differences. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, it was concluded that males tend to have stronger front-to-back circuits and links between perception and action, while women have stronger links between reasoning and intuition, validating the theory that a woman's intuition is one of the strongest forces on earth. Also proving the notion that men are less likely to over-think things.

In the study, researchers took the sample of 949 boys and girls ages eight to 22 and discovered that men are better at performing motorized activities, tasks set before them, like directions or trying to ski for the first time. Women, on the other hand, have stronger memory and are more socially cognate. They are good problem solvers and tend to gravitate towards solutions that help the group.

Now, applying this new study found in The Telegraph that states men don’t reach maturation until the age of 43, 11 years after women, it seems like all the evidence helpfully suggests that we are hard-wired very differently; thus, our inability to mate in these developing years is supposed to be difficult. But how does it apply to factors in our life? How do we see it in the everyday battles between the sexes in furtive attempts to find our soul mate or at least good sex?

In Communicating

According to a study released in The Guardian, women are less likely than men to ask for a raise. Even women who are entrepreneurs pay themselves less. However, this isn't necessarily saying that women are less ambitious; if anything it's just attesting to the idea that women are much more passive and less upfront than men. Men, especially in relationships, seem to take what they want and have no problem demanding what they need while women are left feeling like they aren't being heard.

Let's compare this to Brandon Marshall's insight into "the culture of the NFL" stating that from a young age, boys are taught to suppress their feelings and act strong, while women are coddled and told to express themselves whenever they are feeling bad. This leads to a major disconnect when it comes to how men and women communicate. When women are open and want to express themselves, men are closed off and aloof.

Women are ready to share their thoughts and feelings, while men see no need. The way girls and boys were raised as children has a large impact on how we communicate as adults, leaving a large disconnect between how we express our emotions to one another.

In Friendships

The common perception is that women have much more intense friendships than men. We are constantly hanging out at brunch, drying each other’s tears and going to the bathroom together. However, women know that female relationships are stressful and usually much more unstable than their cozy façade.

According to a study by Joyce F. Beneson, female relationships are, in fact, more volatile, of shorter duration and women are more stressed than men over the potential termination of a friendship. Women also have a larger amount of ended relationships than men.

That all sounds about right. Men are able to hold on to relationships because they don't believe there was a break in trust in that relationship as quickly as women do; they do not put as much pressure or stress on the relationship and let it run its natural course.

This standard for friendship seems to parallel the views each party shares within romantic relations. Women tend to stress over the vitality and the importance of the relationship, while men take it for what it is.

In Sex

The bedroom: the age-old comparison of men and women. Men want to f*ck; women want to cuddle. Men want to sleep around; women want to settle down. And, of course, there’s the age-old difference between men and women's views of the "morning after." Women expect a call; men expect you to know that a f*ck is just a f*ck. Then, of course, there's the regret. Why do women always seem to regret their sexual escapades while men flaunt it around? Unsurprisingly, a study reported in The Daily News stated that women are more likely to regret casual sex. They are also more likely to regret sleeping with the wrong person or rushing into things.

"The top three most common regrets for women were losing their virginity to the wrong partner (24%), cheating on a present or past partner (23%) and moving too fast sexually (20%). "For men, top regrets included being too shy to make a move on a prospective sexual partner (27%), not being more sexually adventurous when young (23%) and not being more sexually adventurous during their single days (19%)."

The regrets of men and women are almost parallel. While women regret their past sexual escapades, men are regretting not having more. When women regret losing their virginity, men regret not starting at a younger age. It's a catch 22. While women are trying to have less sex and fewer regrets, men are trying to have more.

In Love

In a study published in Medical Daily, author Elizabeth Schoenfeld found that men show love by initiating sex or sharing activities, and women express love by being less assertive and more accommodating.

It’s in our hard-wiring to show love differently. As women, we lose ourselves in our love, succumbing to the man's wants and desires. This also manages to be our major downfall. By accommodating to the man, we are giving him the dominant role. We accommodate his needs and wants, instead of asserting our own.

This leads to one of the main problems between men and women today, with women feeling used by men and men trying to f*ck to make it better.

The man tries to show us he loves us by trying to f*ck us all the time and asking us to hang out with him and his friends. It's no wonder women are always feeling used and men don't understand why hanging out with their friends, watching football, isn't a woman's idea of love.

Photo via We Heart It