The battle of the sexes is something that has been raging as long as, well, the sexes. And, while we may be slightly biased towards our fellow females, a controversial new study is out to prove that women really are superior — at least when it comes to things like sharing and giving. According to research by professors Michael Dahl, Cristian Dezso, and David Gaddis Ross, a close relationship with a female (whether it be a sister, wife, or daughter) may be the secret to everything from male CEOs awarding higher wages to their employees, to doling out large charitable donations. The researchers found that daughters tend to soften fathers, and evoke a greater overall generosity. And, study participants with sisters tended to respond to ethical questions in a much more selfless way than those without.
If you're looking for proof of the more anecdotal variety, consider the story of Bill Gates. Although he has been one of the country's wealthiest men for decades, it wasn't until he met his wife that he started giving his money away. And, within two years of his daughter's birth he became the third most generous philanthropist in America. Gates has credited his wife and mother as being the strongest catalysts for his charity work, and Melinda has played a pivotal role in shaping their foundation's philanthropy.
Of course, this doesn't mean that our male counterparts are a lost cause. Instead, research has shown that men are simply willing to go to more extremes than women — so, once the giving flood gates have opened, they're more likely to engage in over-the-top acts of helping or kindness than women.
So, what's the takeaway here? No, we're not advocating that all men are evil and all women are saints — or even that a man needs a woman to run a business ethically or spend money in the right ways. But rather, this information provides us with an important framework for social structures, such as schools or the office. If women can provide a warming effect on males, it makes their leadership positions all the more critical. Not only is a woman's success important to women as a whole, but it could actually have a positive impact on the men we work with. There's no magic recipe here, but it sure wouldn't hurt if everyone was a little more giving. (The New York Times)
Photo: Via The New York Times