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Who is More Intuitive Men or Women?

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Posted 01 Mar 2012 in Developing Intuition
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Why is it that every intuitive development class I’ve taken has been filled with more women than men?

Are women more intuitive than men?If you were to do a search on the Internet for intuitives you would find that women far outnumber males in this field.

Are women truly more intuitive than men  or, could it have to do with the way women are socialized to empathize with others? Or could there be more of a physiological reason?

Based on some recent research findings, women possess more of the biological functions necessary for being more attuned to the subtle cues of intuition.

Nature versus nurture

A vital ability that is needed when you’re developing intuitively is being able to observe subtle changes in the way things look, or appear. Women pick up on these subtle changes far more often than males. A woman may be able to tell from registering these subtle changes in a person’s face what emotions the person is experiencing. This is a practical and necessary skill when gathering intuitive information.

Scientific findings

Findings show that women are better at facial recognition than men.  Studies show that this is due to the fact that women are more interested in emotional bonding based upon their need to recognize, bond and nurture their offspring. To put this in perspective, how long did it take for your spouse to notice that you’d changed something about your appearance? Your wife probably noticed the minute she saw you. Your husband probably needed a few hints like, “Does something look different about me?”

Due to their more accurate hearing women are more aware of subtle changes in tone than men. Studies have proven that women have slightly better hearing than men. They cull “more” meaning from the words they hear than males because of their ability to hear at a wider range. They sense changes in tone more easily and from that, derive the emotional signals that are encoded in the words they’re hearing. This could explain why women are more apt to know someone is emotionally upset, even before the person has told them so.

Another reason women seem to be more tuned in to the needs of others intuitively may be due to their higher estrogen levels. This hormone may cause them to experience emotions more deeply, especially during certain times of their menstrual cycle. The ability to feel another person’s emotional pain and share their emotions is called empathy. Scientific studies show that women exhibit more of an empathic response than men do and are more attuned to emotions than males.

Comparative brain studies

Recent comparative brain studies found that there are physiological differences in men and women’s brains and in the way information is processed due to those differences. These physiological differences point to why women and men respond to the same input so differently. Women show more emotion and are more sensitive to feelings when communicating, while men tend to be more solution oriented and logical.

Even though much of this information supports the theory for women possessing the physiological factors for being more intuitive, a 2006 study conducted by Dr. Richard Wiseman asking men and women to identify “fake smiles” versus “sincere smiles” had more men guessing correctly over the women respondents.

Men are also better at making “snap” decisions than women. These snap decisions are intuitive responses based on information pulled from various stored files in the subconscious. Since men lean toward being more logical and solution oriented when this stored information comes to the surface they are more apt to leave “emotions out” of the decision making process. This results in less second guessing of their decision which is often the reason their “business like approach” yields positive results.

Most errors in judgement can be linked back to “thinking too much” which fosters second-guessing and allows emotions to enter into the equation. For example, when you’re too emotional over a decision you worry about how the decision will affect others or if it might hurt someone’s feelings which can cause you to alter your decision from the right one to the wrong one.

So what can we conclude from this? Men are better at guessing whose smile is genuine over women and better at snap intuitive decision-making? Or, perhaps it means men are better at identifying mates to have sex with? Maybe making snap decisions well and knowing who is sincerely interested in them versus disingenuous is an important factor in propagating our species?

My own “hunch” is that while women do have some physiological advantages toward being intuitive men are equally as intuitive as females but, in a different way.

Women are socialized to be more comfortable expressing and discussing emotions and this allows them to be in touch with their intuition more easily. Outward displays of emotion have not been encouraged for men, and while that may be changing, for the most part men still refrain in larger numbers than women from doing things that are classified as “touchy feely” such as actively using or developing their intuition.

At Powered by Intuition, I focus on intuition development as a success skill that can be used to make the right life and business decisions. I believe intuition development can benefit both men and women. Perhaps if more men were aware of all the practical uses for their intuition they wouldn’t be so fast to shy away from developing the more empathetic side  of their intuition.

Do you have an opinion on whether males or females are more intuitive? Share your opinion with us here.

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P.S. While you’re here do subscribe to the PbI newsletter and get a the first chapter of my soon to be released book, “The Intuition Principle,” as my gift to you.

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30 Comments

  1. Really interesting topic and thoughts Angela. I think what you said about women just having their emotions and feelings readily available makes perfect sense. I have seen that reality play out so many times with me and my husband:)
    Sibyl recently posted..How You Can Make Sure that You Are Living Today Better than Yesterday

    Reply
    • Hi Sibyl,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed this article. I do think both males and females are intuitive just in different ways.

      Reply
  2. beautydeleon

    We are more intuitive compare to men, because we are more sensitive than them. We are more of heart and feelings than thinking. That is why we caught them when they are doing something fishy.
    beautydeleon recently posted..Online Dating Tips

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate that you shared your point of view.

      Reply
  3. Rosemarie

    Studies are fascinating. I know you are right that men can develop the intuitive skill as well as women because Bill is very sensitive to very subtle changes in me. He knows when something is not right before I do. Pretty amazing or maybe that just means we are true soul mates.

    Reply
    • Hi Rosemarie,
      I love to read the science behind intuition as well. It is fascinating.
      Wow, I didn’t know Bill was so intuitive. You got a good one there!

      Reply
  4. I’ve read several great book about gender difference from a teacher’s point of view. There is no question about the differences between our boy and girl students. I love reading about this subject, too, since I’m raising three boys!! It’s fascinating!

    Great post as usual, Angela!
    Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..A Dark And Stormy Night Miracle!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it Betsy! I love reading about gender differences too and studied that in school as I was a communications major.

      Reply
  5. Henry Czuprinski

    One crucial factor is left out here.
    Males are “taught to be” very very competitive and always seek the upper hand….(the warrior-hunter “instinct”)
    Due this they are fare less trusting and always look for signs of weakness-deception.
    Males tend to bond for power-protection rather than for love, with other males.
    I would have assumed women to be more intuitive since their heart tends to be more open, but this may not really be quite that simple………..useful information about feeling-second guessing, as I know that symptom well.
    Henry

    Reply
    • Henry,
      You are so right. Great point, men are taught to be competitive and women generally are not. Excellent – I hadn’t thought of that but, it makes perfect sense. Thank you so much for adding your wonderful insights here.

      Reply
  6. Hi Angela,

    I read years ago about a study (or several) showing that, to put it in a nutshell, women are by nature more right-brained and men are more left. It makes sense to me. That means women tend to see the whole picture and how everything fits together while men tend to categorize and see the trees rather than the forest. Of course we all have a mixture, some people even leaning the opposite way for their gender, but it’s always seemed pretty right on to me.

    And of course, I think intuition is more connected to a right-brained way of interacting with the world.

    All that said, my husband is one of the most intuitive people I know, but he also has a nice blend of traditionally male/female attributes.
    Patti Foy | Lightspirited Being recently posted..Why Embrace Upheaval?

    Reply
    • Hi Patti,
      Recent studies are showing that women are more able to connect to their emotions and men more logical for sure. I bet your husband is quite intuitive!
      I’m sure he’s also learned a thing or two from you as well.

      Reply
  7. Angela,

    Being the first male to comment, I will be careful with my words. ;) Seriously though, I have heard that in the business environment, women tend to be better at empathy and connecting with others emotionally, though men may tend to be more natural decision makers. I have also learned that this gap narrows as you get toward higher level leaders. So, intuition when it comes to these areas can be developed from this perspective.
    Joe @ shake off the grind recently posted..Is Your Ego Running the Show? 5 Warning Signs and What to do About it

    Reply
    • Hi Joe,
      I’m sure you are very intuitive yourself. I have no doubts about that.
      Men are natural decision makers. I think you have to be skilled at reading people to be a good leader so perhaps that is why the gap narrows at the levels of higher management?

      Reply
  8. Hi Angela,

    Always interesting. My husband feels he can read a person after just a few minutes, and he is usually right. Women I think want to talk about it more, where as men size someone up and move on to something else. “Women are socialized to be more comfortable expressing and discussing emotions” – this says it all. Thanks.
    Cathy | Treatment Talk recently posted..5 Non 12 Step Recovery Options (Part 2)

    Reply
    • Hi Cathy,
      Wow, we have a lot of people commenting here on how intuitive their husband’s are. That’s awesome! I’m glad your husband is intuitive and also correct quite often too.

      Reply
  9. Oh, Angela – this is exactly what we were discussing at home a couple of days ago – and I am thrilled to say that Sury (50 yrs), Vidur (14 yrs) and I (48 yrs) concurred that men and women are equally intuitive – but in different ways.

    This led to the argument that women think too much, while men appear to decide quickly, for better or for worse :-) – and men are also better at absorbing the disappointment in case something does not work out as expected. Oh, women also tend to be more emotional in general.

    As someone who grew up in a matriarchal family (my grandma ruled the roost)I had strong women around me who equally supported their men. None of that inferior superior stuff around the house. Every one did every thing, including the father-in-law combing the daughter-in-law’s hair :-)

    I love the points you’ve made in this post – and I think it is a fabulously catchy title! One that’ll have everyone expressing a view
    :-)
    Vidya Sury recently posted..The Haiku Challenge 2012 – Day 29 – Journey

    Reply
    • HI Vidya,
      Oh how funny that you were just talking about this! I think you’re family was right. It does appear from the studies that women think too much and men make faster decisions. I’m so glad you grew up in a home where there was so much equality between the sexes. That’s good!

      Reply
  10. Pretty interesting!! I’ve noticed that my husband G is better at reading someones character than I am. It surprises me when he say’s something like “I don’t trust that one.” then later I find out he was right. After reading about the 2006 study of Men identifying “fake smiles” versus “sincere smiles” …. I think there’s really something to that. Hmmm….

    Reply
    • Hi Aileen,
      Wow, G is better at reading people? I think you are very intuitive though. He is probably more suspicious about people than you are too though, right?
      I know, I was surprised about that study too. Interesting isn’t it?

      Reply
  11. Hi Angela,
    I love your video and your best selling amazon books! Woo hoo! You are such an inspiration for the rest of us slackers;)

    I think hubs and I are both intuitive. I don’t remember faces at all and he does if he sees someone’s once. Weird huh? xo
    Tess The Bold Life recently posted..Relationships, Non-Internet Connections, and Bold Living

    Reply
    • Hi Tess,
      I’m so glad you like the video. I had a blast making it. Thanks for the Kudos about my Amazon books too!
      I wouldn’t call you a slacker, that’s for sure! LOL
      Yes, you’ve said that your hubs is very intuitive and I know you are as well. That’s interesting that he is the one who remembers faces better. It is weird.
      xoxo,
      Angela

      Reply
  12. Hi Angela,

    My husband is quite intuitive but never discusses it with anyone else except me. He loves being correct about his intuitive hits, but I know he does not feel comfortable talking about it to anyone, nor does he want to discuss a dozen different aspects of it.

    I think men are just as intuitive as women. What Joy said above pretty much sums it up for me as well.
    Laura | Intuitive Journal recently posted..Accepting Your Gifts as a Healer

    Reply
    • Hi Laura,
      Great to see you. I hope all is well. I love that your husband is intuitive. I bet he loves to be correct about his hits too! LOL
      He doesn’t want to discuss all the different aspects of it like we would. For us it’s talking shop, right?

      Reply
  13. Hey Angela,

    I’m totally with you. I think men have just as much intuition as women, but they aren’t as socialized to listen to it. Our brains might be wired differently, but so what? If we weren all intutitive, i.e. translating energy all the time, we wouldn’t exist. It’s just a matter of paying attention to not just the translations of physical energy, but all of it. And men are not taught to trust this information, while women are more encouraged to do so.

    One thought I had: Yes, the audiences in our field are predominantly female. So why is it that most of the really famous self-help authors and speakers are men? Eh? :)

    Hugs!
    Melody
    Melody | Deliberate Receiving recently posted..Dear LOA: If We Create Our Own Reality, How Did Jesus Get Crucified?

    Reply
    • Hey Melodie!
      Great to see you here.
      I agree that both sexes are intuitive but perhaps each has strengths the other one doesn’t.
      But again I think you are right to say we are all intuitive, for sure. I also think you’re right regarding the fact that if we weren’t intuitive we wouldn’t exist but, for a different reason. Our intuition started off as primarily a warning system to protect us from harm such as when we feel that someone is watching us but became capable of conveying more complex information as we evolved. So, I don’t think the species would have survived had we not had intuition or “instincts” as some people call them.
      You said something I was only thinking. But yes, why are all the really famous ones men? I think it speaks volumes about our society don’t you? Only if a males does something (like being a great chef) is it valued.

      Reply
  14. I think men and women are equal in intuitive ability and in using that intuition. However, I think, in general, women are probably more expressive about it (the process, the result, etc) then the men are. I know many intuitive men who just “do it” preferring not to discuss it or talk about it…and I know many intuitive women who talk about every aspect of intuition.

    Reply
    • I agree Joy. I do think each of the sexes might have their own area of specialty however. Men making those fast snap decisions better and women connecting and empathizing with other better. It’s true most men don’t speak all that much about it either.

      Reply
  15. “Men are also better at making “snap” decisions than women.”
    SOOO TRUE!
    My husband is a perfect example of this. And when he has one of those “don’t-know-where-i-got-it-from” moments, I REALLY pay attention!
    Frances recently posted..Dumb belief be gone!

    Reply
    • Hi Frances,
      It’s amazing what we have stored in the subconscious. Men are really good at this type of “expert” intuition.
      Glad you pay attention to you hubbie!

      Reply

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