Posted by: beagle4 | May 1, 2011

Men Vs. Women… Fight

We’ve all heard the quote, “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” but does it hold true when it comes to dreams? According to Richard Wilkerson, director of DreamGate, yes. The reason for the difference, however, is still unknown. They are probably due to the fact that men are simply different then women. The differences even appear to be cross-cultural and worldwide. Calvin Hall and Bill Domhoff did studies comparing the dreams of people from Nigeria, Scotland, Australia, and of the Native American Hopi, and found similar findings. According to Van de Castle (same guy still), gender differences begin to show up pretty early, between the ages of 3 and 5 years old.

So what exactly is the difference content wise? Well, girls’ dreams have more people they know in them and are more concerned with personal appearance (makes sense). There also appears to be more references to food which I find surprising and don’t quite understand. They also have more female characters in them. Adult women dreams have a similar pattern. They usually have an emphasis on indoor settings, family, and the home. They also often dream of enclosed bodies of water. Dream reports also typically show more emotion and colors then the men dream reports. Women are usually more descriptive in my opinion.

On the other hand, men have more men present in their dreams and the dream contains conflict or competition. Weapons, tools, cars, and roads are common. As I explained in the sexual dreams post, men also have more sexual dreams. (source) Another difference between men and women is the amount of aggression that appears in dreams. There is an equal amount of aggression in boys and girls up until the age of 12, at which point aggression for females decrease while it continue to increase for males. This makes sense for the average male, although I do not notice too much aggression in my dreams personally.

It basically seems like men dream about what the stereotypical man enjoys and the same goes for women. Dreams appear to be an extension of the typical differences that appear in everyday life. A simple explanation for the difference is because as I have said in previous posts, humans often dream about concerns in the waking life. If these concerns are gender specific, then our dreams will be gender specific too.

Obviously, the content of dreams is greatly influenced by a variety of factors including how the person was raised. If a girl that has four brothers, she might have more male topic related dreams. Also, as you might expect, there are gender related factors that influence dreams. Women’s dreams during their menstrual cycle are more violent. Pregnant women also have dreams that reflect anxieties, concern about the baby, and issues of self image.

So I guess the saying “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus” is accurate, well at least when it comes to dreams.

Now just close your eyes and dream…

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Responses

  1. Interesting. Oddly enough, I seem to have more adventure-type dreams as I get older. Maybe it’s from working with and teaching so many men all the time :).

  2. Men clearly have better dreams… /s


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