Here's Why the Men in Your Life Forget Everything All the Time

Illustration for article titled Here's Why the Men in Your Life Forget Everything All the Time

Ever find yourself speaking to your husband, father, brother, best dude friend, and realize he's a little fuzzy on the details of the day about which you are reminiscing in great detail? Go easy on him, because it may be that men just aren't as good with memories about the Christmas when Spot got into the cinnamon rolls and barfed on the tree.


Memories, am I right?

Melissa Dahl over at the Science of Us tackles recent research about memories. See, we learn how to form memories partly through those rambling conversations with our parents about what we did today at daycare. But parents (and specifically moms) tend talk to their children depending on their gender, which has unexpected long-term ramifications:

Mothers tend to introduce more snippets of new information in conversations with their young daughters than they do with their young sons, research has shown. And moms tend to ask more questions about girls' emotions; with boys, on the other hand, they spend more time talking about what they should do with those feelings.

Psychologist Azriel Grysman explained what that means:

"The message that girls are getting is that talking about your feelings is part of describing an event," Grysman said. "And for boys, emotions are something to be concerned with when they are part of a larger issue, but otherwise not. And it's quite possible, over time, that those tendencies will help women establish more connections in their brains of different pieces of an event, which will lead to better memory long-term."

That's because the ways you've got into a memory, the better it saves in your brain. If you're practiced at noticing and logging what you were feeling the day of your high-school graduation or even a random Tuesday in April when you knocked over that heirloom vase, you're more likely to remember the moment.

I'm not sure how persuasive the evidence is, but one thing's for damn sure: I'm going to remember writing this article the next time one of the men in my life forgets something important.


Photo via PathDoc/Shutterstock.


Pink Everlasting

My husband and I have a saying about this: "You remember it your way and I'll remember it the right way."
Because it's not so much that his memory is fuzzy, it's like sometimes he occupies a parallel reality. He'll remember us saying or doing something that either literally never happened, or happened completely differently. I'll have to spend at least 20 minutes reminding him of details before he realizes he's wrong.