Illustration for article titled Study: Women Are More Empathetic Toward Their Partner Than Men

In terrible, not particularly shocking news for heterosexual women worldwide, Griffith University and the University of Queensland in Australia just announced research demonstrating that women have more empathy in relationships than men. (By the way, I think we can all agree that every great scientific finding begins with the phrase: "Women may long have suspected it to be the case...")

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Researchers used data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) study, a national survey of over 20,000 people in Australia, to evaluate how the mental health of individuals changes based on their partners' experiences. Dr. Cindy Mervin from Griffith Health Institute's Centre for Applied Health Economics and Professor Paul Frijters from the University of Queensland found that "when partners were ill or experienced the death of a friend, women were noticeably affected, yet men were not significantly affected by the negative events in their partner's life." Bleak. But wait, a silver lining!

"It is not that men are unemotional or uncaring, since they are quite strongly affected by what happens to themselves, but they simply are not very emotional when it comes to the feelings of their partner," said Dr Mervin. "It is possible that men are probably more affected by their own roles and image as partners, than by the actual feelings of their partner," said Professor Frijters.

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Everybody chill the heck out, it's not that your boyfriend doesn't care about shit! He just doesn't care about your shit. The release explains: "Female partners levels of empathy could be measured as comparable to the event happening directly to themselves, whereas men's emotional lives were not linked to the experiences of their partner."

Maybe it's an Aussie thing?

Image via Bravo

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DISCUSSION

It is not that men are unemotional or uncaring, since they are quite strongly affected by what happens to themselves, but they simply are not very emotional when it comes to the feelings of their partner

Sounds to me like that means that while they may be emotional, they are also uncaring. We don't call it caring when a person has feelings about their own life. That's called existing. Caring is about others, as a rule.