This is how men and women react differently to having an argument
There's no such thing as a perfect relationship. Many of them are healthy and productive, and most of them (we hope) are happy - but completely flawless? Not a chance.
For this reason, the vast majority of us will find us arguing with our significant other at some point during the relationship. It could be over something small, like whose turn it is to make dinner, or something that ends up being a dealbreaker in the long run, like whether or not they want to have children, or buy a house together, or get married.
Whatever it is, the important thing is that it gets resolved in a way that works out for both parties.
However, it turns out that this is a lot easier said than done, as men and women react very differently to having an argument, and therefore prefer different ways of settling the matter.
In order to find out exactly how differently men and women react to a row, scientists from the Bucknell University conducted a two-part study.
The first part of the research took place online, wherein 74 men and women with an average age of 27 were given a fairly simple task: write down five behaviors/actions people of the same gender as them would have (or used to have) when trying to make up with their partner after a fight.
After all those responses were collected, scientists split the "common reconciliation behaviors" into 21 separate categories.
Then, it was time for the second part of the test. In this section, a different group of 164 people was given a chance to look at the behaviors and identify which ones would be most successful if their partner performed them as an act of reconciliation. Using a scale of one to seven, they ranked the behaviors from least to most effective.
And the results surprised the researchers.
During their methodology, the researchers explained that, "acts suggesting emotional commitment were expected to be rated as most effective" - but that wasn't the case. Instead, there was a clear difference between the ways in which men and women wanted to see reconciliation.
As the paper says:
"Men were expected to rate actions which signal sexual accessibility as more effective compared to women. Women were expected to rate acts which signal emotional accessibility as more effective compared to men."
Basically, women wanted to see an emotional response - perhaps a heartfelt apology, or an admittance of responsibility. Men, on the other hand, expected something a little more - uh - physical.
In a press release, the lead researcher on the study, T. Joel Wade, made it clear that both these genders could change their behavior in order to help speed up reconciliation.
"Women may thereby use sexual favors as a way to reconcile with their male partner," he said. "Doing so may communicate to their male partner that they are still sexually accessible and as such do not want to end the relationship."
Men, on the other hand, should just put in a little more emotional effort.
"Women may rate spending time together more highly because this behavior signals a partner's willingness to invest effort and limited resources (e.g. time) into their romantic pair-bond," said Wade. "Such actions by a man may signal the likelihood of a potentially high parental investment which women prefer."
Admittedly, these findings might not come as a huge surprise to many; but, to their credit, men also scored "communication" quite highly - so at least that's something!