Real Men Do Apologize

This thesis was confirmed by two studies. In the first, 33 male and 33 female college students filled out an online questionnaire each evening for 12 nights. They described up to three instances that day in which “you apologized to someone or did something to someone else that might have deserved an apology.” They also described up to three incidents in which “someone else apologized to you, or did something to you that might have deserved an apology.”

As expected, the women reported offering more apologies than the men. However, they also reported committing more offenses. After taking this different threshold of perceived offensive behavior into account, “we found that the gender difference in frequency of apologies disappeared,” Schumann and Ross write. “Female and male transgressors apologized for an equal proportion of their offenses (approximately 81 percent).”


Newly published research finds men are as willing as women to apologize. But they’re less likely to believe a particular incident warrants contrition.

By Tom Jacobs | //miller-mccune.com

Men, according to conventional wisdom, are stubbornly unwilling to apologize. Countless pop psychology books have referenced this reluctance, explaining that our egos are too fragile to admit we’re wrong, or we’re oblivious to important nuances of social interaction.

Sorry to disrupt that lovely feeling of superiority, ladies, but newly published research suggests such smug explanations miss the mark. Writing in the journal Psychological Science, University of Waterloo psychologists Karina Schumann and Michael Ross report that men are, indeed, less likely to say “I’m sorry.” But they’re also less likely to take offense and expect an apology from someone else.

Their conclusion is that “men apologize less frequently than women because they have a higher threshold for what constitutes offensive behavior.” Whether on the giving or receiving end, males are less likely to feel an unpleasant incident is serious enough to warrant a statement of remorse. Leer más “Real Men Do Apologize”