Are Women Really More Forgiving Than Men?

A new study that was just released suggests women are more forgiving than men. The study, which was conducted by Spain’s University of the Basque Country, also found that parents are more forgiving than children.

Many women, and men, might think that this entire study is hogwash, as it has long been believed and held as an undeniable truth that women tend to hold a grudge longer than men. However, this study found that women are more empathetic than men, which figures greatly into their capacity to forgive. The parameters for forgiveness in this research included reconciliation, empathy, and- you guessed it- not holding a grudge. Men were found to hold grudges longer than females.

Another interesting finding of this study is that parents between the ages of 45 and 60 were found to be much more forgiving than their children, aged 17 to 25. It is believed that with age comes greater emapthy for others and more of a tendency to reconcile and drop grudges.


When you consider crimes committed around the world, it begins to make more sense that perhaps men do hold grudges longer than women. Violent crime has long been strictly the domain of men, with men responsible for violent crimes and men as the victims of violent crimes more often than women. According to a study of violent criminal offenders  ), men commit murder on average eight times more than women. More than 65% of all violent crimes are committed by men on male victims, while 22.4% are committed by men on female victims. Just 10.1% of violent crimes were perpetrated by women on male victims, and 2.2% of violent crimes were female-on-female crimes.

So does this mean that men do, indeed, hold grudges longer than women (and, as was found in the study of violent crime above, act on these grudges more often than women?) Some women and men remain skeptical about the results of this study. When you think of friends and acquaintances who have been involved in marital problems, who held a grudge longer into the divorce proceedings – the woman or the man? And is it true that women tend to forgive a straying husband more often than a husband would forgive a wife who strayed outside of the marital relationship?  I can think of many more women I personally know who are likely to hold grudges much longer than the men I know. What do you think?

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