Masculine Logic and Feminine Logic

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. The man will say, “I can’t believe how illogical that woman is. She can’t see one single step in the argument.” The woman will reply, “I can’t believe that he is so slow that he can’t see what is so blindingly obvious to ANYONE who could put two and two together.” To quote someone famous, “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

Men think in a line, step by step, usually. Of course, everything in this post is pretty general, and has lots of exceptions. But men are, in general, linear thinkers. They like things spelled out in order. Skipping steps usually makes them uneasy, not to say discombobulated.

Women, on the other hand, are usually more intuitive. They don’t have a problem skipping steps in the argument, and jumping right to the conclusion. They couldn’t always tell you how they got there, but they often come up with these amazing leaps that seem almost superhuman to most males. Sometimes men call this a sixth sense, or a woman’s intuition.

Men need to realize that a woman is not necessarily being illogical when she makes the leaps. It is merely that the woman doesn’t feel she needs to spell out all the steps by which she arrived at her conclusion. Of course, sometimes the woman jumps to the wrong conclusions because she left out a few key distinctions/steps/factors that might have changed the conclusion. This is where the man can patiently explain to the woman how to reach the proper conclusion.

Women, by contrast, can help men increase the speed of reaching the conclusions, because sometimes it is important to reach a conclusion quickly, and spelling out all of the steps is not always necessary or desirable. Women also need to understand that men may not be slow and stupid just because they can’t move at the dizzying pace of intuition that the woman can.

The difference is probably due at least in part to the way the brains are set up. In the womb, the boy receives a washing of testosterone that disconnects parts of the brain from one another, making intuitive leaps more difficult. The girl in the womb does not receive this, and so the connections are much more instantaneous. God’s marvelous design is evident here, because men and women therefore complement each other very well. Sometimes the linear thinking of the male is more helpful (for instance, in engineering, where 98% of engineers are male). One does not want steps left out of the process in building a bridge! On the other hand, intuition is often extremely helpful in relationships, where one often needs the ability to read between the lines to be able to put oneself in the other person’s shoes. Women are often much better at this than men, who often can’t seem to put 2 and 2 together fast enough to be able to make the necessary leaps. So, men and women, rather than calling each other stupid, simply need to realize that there is often a different kind of logic at work, neither better or worse than the other, but often suited better to different tasks. Men and women, if they realized this better, would be better able to communicate with each other, and help each other in the areas where they are stronger.

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15 Comments

  1. Steven Carr said,

    February 17, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I still like the theory that women are from a different planet.

  2. Steven Carr said,

    February 17, 2009 at 11:53 am

    BTW, thank you Dr. Dobson for that wonderful insight. :)

  3. Admin said,

    February 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    At last, a man that gets it!! Your wife is blessed woman! I am the happy recipent of a husband that “gets it” as well and a scholar to boot. True relationships of man and woman is the complentary one, which, I believe all have and God created them thus 8o)) _jacy

    “Women, on the other hand, are usually more intuitive. They don’t have a problem skipping steps in the argument, and jumping right to the conclusion. They couldn’t always tell you how they got there, but they often come up with these amazing leaps that seem almost superhuman to most males. Sometimes men call this a sixth sense, or a woman’s intuition.”

  4. Admin said,

    February 17, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    …and, as usual, I am replete with typos…it should read “complimentary” but after hours blogging what does one expect.!

  5. February 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    [...] February 17, 2009. Filed under: Family Life, Practical Theology | Tags: Home & Family, Women | Masculine Logic and Feminine Logic February 17, 2009 at 11:27 am (Family, [...]

  6. greenbaggins said,

    February 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    I appreciate your vote of confidence, Jacy.

  7. February 17, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Have an argument with the little woman, did we? (heh, heh) That must be what prompted this post, I’m thinkin’…

  8. February 17, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Good post, Lane. There’s a funny video about this subject here..

  9. rfwhite said,

    February 17, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Richard, not only was the post born of an argument … the post tells who was right after all. :-)

  10. Admin said,

    February 18, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Wise men…! 8o)

    Pro 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

    “Behind every great man there is a great woman.” – “Men often owe their success to women. It’s women that make them tick. The word ‘great’ may be replaced by ‘good,’ ‘successful,’ etc. The proverb is listed in the 1992 ‘Dictionary of American Proverbs’ by Wolfgang Mieder et al.” From “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996)

  11. KBennett said,

    February 18, 2009 at 11:00 am

    What the…?

  12. jared said,

    February 18, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Lane,

    You say,

    So, men and women, rather than calling each other stupid, simply need to realize that there is often a different kind of logic at work, neither better or worse than the other, but often suited better to different tasks.

    It’s not so much that the logic is different as it is that their respective brains are “wired” different. Perhaps it should be “Masculine Brain and Feminine Brain”?

  13. Tim Harris said,

    February 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    After thinking about this problem for many years, I finally realized that the logic per se is not different — women are using modus ponens, modus tollens, etc.; how could they not? — but what is different is the rules for allowing or disallowing premises. In general, women start with a much larger set of premises when analyzing a situation toward a thesis.

  14. February 21, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Interesting thoughts, Tim. I think you might have touched it with a pin. I believe things get a bit hairy when the woman’s conclusion follows from what appear to the woman as obvious assumed-premises (that need not be voiced, being “obvious”), and / or the man is so myopic he is unable to process any premises whatsoever unless they’ve been voiced as such. What is helpful is when both parties take a posture of allies (“intimate allies” if married) as opposed to opponents.

    Good stuff.

    Ron

  15. February 23, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    [...] 17.  Hey by the way, you do realize we’re different?  The difference between masculine logic and feminine logic. [...]


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