Side Note

You should never trust a man, new study suggests

A new study by a professor at Chapman University suggests that men are more willing to harm others to get ahead than women are.

The study was conducted by Terence Burnham, an associate professor in Chapman University's Argyros School of Business and Economics. Burnham recruited 96 students to play a series of public goods games, and measured whether players were more likely to make choices that benefited the greater group, or to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Burnham found that male players weren’t just more willing to punish others in exchange for their own personal gain; somewhat frighteningly, they were also more likely to hurt others who had “done nothing wrong except cooperate to the fullest extent possible.”

Additionally, Burnham found that male subjects were twice as willing to punish others if it meant they would directly benefit from it by advancing in rank. Of course, it’s easy to imagine how a scenario like this would play out in a more professional setting. In the real world, the study extrapolates, people on the receiving end of this kind of punishing behavior might experience a “loss of reputation,” or “direct financial impacts, including loss of employment.” This isn't entirely surprising, especially when you consider that men tend to get promoted at higher rates than their female peers.

So if men are more focused on their own personal gain, then maybe that means they have a greater ability to focus on their own success without thinking of the collective good. Like, you know, male oil executives who are okay with literally destroying the planet if it means they’ll make more money.