Picks and Pans Review: The Great Divide: How Females & Males Really Differ
Most of us don't need book-length academic documentation of the chasm that divides the genders. We have, after all, had life-length practical experience in studying the phenomenon, which is akin to, say, the difference between rhinos and gazelles: The number of heads, bodies and limbs are the same, but the style and substance vary. Then there's the horniness factor.
Anyway, this book, consisting entirely of statistical surveys of female-male differences in attitude and experience, is more fascinating than it ought to be. For instance, Weiss reports that in homes with TV remote controls, females control the remote 34 percent of the time, men 55 percent. Nineteen percent of wives "say that sometimes their spouses are like gods to them," while 36 percent of husbands say their wives are like goddesses. Fifty percent of married women and 77 percent of married men "would marry the same person if they had it to do all over again."
Weiss, whose book 100% American was a similar batch of data culled from various surveys, lists his sources in the back of the book. They range from Harris and Roper polls to Popeye's Spice in Your Life Series.
Most of the figures seem reasonable, though, however odd or depressing. Thirty-four percent of females and 32 percent of males "think there are spirits or ghosts in the world that make their presence known to living people"; 57 percent of females and 61 percent of males aged 13-17 say they have cheated on a test; 5 percent of females and 7 percent of males like vacuuming.
Weiss gets a little flip at times. The section of surveys on cocaine use is headed "Females and Males Take It up the Nose." Statistics are eminently manipulable at best, and some here just don't track. Weiss says, for instance, that of women 18 and older, 19 percent are single and 61 percent are married, apparently leaving 20 percent stranded on The Dating Game.
Still, his book is eminently browse-worthy and should provide fuel for more than one dinner table argument. For instance-not to start anything—not only do men have more brains than women (by about a quarter-pound), they have more heart (two ounces more). No information seems to be available about the spleen. (Poseidon, $21.95)