According to the latest email I got from Science news, women over 50 years of age (but under 60) are the most empathetic of all. Apparently we women of this age are more likely to understand the emotional situation you might be in and offer a soft shoulder to those who need one. There’s apparently a U-shaped representation of empathetic behaviour that is lower in the 30-40’s and also in the 60’s and older. We fifties are the stars…
The question in my mind is, is it the cohort of women who are 50 now who are so empathetic, or is there just a wee phase of woman’s lives where they are more empathetic than usual – the period when their kids are off and on their own, and hormones are changing, and life burdens are lessening, where they might just have more time to be empathetic?
I dunno. The writer seems to imply it’s this particular group of 50 year olds who are unusually nice, probably due to the times they grew up.
But then why does the same thing not occur with men?
A little further down the page, there’s another article, explaining that bonobo monkeys are also quite attuned to empathic response.
If you don’t know about bonobos, you should really look them up. They are one of our closest relations in the monkey world, and specialize in settling every argument by having sex. With whoever. It seems to calm them down, soothe their ruffled feathers, make them happy, and so off they go, in harmony again.
Now I don’t want to draw too many analogies between the bonobos and women of a certain age, but sometimes odd coincidences appear in nature, and in my science page. Any comments, anyone?