Girl Power: Experiment Shows Women Favor Women More Than Men Favor Men.

8:30 PM

I'm not the kind of person who likes tearing others down to bring myself up. So men, understand that I'm not trying to do that with the study I'm about to talk about. I'm just trying to show people that the thought that "all women hate each other" is completely, scientifically wrong.

You've heard it said a million times before: Women hate other women. They're jealous and catty. Or: If women could just learn to get along and like each other, we could rule the world.

Brain blast, sisters, studies show that women like women more than men like men. In case you didn't hear, the 2004 study done by Laurie Rudman and Stephanie Goodwin used experimental methods that came out with some pretty cool results. In their four experiments they tested in-group bias, identity, self-esteem, caregiving, and sexuality. Using the experiments, they drew one large conclusion: women are more likely to like women than men are men (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). I've said it a lot, but just soak it in, okay?

Why is this? You might be wondering.

There's a lot of reasons. 

One answer lies in our internal mechanism that promotes our own group bias; it draws from our high gender identity (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). This would be what I refer to ask the group bathroom effect (do not quote me...that's not even a thing and I just made it up). Girls are more likely to invest emotional energy into the relationship than men are, making women favor women more than men. (Um, did I just notion that going to the bathroom together is investing emotional energy into the relationship...maybe. Take that any way that you want to).

Another reason lies in stereotypes. Women are perceived by both men and women as more safe, which links them to warmth, whereas when men are linked with power it's triggered as a threat. Even men are more afraid of men than woman are (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). Go figure. I'd probably be really afraid of dads if I were a boy; they seem to get yelled at more often. I won't name this effect to save myself some embarrassment.

You need another reason? Well Goodwin and Rudman have it: mothers. As the primary caregiver, mothers set the tone for what their children think of women. If you are raised by only a maternal figure, you're more likely to be more pro-female. If you're raised by a good, caring mom, you probably like women, whether or not your father was in the picture at all. However, if you're raised by a bad mom, you might not like women very much (Goodwin & Rudman, 2004). I'm not lying, people are trained to like women from the moment they transfer from womb to world.

Look, I know that this study is 11 years old and that it might be considered outdated by some sources (that being said, I think it should be replicated). However, are the above reasonings not true today, 11 years later? They're still true, at least in my case.

So what can we take from this?

First, let's not say that women hate each other, because according to this experiment, we don't. We actually really, really like each other for a lot of reasons.

Let's take this as a fact. Girls like girls. With that, let's take it to the next level and tell our family and our friends - promote the spread of girl positivity. It's already there, I think it's sometimes a little bit downplayed by the objectification of women in the media. Women are taught by media that to be the best is to be the skinniest, prettiest, to be the alpha-chick. It's also true that women are taught by natural selection to be warm, caring, friendly, and sensitive. Let's use the natural side of ourselves and ignore the media side.

I strongly encourage you to read the study (linked above) and let me know what you think. If you don't have time to read the whole thing, skip down to the heading where it reads Why Do Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men? I promise it's worth the read.



Laurie, R., & Stephanie, G. (2004, June 7). Gender Differences in Automatic In-Group Bias: Why Do Women Like Women More Than Men Like Men? Retrieved May 26, 2015, from

ps. I'm sorry for the lack of post last week. I've been incredibly worn down by work and such.

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  1. I totally agree with you!! Thanks for reminding.
    Have a happy weekend. Xoxo

  2. This was really fascinating to read Brooke. I agree women have a maternal nature in them that's very nurturing not only in a mother/daughter way but in friendships and people in general. Women and Men express love and emotion very differently and I think the "alpha" is something more prominent in Men than Women which probably comes down to a survival/evolution thing somewhere along the line and the walls society/media has taught males to also live between.

  3. I've never really viewed women in general as catty, just certain people. You can't really say that all women are catty just because you know a few catty women just like you can't say all men have big egos just because you know a few with a big ego. I think that's one of our biggest problems: getting past the false stereotypes. This is just another false stereotype, that all women hate other women. I'm just glad there is a study to back it up.

    Running Alyssa

  4. Brooke, YOU MARTYR. (Apologies; this is my inarticulate expression of gratitude and passionate joy for this post.)

    I absolutely hate, hate, HATE the fact that people think women hate women. I mean sure this can be applied to isolated cases, but to generalise the stereotype and make it a false truth for all of us? It's enraging! Thank God for this study! (I'm trying to open up the study to read it but it's not loading!!!)

    I enjoyed all the reasons immensely, and found all of them such blatantly ignored truths of this world, especially the one about mothers.

    Ahh, I enjoyed this one very much, Brooke! Also, hoping all is well at your job!

    May | THE MAYDEN

  5. I won't say 100% of women hate each other, but I believe some does indeed hate each other. Sometimes its just bitchie-ness, self-hate or just the thought of someone being better than them (in their mind). I think this is absurd though, but hey love this post. I enjoyed it very much. :)

    1. I'm inclined to agree with Missy on this matter. While there are some truth behind this study, I'll have to say there are some seriously catty women out there especially in the corporate world. I personally have had best friends whom turned on me when my life got better so I'm speaking from experience. While I will never agree with the general conception that women hate women, I strongly believe there are some that are easily envious and pretty bitter.

      Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  6. I love this because you've combined actual science with social science which lots of people don't normally do- they favour one or the other. It's an ace post! I think the whole 'women hate women' stereotype is a really dramatized idea that close-minded, ignorant people came up with to stir a bit of trouble.. Such an absurd idea <3

  7. Wow, what a delightfully in depth and interesting read. I do think it's a common misconception that is bandied about and some just find it easy to rely on it.. 'Women are catty and blah, blah, blah'. Great post! xx

    VanessaVonJames | Fashion Blog

  8. Wow, this was a great post, Brooke! (and I can totallyyy see how you're gonna be an amazing teacher one day!). I'm totally with ya on the girl power: it's about supporting one another, not tearing the other down. Girls like to have more intimate relationships, not just with their partners but in every kind of relationship in their life. It's just how we roll :) And from there, we can create some amazing and loyal bonds with one another.

    Thanks for sharing :)
    ~Lor @ ♥

  9. I've never heard of this study before, but now I'm glad I know of it! Women are definitely perceived as more warm and easier to be around (at least in my opinion as a woman) . On the other hand, I feel like we are also more likely to have intense fights that last forever over the stupidest things sometimes. May just be my personal experience though.

    Angelina Is

  10. This is great because the common belief is so different. We should all be much kinder to one another.
    XoXo from South Africa

  11. This was so interesting to read. I am so happy you shared this. I am a huge feminist and articles like this just make me really happy. I like that you mentioned that it is not about tearing men down, we are always stronger if we stand together and support each other.

  12. What an interesting study and post. Great read.

    Jenn | Jennifer Jayne

  13. This is such a great post :D I think that there are so many misconceptions when it comes down to who likes who more. It's usually noted that woman are a bit more open with their feelings, but I don't think that because of those few should women be considered to be the bigger 'hater'. I think that women are just much more open about comparing themselves. So people often hear women say "she is so skinny", "why is she so much prettier then me", "Ugh, I hate her she is so pretty". I mean it's like socially unacceptable for men to say "He is so handsome", because then people will start looking at them weird. This plays a big role in why we think women hate other women more then men hate other men. In truth there is no definitive answer, just what's more socially acceptable. I hate that it has to be that way though, I would much rather live in a world where women and men bring each other up and get along great without that whole men vs women thing. I really enjoyed reading this post and will definitely be checking out the article :D Thanks for sharing Brooke and it's great to see you back <3


  14. This is a really neat study. I always enjoy reading anything about girl power and feminism.
    Lovely post!

  15. Hi lovely Brooke, f=great post I am all about encouraging women, #girlpower! Great post dear.
    Glamoury Armory Blog 

  16. Great post Brooke! Never heard of this study before, so nice of you to share it!

    If you have time please take a moment and check out my new blog:
    Have a nice day!

  17. beautifully written, Brooke! thank you for bringing attention to this topic. it was very nice to read, and it's a topic that doesn't get much thanks for sharing!!

  18. This was really uplifting to read. A huge amount of media attention (as well as other forms of course), goes on the disputes and differences between women, when in fact the blogging world alone is a wonderful example of how when given the opportunity, women will do their best to build other women up! Needless to say, there are plenty of exceptions to the rule.. though I like to think they're drowned out by those who are willing to support each other :) Again, this was a wonderfully uplifting post!

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice


  19. I completely agree with this! I feel like women have more of that supportive, sisterhood-like mentality. Obviously you have the occasional women who march to their own tune either disliking woman out of some insecurity or other personal reason, but for the majority woman care more about one another. :)


  20. I'm all about the girl power!! I really don't like it when women don't support each other or make catty unkind comments, I love having lots of female friends and people who can empathise with the same things as me.
    Great post, I really enjoyed reading it!
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose’s Rooftop

  21. Id have to agree 100%! Thanks for sharing. <3

    Kiss Me Darling

  22. This one is a good read brooke. True, it always lies on the stereotyping. I need to commend this post! :)

    Lou |

  23. So awesome! Hope you have a lovely day.

    ** I'm inviting you to join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


  24. This was such a good, interesting post! There will always be some women who dislike other women, but I agree that women are more likely to favour other women. For example in friend groups made up of girls, they are more loving and open with each other, compared to friend groups made up of boys as boys don't show as much loving emotions towards each other.



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