March 31, 2005


Grumpy old men are a myth. It's the women who rage (Lewis Smith, 4/01/05, Times of London)

GRUMPY old men are just a myth. It’s women who are really raging in old age, research indicates.

Far from following the lead of Victor Meldrew, elderly men are calm old buffers who refuse to fly off the handle. Their womenfolk, on the other hand, have been boiling with anger since they were young, a situation that fails to improve with age.

The grumpy old women do score over men in one respect, however; they are much better at hiding their anger.

“Victor Meldrew was the exception and not the rule,” Jane Barnett, of Middlesex University, said in reference to Richard Wilson’s permanently cross character in the hit television show One Foot in the Grave.

She added that the Grumpy Old Women television programme, featuring people such as Janet Street-Porter and Germaine Greer ranting at a succession of irritants, was far better at reflecting reality than its counterpart Grumpy Old Men.[....]

[R]ather than follow the stereotype of male anger and reasonable female calm the women showed themselves to be far crosser than men. Once organised into age brackets it became clear that although men and women showed the same levels of anger aged 18 to 25, their responses sharply diverged as they aged.

By the time they are heading for their 40th birthday men are far less easily angered and the downward trend continues, though not at the same rate, during the ages of 41 to 60. Women’s anger levels remain the same throughout their lives and by the time they collect their pensions they are as aerated as the day they began their careers.

The study backed up previous research indicating that there is a gender difference in what makes people angry.

Men were far more likely to be infuriated by the actions of strangers and inanimate objects while what made women most cross were the people they were closest to. Frustration at failing to meet personal goals was the same for men and women.

Miss Barnett told the conference in Manchester yesterday that more research was needed into why men calm down while women “remain simmering” through the ages.
Do you really need this research when you've got Harvard Faculty meetings you can observe?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 31, 2005 8:24 PM

Hate to admit it, but I think women have much more to bitch about.

Posted by: Genecis at April 1, 2005 8:08 AM

"The crabby young girls of today are the crabby old women of tomorrow!" --- Lucy van Pelt

Posted by: Joseph Hertzlinger at April 1, 2005 10:29 AM

This is because men are the reality based community and all women live in a fantasy world. Men grow calmer as the years go by because they learn to adjust to the world as it is. OTOH, Women get more and more annoyed by the fact that the world does not conform to their fanatasies.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at April 3, 2005 4:34 PM