Men Find It Harder to Forgive

A US study has suggested that forgiveness does not come naturally for both sexes, with males finding it harder to forgive than females.

In forgiveness-related studies conducted by the US-based Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, gender differences between men and women consistently emerged.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, condoning or excusing whatever happened. It’s acknowledging and then letting it go, along with the burden of anger and resentment.

An earlier research suggested that forgiveness may be good for ones health as holding a grudge appears to affect the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

Men have a harder time forgiving than women do, according psychologist Julie Juola Exline, who conducted the present study between 1998 and 2005 with more than 1,400 college students.

However, the gender gap closes and men become less vengeful if they develop empathy toward an offender.

“The gender difference is not something that we predicted. We actually got aggravated, because we kept getting it over and over again in our studies,” said Exline.

She said previous studies have suggested that men tend to be more vengeful than women, who have been taught from childhood to put themselves “in the shoes of others” and empathize with them.

The researchers, however, found that both sexes are more forgiving when they see themselves as capable of committing a similar action, the ScienceDaily online said.