A recent post by Kitsune discussed blogger personality styles. He noted research that revealed that all bloggers are more open to new ideas and creative, but some also may be more neurotic. The observation that female bloggers score high on “neuroticism” needs a closer look.
As a psychologist, blogger, published test author and digger, I am fairly qualified to dig a little deeper. The study uses the five factor model, and two of the three rersearchers who did the cited study are females. The term neuroticism is “old school” in psychology and fell into disfavor many years ago, partly because of gender bias issues. That doesn’t mean the research cited didn’t mean anything, it just says that we need to be careful how we interpret it.
The dimension in question really gets at a tendency to be open to emotions, especially the negative ones. I can believe that female bloggers may be more emotionally available than me (and most of the other male bloggers), and possibly even more vulnerable. But the use of the label “neurotic” has long been used to diminish women and keep them down as second class citizens. Women in general and especially female bloggers are not only first class, but more often than not, they are classier, at least than the male bloggers I have met.
One of the ways women bloggers have a leg up on men is that they are more open to their emotions. Rather than call this “neurotic” why not, instead say women are more interpersonally sensitive?