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Men Remember Bad—and Arousing—Times Better Than Women

Illustration for article titled Men Remember Bad—and Arousing—Times Better Than Women

Do you remember your first break-up in great detail? Maybe sex from the other month? Or, most vividly, the really bad sex from last year? Turns out, men remember unpleasant and sexual experiences far more accurately than women.


A study conducted at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Montreal investigated the links between how emotionally provocative events are, and how well they're remembered. The research is published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology.

To test it, participants were shown a range of photographs, ranging from crying babies, through war and cuddly kittens, to porn. Then later, they were shown similar images and had to try and recall if they'd seen any before. Speed and accuracy of recollection, along with EEG results, were tied up with how accurately the memories were stored.


The results? Women seem to have a clearer memory of attractive experiences than men — so your girlfriend probably remembers the honeymoon period of your relationship in fine detail. On the flip side, men remember events that are unpleasant or, uh, arousing best. Presumably — hopefully — the two don't come combined that often. But that awful, awful sex from last year, where she was crying? Yeah, that's firmly etched into your mind, but not hers.

Sounds like a perfectly balanced relationship. Roll on Valentine's Day! [International Journal of Psychophysiology via Science Daily; Image: KellyB]

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Men have higher rates of stress related mental disorders too. I wonder if there's a connection.

Broad sweeping generalization incoming: Despite this, women seem perfectly adept at remembering everything you've done wrong at exactly the moment they want to -_-