Men and women are different. This statement forms the foundation upon which we seek to construct a new understanding of interpersonal relationships between men and women. We suggest that a greater appreciation and respect for these differences will yield relationships—both platonic and romantic—that preserve the dignity of the human person.
A key difference between men and women are their brains (and one could say too, their minds). Women's brains are 11% smaller in size, though not in intricacy. Man's brains are larger, supposedly evolved to sustain blows to the head. Men's brains are more compartmentalized, while a woman's brain functions more as network, with far more synapses connecting the left brain and right brain. This could explain why women are better at verbalizing emotion as the left brain is associated with speaking and the right brain with emotions. Evolutionary pyschologists also suggest that 99% of genetic inheritance comes from the time when humans were hunters and gatherers. In this way of life, women took control of the foraging, and developed a more finely tuned memory for spatial location. Foraging for plants and vegetation season after season led to the development of a better spatial awareness than men. This still holds true today. As Rhoads points out, think of the many times when a man loses his car keys or cell phone and his wife, sister or daughter was able to find it more quickly than he.
This is just a small sampling of the many examples and experiences that support our belief that men and women are different. Our goal in focusing on sex differences is to shed light on how they impact our interpersonal relationships. Because men and women are different, they generally think differently and act differently. This fact heavily impacts the way males and females relate. To ignore sex differences in relationships is to open wide the door to confusion and misunderstanding; two thieves that rob relationships of the potential to help men and women grow as human beings.