Name: The confidence gap.
Between? Men and women, obvs.
Ah, that old chestnut. It is old, right? Age: Since the very beginning.
Genesis? You better Adam’n’Eve it. Unless you don’t, and perhaps believe in something else, such as science.
Hang on, though, wasn’t it Eve who had the cojones to take a bite out of the apple first? Well, yes, but I’m not sure that story is really about confidence and gender.
But this is, so there are other, better examples, right? Er, yes. Look around you, your work, your family, public life, isn’t it obvious? And it’s not just anecdotal; countless studies have found that men overestimate their abilities and performance, while women underestimate both.
Isn’t that because men are better … Joke! Not funny. Not true. They might (do) think they are, but performances do not differ in quality.
And this being Pass notes, there’s going to be an interesting newsworthy example, isn’t there? What is it this time, that men are more confident about? Aliens. Specifically, meeting them.
Of course it is. Go on then, tell us all about it. A new Oxford University study has found that men are much more likely than women to want to have a close encounter with an extraterrestrial. Two-thirds of men compared with less than half of women. The researchers themselves reflect the difference: astrophysicist Dr Peter Hatfield would be up for reaching out; legal ethics expert Dr Leah Trueblood is not so sure.
Ugh, reach out. I hate that expression. Yeah, but that is what you literally do with aliens. Have you not seen ET?
Is Hatfield’s confidence because, being a scientist, he knows there is nothing out there, so he can puff out his chest and display a bit of manly braggadocio? Well, he reckons the chance of making contact with life beyond this planet in the next 100 years is about 10%. Mankind – humankind – needs to be prepared.
Could the gap also have something to do with the fact that men are more likely to be idiots? Also possible.
Anything else in the survey? If aliens do show up, then there shouldn’t be a referendum to decide on how humans should proceed.
God no. And imagine what Farage and his lot would say. Let’s keep him out of this.
What about the aliens, would it be the little green men coming bounding down the ladder/beam/whatever while the little green women stayed inside? They didn’t take part in the survey, mainly because of existential uncertainty.
Do say: “Hello! Welcome!”
Don’t say: “Put the kettle on, love, we’ve got visitors.”
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