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Women Are Better At Multitasking Myth

How has it become generally accepted by society that women are better at multitasking?

If men are truly poor at multitasking then we had better get them out of careers such as air traffic control.

There is no conclusive research to show that either men or women are better at multitasking.

Ultimately, the most common justification for this assertion is not any credible research but the simple explanation that women are more accustomed to performing multiple tasks in and around the home – such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, taking care of children and planning for the family. What self-respecting researcher would use this as an determining factor? It seems more likely to be feminist propaganda to make another ‘women are superior’ claim.

If domestic prowess is a valid explanation then surely the logical conclusion would be to encourage more women to do what they do best – in this case it would mean encouraging more women into these complex multi-tasking domestic roles and leave the single-minded focus careers, such as engineering, to men.

Personally, I don’t believe that there is a gender predisposition making either men or women better than the other at multitasking. I can simply think of too many men and women who are good at multitasking and many other men and women who are poor at multitasking. If there is credible research with a clear conclusion then I have been unable to find it. If someone knows about any such research then please feel free to enlighten us in the Comments section below.

UPDATE: New study refutes this myth. It finds, if anything, that women are actually less likely to multitask than men.

{ 17 comments }

Nik May 27, 2014 at 6:57 pm

The notion that women multitask better sounds ridiculous to me. But more importantly, there is really no such thing as multitasking. It’s an illusion. A person can only pay attention to one thing at one time. Multitasking is nothing more than switching quickly between tasks, back and forth and back again. Every time you switch there is a loss of efficiency as you disengage from one task and pick up the thread on the other task. Men and women both would get more done and get it done better, if they stuck with one task until it was finished, before moving onto the next. This may not be possible much of the time, but when it is possible, that’s the way to go.

R S Lang March 6, 2014 at 1:29 am

I never believed all these ridiculous myths about women. Not only multitasking , but also spelling, reading, empathy, compassion, sympathy, language and foreign language. It’s an awful load to apply to one gender. It’s especially ludicrous, when one considers all the variations in individual abilities. I was always great in high math , but terrible at foreign language.

This nonsense has also effected American women’s choices in college. We American women are way behind other women in STEM and math in general. When will the American media ever stop forcing these myths, so we can all live in peace and stop the battle of the sexes forever.

If we are to be a free country, let’s start with honoring the individual and not judge anyone by their gender.

faewawefawef June 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

when you do multitasking, you will be less effectively at doing them. Women force themselves to multitasking while ignoring that it may be harmful, slower, dangerous.. Such as if you drive, chat, sms at the same time, it’s dangerous. Becoz women like to do that so it may seem women are better at multitasking. But neither is better at multitasking, it’s just the proper time to do multitasking is considered smart.

masterblaster February 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

you retard, you realize you just based your entire point on saying that men do not like to multitask, which is entirely untrue.

Man September 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm

It’s a myth. If multitasking were to be that more prominent in women than men, then women would indeed be the lesser gender biologically and psychologically. Not only that but women’s hormones are constatnly fluctuating, and don’t settle down until they reach their 30s, a lot of them will weigh out decisions based on emotion, not reason.

With this being said, wouldn’t the myth of multitasking result in replacing such a fact? Sure, a woman will cook dinner, clean the kitchen, and tidy up the bedroom all while talking on the phone. But guess what ladies, men do it just as efficiently as women do. It’s just that men aren’t caught doing such acts because instinctively they are hunters, not gatherers. This is why females (gatherers) are caught multitasking more often than men, and THAT is why women think they are better multitaskers than men.

“Women aren’t better at multitasking than men are, it’s a myth.” Most females reading that quote would probably become offended, while refusing to show the facts, but instead explaining their [personal experiences] with multitasking. Well if one were to do that, then the other could as well. In other words, personal experience of multitasking isn’t proof that one gender is better than their opposite at multitasking.

Like that other guy said as well, multitasking isn’t an advantage of any sort, unless the situation forces you to work quicker. But even so, it’s the individual and their logic and useage of multitasking.

So girls, please… Do not brag about female multitasking is better than male multitasking, because it is a myth. And it is typical for every human to multitask, but like I said before… [It's the individual and their logic] and useage of multitasking.

Adam September 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Women are better at multitasking than men because male and female brains are hardwired differently. It’s scientifically proven that more women than men are better at multitasking, although one can always become a “better” multitasker through practice.

Personally, I haven’t really seen any females who were better at multitasking than I am. It does in fact though, come down to the individual, what process of tasks they choose to do in what order, and their natural ability. -all in all multitasking is ineed just switching between two or more things one after the other.

School grades are weighted so that women don’t lag behind in any academics. Of crouse it is a known fact that more females than males attend universities in their lifetimes, because of the job fields that are targeted to women vs the ones toward men. For example construction is mainly targeted toward men, whereas gradeschool teaching is toward women. If multitasking were any sort of advantage, such as physical strength is, then both men and women would have about equal the amount, because multitasking isn’t a physical feature, it’s a mental process to which tasks get done in which order by choice or instinct. — Multitasking is typical.

In Conclusion:
Generally multitasking isn’t an advantage (although it will be needed at times), because more times than none does it result in mediocre, or average results. Females are in fact [naturally] better at multitasking than males, but there really is no advantage of females being better at multitasking through ratio.

masterblaster February 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Actually, if you look at any studies, such as multitasking tests and the results, you will find that men come out better on average at the various types of multitasks. I partook in such a test and scored close to 100% accuracy. Your entire opening paragraph isn’t even your own — that’s the standard fare you read on many sites. It’s funny you undercut yourself right away when you say you don’t know women who are better at it than you, but you started out quoting that women are better. So which is it?

Your conclusion is also not your own, because common (web) literature states that multitasking is not an advantage. But it sure the hell is. If you are cooking a meal, you will finish it way faster than if you focus on each individual part. In fact, if you task focus, part of your meal will be cold while you are doing the other part. In this sense, the outcome of multitasking is greater than not multitasking.

The only way your multiple tasks will suffer is if you are trying to take on more tasks than you can comfortably manage. You’ll know you are at this limit when you feel your brain start to hurt from the concentration.

Some complete morons whom I shall not name and are not present here believe that ‘multitasking’ only encompasses doing completely different things at once, like playing guitar while cooking, or working on your computer while reading a book, or doing laundry while masturbating. Said morons refuse to realize that multitasking takes place more so in the brain than in the physical world. Compare it to multithreading in computer terms. You can be driving and thinking about your daily plan, or about someone, and that is multitasking. You know this especially when you stop your daydream to realize you don’t really remember the past several minutes of your drive. Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over our subconscious, so this truer form of multitasking is limited to specific cirucumstances.

You can also say with accuracy that there is no such thing as true (conscious) multitasking. As in, multitasking is simply focusing on one task at a time, but in rapid enough succession to give an appearance of doing multiple things at once, when really, it is more like a mental juggling act and not true concurrency. There is only one instance of your mind, after all.

The real answer is that although there may be a slight statistical bias, individuality will ultimately determine whether one is adept at multitasking or not, regardless of gender. There must also be considered that some people are more adept at certain types of multitasking than others. Women might be better at social multitasking, for instance, because they tend to be more empathic and ‘in tune’ with that kind of thing, while men might be better at strategic multitasking, because men are wired to be more ‘in tune’ with that stuff. But there’s always overlap; some women have a disposition that is closer to a guy than a stereotypical girl, and vice versa. Some girls I’ve known couldn’t multitask to save their life. Same with guys. Same with me. When you deal with the human element, there’s a lot of fluctuation and not much is really set in stone. Existentially speaking, if your spirit were put into a female body, or a man’s body for the ladies, imagine what that would be like. Would you still be you? Please stop touching yourself… I know it’s fascinating. You’d really believe you would be the same person, right? Perhaps a little more emotional, perhaps a little more stoic, but essentially you. What I’m suggesting is that human spirit trumps gender distinctions. The distinctions help define, but the quality is essentially the same.

Anyway, I’ve waxed existential, my clue that it’s time to call it quits.

R S Lang March 6, 2014 at 1:38 am

I tried multitasking and failed. It’s a myth that needs to go. Also the enter “brains are wired differently ” myth, has to go as well, if we are to function fully as a society. I’m tired of hearing how women “can’t read maps” or ” have less spatial ability” . This keeps women out of the good jobs, because its so engrained in our society, that young women skip math and science for the soft majors.

As a woman , I’m sick of hearing how I’m supposed to be good at this
possible tasking, merely because I’m female. It’s a prison for women, these myths and they need to stop.

Darren Cutley September 8, 2011 at 7:09 am

By now, all sensible people should be very suspicious of all feminist propaganda from the 60s and 70s, that for years nobody scientifically researched for reasons of political correctness, whether it be pain thresholds (we now know women have only two-thirds the pain threshold of men) or even driving skills (women have more accidents per person but their accidents are cheaper). It’s the same with multitasking. Many people don’t seem to realize that there different kinds of multitasking, all quite diifferent. It’s possible to be good at one kind but rotten at the others. For example, in the Guinness book of records the best physical mutitaskers (e.g. those who can play the most instruments simultaneously, or who can juggle the most balls) are unlikely to match the best mental multitaskers (e.g. those who can play the most games of chess simultaneously). But in both these areas, men rule. NO woman holds a single record there. If any diehard feminist thinks that it’s because only men try for such records, then consider juggling, which many women do in circus acts like men, and the difference in the maximum number of balls juggled by male and female jugglers. NO woman holds a world record, which they should do if they supposedly were such fantastic multitaskers. After all, a favourite feminist metaphor is about how women rule because they have to ‘juggle’ so many tasks…pretty hilarious when considering the reality of the situation!
Multitasking is NOT just the ability to handle housework and the baby at the same time. This is because these tasks are seldom done simultaneously, but rather consecutively. Going by the Guiness book of records, men would be better at for example, simultaneously doing the vaccuum cleaning while washing the dishes.
One skill women do have, though, is the ability to continue doing anything while they are talking, that is, communicative multitasking. Unfortunately, this rather restricted skill has been blown out of all proportion, which will mean more embarrassing back-pedalling by feminist organizaions in the future, as with the pain threshold story. The moral is that bragging and boasting about one’s skills never leads to anything positive, and the only thing worse than a bragger is the kind that is later found to have been bragging about something non-existent…

Gordius August 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Generally, I’ve observed that the women who pride themselves in multi-tasking are really multi-task starting, but not multi-task finishing. If they do finish one or two of the “multi-tasks” they start, these tasks won’t be done as well nor as timely as the man who starts just one task and carries it through to on-time completion. It was a woman who coined the phrase, “with a lick and a promise” when faced with a project involving multi-tasks..
I will admit though, the women who adopt the man’s way of accomplishing a task, (i.e. start it and bring a single purpose concentration to bear on getting it done correctly and on time) will do just as well.
For those women who are unfamiliar with this method, it is called FOCUS.
We men excel in this trait naturally.

Human July 11, 2011 at 11:43 pm

It’s like in highschool how grades are measured on average and and weighted to make females look better in some areas than males. There is no proof, it’s just people attempting to make females look better than males in some areas. If females are physically less stronger than males, it’s not bad thing until someone comes up and says “yeah so.”

midfull January 18, 2011 at 12:20 am

What dsdas said about guys having no life, because of their obsession with winning over others, is further supported by this blog. To cement this concept of “the battle between the sexes” is having the opposite effect of what you (the author) are intending to do, i.e. critize über-feministic propaganda.

dsdas November 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

truth is, no one truly multitasks. Females seem more able to multitask cos’ they are not too obsessed and its true that you don’t have to be over focused and put ur soul on things to do decent. Males might do a particular job better but they will sacrifice their other skills.

dsdas November 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

another thing is that guys won’t ever admit that they have no life when they keep on thinking of how to win others in a particular area. they are not as honest.

dsdas November 25, 2010 at 10:25 am

It is because men are too obsessed with winning and competition that they can only be a no-lifer and think about a single stuff the whole day. I am a man and i know this is true for most of them. Women on the other hand are allowed to make mistakes and thus not as competitive and scared to lose, hence generally more relaxed and only focus on what is given to them on that point of them, thus they seem to be able to do more stuffs per day better.

Sha November 24, 2010 at 1:46 pm

YOUR ABSOLUTELY RIGHT BRO!!
ITS A MYTH a false believe that women have created in out minds,..
just like Patriarchy,.. which never existed !!!

RT September 27, 2010 at 10:12 am

You are right, it is a myth. Firstly no one can really multi-task, they can “attempt” to multi-task but really they are doing one thing at a time only going back and forth from these things in small increments of time. This is just not the way to effeciently do tasks, and frankly it is bad on the nerves especially in this day and age where we have so much information coming at us. Anyway here’s a little link http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2006/09/the-multi-tasking-myth.html.
So I say don’t try to multi-task no matter what your gender.

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