The May 2014 issue of The Atlantic magazine had an article by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman titled The Confidence Gap (Evidence shows that women are less self-assured than men - and that to succeed, confidence matters as much as competence. Here’s why and what to do about it).
In my last post I discussed data on Not Afraid at All (fearless) from a YouGov survey on US fears reported in 2014. (There also was one done in Britain). Now let’s look at gender differences in both surveys. Being fearless is clearly related to being confident.
As shown above for the US survey in a bar chart, for all 13 situations more men than women were not afraid. (Click on the chart to see a larger, clearer view). On average 11% more men than women were fearless. The largest difference was 25% for mice; the smallest was 4% for dogs. For public speaking 29% of men and 16% of women were fearless, a fearlessness gap of 13%.
Another bar chart presents results for the British survey. For 11 of 13 situations more men than women were not afraid. For both blood and needles women were just 2% more fearless than men. On average 9.6% more men than women were fearless. The largest difference was 19% for mice (again). For public speaking 26% of men and 14% of women were fearless, a fearlessness gap of 12%.
What is new about these two surveys is that there were several levels of fear. When they are looked for gender differences have appeared in earlier surveys with yes-no questions, like the 2001 Gallup poll results shown in the above chart. For 12 of 13 situations more men than women were not afraid. The exception was Going to the doctor where 92% of women and 89% of men were not afraid. The largest difference was 27% for mice (yet again).