Are you a man? Do you want to tap into your creative side in 2015? Then you need to think like a woman! (If you’re a woman the opposite applies).
The pioneering psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi made a fascinating discovery about masculinity while researching his book Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Described by the Brain Pickings website as “one of the most important, insightful, and influential books on creativity ever written”— the book highlights how masculinity and femininity are both at play in the creative mind as the result of a “predisposition to psychological androgyny”.
“In all cultures, men are brought up to be “masculine” and to disregard and repress those aspects of their temperament that the culture regards as “feminine,” whereas women are expected to do the opposite.
“Creative individuals to a certain extent escape this rigid gender role stereotyping. When tests of masculinity/femininity are given to young people, over and over one finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers”
You don’t have to be gay to access your feminine strengths
This tendency to show traits more generally associated with the opposite sex is not linked to sexuality but to our masculinity/femininity. A man can have “feminine” strengths (and a woman can have “masculine” strengths) without being gay or bisexual.
“Psychological androgyny a much wider concept” explains the psychologist “referring to a person’s ability to be at the same time aggressive and nurturant, sensitive and rigid, dominant and submissive, regardless of gender
“A psychologically androgynous person in effect doubles his or her repertoire of responses and can interact with the world in terms of a much richer and varied spectrum of opportunities. It is not surprising that creative individuals are more likely to have not only the strengths of their own gender but those of the other one, too.”
The findings were based on extensive interviews with nearly 100 individuals from various fields who were recognised for their creative thinking.
Creative men are connected to family and environment
“It was obvious that the women artists and scientists tended to be much more assertive, self-confident, and openly aggressive than women are generally brought up to be in our society,” says Csikszentmihalyi.
“Perhaps the most noticeable evidence for the “femininity” of the men in the sample was their great preoccupation with their family and their sensitivity to subtle aspects of the environment that other men are inclined to dismiss as unimportant.
“But despite having these traits that are not usual to their gender, they retained the usual gender-specific traits as well.”
Also on insideMAN:
- How men show love
- What is healthy masculinity?
- It’s time to break the taboo of male vulnerability
- How are men like crabs?
- Eight things that fight club taught us about masculinity
- Are you a masculine or feminine father and which one is best?
- Is your masculinity a product or nature or nurture?
- There are seven types of masculinity, which one are you?