Men And Women Dream Very Differently, Study Reveals

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Psychology News

Dr. Jennie Parker, in her Ph.D. thesis at the University of the West of England, gave an interesting insight into the gender difference in nightmares. She revealed that women have more nightmares than men.

The Study

Dr. Parker invited 100 women and 93 men, aged 18–25 years, to fill out a structured dream diary. The participants were primed to record their dreams before the dreams happened. The data was analyzed by taking into account factors like emblem dreams, the role of emotions in dreams, sexual content in dreams, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that men and women dream very differently. Women tend to experience more nightmares and more emotionally intense dreams than men. These nightmares can be broadly categorized into three types: fearful dreams, death-related dreams, and confused dreams.

It was also found that, in comparison to men, women experience more “unpleasant dreams” containing misfortune, self-negativity, and failures. Dr. Parker elaborated that “women’s dreams contained more family members, more negative emotion, more indoor settings and less physical aggression than men’s dreams”.

In comparison to women, men also appeared to have more dreams related to sexual activity. While women’s dreams were restricted to kissing and light intimate fantasies, men’s dreams reported actual intercourse. However, when it came to dreaming about friendly behavior, men and women reported similar pleasant dreams.

Significance Of The Research

Dr. Parker hoped that the study will have far-reaching implications for Dream Research. The findings can help formulate interventions linked to trauma- or stress-related dreaming and potential mental disorders.

To Know More You May Relate To

University of the West of England. (2009, January 30). Women Have More Nightmares Than Men, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 29, 2022 from

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