Forgiveness: much easier for women than men

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Washington, Mar 4 (UNI) Men have a harder time forgiving than women do, a latest research suggests.

Forgiveness might be good for your health and a powerful means to healing, but does not come naturally for both the sexes, according to psychologist Julie Juola Exline from Case Western Reserve University.

A forgiveness-related study conducted on more than 1,400 college students showed gender differences between men and women consistently emerged. When asked whether they recall offenses, men were less vengeful towards people who offended them than women who felt guilty.

Prior studies have shown that men tend to be more vengeful than women, who have been taught from childhood to put themselves 'in the shoes of others,' to be more empathetic, lean toward relationship building and do not emphasize the vengeful side of justice to the degree that men do.

The researchers found that people of both genders are more forgiving when they see themselves as capable of committing a similar action to the offender's, Science Daily reported.

''Offenses are easier to forgive to the extent that they seem small and understandable and when we see ourselves as similar or close to the offender,'' Dr Exline stated.

The study found this ability to identify with the offender and forgive, also happens in intergroup conflicts that was related to forgiveness of the 9/11 terrorists.

''When people could envision their own government committing acts similar to those of the terrorists, they were less vengeful,'' she stressed.

''Citing an example, people were less likely to believe that perpetrators should be killed on the spot or given the death penalty, and were more supportive of negotiations and economic aid,'' she concluded.

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