Women, men, moods, and wavelength

Here’s an engineer’s take on the difference between men and women. I consider myself qualified for this perspective because I’ve been married for 20 years and I have a 14 year old daughter, so, although I’m a man, I have some experience with both sides of the gender coin (that sounds weird, but I’m going to press on).

While both men and women have moods, women are often described as being more emotional. Here is my explanation for this apparent difference.

Let’s consider the sine wave shown in the figure. We can define both the amplitude (or height) and wavelength (or the time to complete one cycle).

Wavelength and amplitude

Wavelength and amplitude

My argument is that the amplitudes of both men’s and women’s emotions are similar, but their wavelengths are very different. [I realize I’m generalizing and there are exceptions to every rule. I’m just making an observation.] The wavelength for women can be measured in hours and days, while it is months or years for men. Due to the shorter wavelength (higher frequency), the peaks and valleys occur closer together for women and they seem more emotional. Men are just as moody; it just takes more time for a cycle to complete (lower frequency). In the following figure, the blue represents a women’s emotions, while the red denotes a man’s.

Blue = women (short wavelength); red = men (long wavelength).

Blue = women (short wavelength); red = men (long wavelength).

Wavelength. It describes everything!

If you’d like to learn how to control your moods, rather than letting your moods control you, check out the Elevation Church sermon series Moodswingers.




About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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