There are many things that separate us as men and women, as much as we’d like to believe we are the same in every way, we’re not! Men and women in the United States exist under different social conditioning factors, social and personal expectations and have different physical and biological differences, etc. Our very own (and favorite) dream researcher Robert Van de Castle published a study in 1994 that notes that children as young as three years old have dreams that differ by their sex.
The study found that until children are around 12 years old, they have similar rates of aggression and violence in their dreams. Following puberty, girls’ dreams begin to focus more on emotions, talking and physical appearance, while boys’ dreams continue to focuson aggressive characters. In fact, another study done by Calvin Hall noted that approximately 25% of figures in men and boys’ dreams are aggressive figures. These differences can be attributed to the societal and personal differences between men and woman (boys and girls) as they mature. As many researchers agree, our dreams are derived from the experiences and thoughts acquired during the previous day. If a man encounters more aggression in his day-to-day life, he is more likely to dream about aggressive figures.
What is so interesting is that these trends continue to increase as men and women age. Adult females have more nightmares than men on the whole while men dream more about sex than women do. Additionally, other studies have found that women’s dreams more often occur in familiar settings such as home or the workplace whereas men’s dreams more frequently take place outdoors or in an unfamiliar place.
If you’re interested in conducting your own study of this sort, suggest to your other-sex partner that he or she record their dreams in a dream journal for a month. After a month, go through the dreams and see if you can spot any differences as have been suggested by these studies.