Women Better at Letting Bygones Be Bygones

Study finds women forgive more easily

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(RxWiki News) According to a new study from the University of the Basque Country, women are more apt to forgive than men, and parents are more likely to forgive than their children.

The study followed 140 participants (parents and children between the ages 45 and 60, and 17 and 25, respectively) and underscored two conditions that must be present in order for a person to be forgiven: The offender must show remorse and, for the person forgiving, he or she must not bear a grudge.

Researchers say familial environment plays a role in establishing ethical values such as empathy and compassion. When families are in crisis, the researchers said, this education is largely transferred to schools.

The children in the study tended to believe that time will be a deciding factor in forgiveness, whereas parents pointed to reasons including remorsefulness and legal justice. Both sets tend to define forgiveness in the same way.

Results were measured using a scale to determine the ability to forgive, and a scale of forgiveness and facilitating factors. Women, moreso than men, were more likely to forgive, according to these measurements.

The study provokes as many questions as it answers, according to the researchers, who believe it is necessary to study the implications of forgiveness for effective psychological treatment in relation to child abuse, physical and psychological maltreatment and marital identity.

Last Updated:
February 21, 2011