It's National Singles Week, Time for Women and Men to Flex their EQs

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Move over marrieds. September 17-23, National Unmarried and Singles Week, celebrates the lives and contributions of the 89.8 million mate-free American men and women now approaching majority status in the United States. However, if a recent Yahoo survey is to be believed, 8 out of 10 singles are "seriously looking" for a companion. These same busy singles prefer to wait for Ms. or Mr. Right, of course. Fortunately, finding compatible partners just got easier, thanks to Professor Simon Baron-Cohen's Empathizing-Systemizing theory and the website that lets surfers measure their own empathizing (EQ) and systematizing (SQ) quotients.

48.5 million unmarried women and 41.4 million single men about to be honored with their own week celebrating their unmarried status. National Singles Week will drive home the recent U.S. Census Bureau statistic that 41 percent of Americans age 18 and older are unmarried.

Despite the desire to find a mate, these singles seem unlikely to indulge in “courting” to change this status. In a world of dating services, online flirtation, speed dating, and just hanging out with friends, traditional dating is rapidly becoming a social dinosaur, or at least an endangered species. In fact, one in three rarely dates (in the traditional sense) at all. But why?

These busy stay-at-homes possibly have low empathizing quotients (EQs), since empathizers tend to seek out social contact. Perhaps Americans are becoming a nation of systemizers. The trait, which has been observed in male infants, seems to have a biological rather than merely cultural basis. Whatever the reason, the number of single women and men has tripled since 1970, but there is hope on the horizon.

Most people can "empathize, demonstrate greater flexibility, and think in terms of contingencies", says Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, the father of EQ SQ theory. These qualities characterize the "female brain" and those with high EQ scores. By contrast, systemizers with high SQ scores "apply rules, and think in terms of event regularities," say Baron-Cohen, John Lawson and Sally Wheelwright.

The assumption that "birds of a feather flock together" has deep roots in American culture. But so does the magnetic idea that "opposites attract." If you’re an empathizer who needs an organizing influence, or a systemizer who needs to learn how to relax, devotees of either theory can find their mirrors or their magnets by taking a simple online personality quiz at centers on the Empathizing-Systemizing theory of the male brain versus the female brain types. The tests were developed by professors Simon Baron-Cohen and Sally Wheelwright at the University of Cambridge, England. Systemizers and empathizers can find information and resources around education, educational programs, and career choices.


Katrina Boydon, Editor in Chief



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