Why women has been prepared for multi-tasking and what are the factors that made them do multitasking?

Why women have been prepared for multi-tasking and what are the factors that made them multitask?

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People in general tend to believe that women are better multitaskers than males. Researchers have found that women multitask more than males do, for instance when conducting household chores, despite the fact that there is a paucity of actual evidence to support this. Psychology has established a rather extensive understanding of multitasking over many years of study. Understanding the dangers of multitasking in everyday settings, like using a phone while driving, is extremely relevant. 

“Executive functions,” which include the abilities required for multitasking, have been hypothesized by cognitive scientists and psychiatrists. These functions include task planning, deferring tasks based on urgency and needs (i.e., scheduling), and ignoring information unrelated to the task at hand (also known as “inhibition”).

Why women have been prepared for multitasking

The hunter-gatherer hypothesis (Silverman and Eals 1992) was generalized by Ren and colleagues (2009) to make predictions about the multitasking abilities of men and women. According to the hunter-gatherer theory, both men and women have developed cognitive adaptations to a division of labor between the sexes (i.e., men are optimized for hunting, and women are optimized for gathering). 

They hypothesized that women’s gatherings required to be paired with child care, which might call for more multitasking than carrying out a task without needing to take care of your children. In their study, men and women either completed the Eriksen flanker task alone (the single task condition) or it was followed by another unrelated cognitive decision-making test (i.e., multi-tasking condition). They discovered that women were less influenced than males by the task-irrelevant flankers in the multitasking condition. Therefore, the latter study lends credence to the idea that women are more adept multitaskers.

Factors that make women multitask

Hormones may be a factor in why women are less impacted by interference when performing specific jobs than males. Although there are a number of significant biological distinctions between men and women, our nerve systems' structure and operation appear to be relatively comparable. The prefrontal cortex in the front of the brain, which we believe is employed for both the Stroop task and arm swing, may have something to do with premenopausal women's apparent resistance to interference. Estrogen receptors are very strongly implicated in the presence of this region. The activation of these receptors can alter brain networks and possibly improve prefrontal cortex function when estrogen itself is present.

This may help to explain why younger women, who tend to have higher levels of estrogen than men and older women, appear to be able to process the Stroop task in their left prefrontal cortex without it affecting their ability to swing their arms. The effect of estrogen on the brain in both sexes may be more nuanced than we currently realize because the estrogen receptors are likely also present in a man’s prefrontal cortex.

No gender is better at multitasking

Women are actually no better at multitasking than men, according to a recent study that was published in PLOS One.

The purpose of the study was to see whether women were more adept at switching between activities and handling several things at once. According to the findings, neither of these tasks are performed by women’s brains any more effectively than those of males.

Given that women continue to be overburdened with obligations to their families, careers, and homes, it is critical to use solid research to dispel these kinds of stereotypes.

The practice of completing several distinct tasks quickly is known as multitasking. Compared to finishing a single task in sequence, it necessitates quickly and frequently switching attention from one task to another, increasing the cognitive demand.

This study adds to a growing body of studies demonstrating that the human brain is incapable of handling multiple tasks simultaneously. Multitasking is extremely challenging, especially when two tasks compete for the same area of the brain.

Human brains, however, are adept at switching between tasks fast, giving the impression that a person is multitasking. But the brain only works on one thing at a time.

German researchers have compared the proficiency of 48 men and 48 women in their ability to recognize letters and numbers. Concurrent multitasking, or paying attention to two things at once, was necessary for certain trials, whereas switching between tasks was required in other experiments (called sequential multitasking).

In comparison to a control condition, the researchers evaluated the multitasking experiments’ reaction times and accuracy (performing one task only).

They discovered that multitasking had a significant impact on both men's and women’s ability to complete activities quickly and accurately. The groups did not differ from one another.

According to recent research, Australian males now spend more time than they did in the past performing household tasks, although women still complete the great bulk of these tasks.

Over time, working Australian women have experienced an increase in the overall amount of time they spend on work and family-related activities, with breadwinner mothers spending four hours more per week on these activities than breadwinner fathers.

As a result, working mothers must coordinate birthday parties, child drop-offs, and ballet lessons in addition to their usual jobs, commutes, and careers.

According to a recent study, mothers are more time-constrained and report having worse mental health than fathers. We discovered that having a child makes parents more likely to report feeling rushed or under pressure, but the effect is twice as strong for moms as it is for fathers.

Second children increase the time demands on moms even more and, as a result, worsen their mental health.

When children are born or the obligations of family life increase, women are likewise more likely to leave paid employment. They have to organize the needs of the family, which adds to their mental load.

Women are also expected to juggle work and family obligations at night. The likelihood of a child disturbing their mother’s sleep is higher than that of their father.

There are still gender discrepancies in many significant areas of work and family life, despite the fact that gender roles are shifting and more men than ever before are taking on housework and childcare responsibilities.

These include the distribution of household chores, the income difference, and the preponderance of women in leadership roles.

As a result, mothers are expected to “do it all” due to the multitasking myth. However, this responsibility may have an impact on women’s mental health and ability to perform at a high level at work.


The widespread belief is that women are more naturally equipped to multitask than men. However, as this study demonstrates, there is no proof to back up this myth. This implies that the additional family work women do is just that—additional work. This labor needs to be categorized, discussed, and then equally allocated throughout the family. Today, more men than ever before are committed to co-parenting, equal sharing, and gender equality.

We need to bust these beliefs at the office as well as the home. The distribution of administrative responsibilities may be influenced by the notion that women are better multitaskers. It is inappropriate to assign tasks like organizing meetings and taking minutes depending on a person’s gender.

Women require accessible, high-quality, and affordable childcare. In order to share in this labor, men also need access to flexible work schedules, parental leave, and daycare, as well as protections to guarantee they won’t be penalized for taking time off to help out.

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