THE BLOG
02/17/2014 10:50 am ET Updated Apr 19, 2014

Men Dream of Mars, Women Dream of Venus: How Men and Women Dream Differently

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By Suzanne Bergmann via DreamsCloud

Studies and surveys have found that men and women dream differently, although we are not worlds apart either. Is this surprising?

As we embark upon our quest to understand the opposite sex, we may have noticed that the opposite sex is not only biologically different from us, but they also have a different experience within society. Therefore, it stands to reason that they likely think, feel and perhaps dream differently than us.

Tapping into the dreams of the opposite sex may help us to understand how they really tick. What is really on their minds? How do they really feel? What is important to them? What do they like? What do they hate? Dreams can provide us with a lot of insight into the inner workings of the mind, heart and soul.

Study after study, survey after survey, we are finding similar themes amongst the dreams of men and similar themes amongst the dreams of women.

For instance, women may have a tendency to dream of emotions, relationships, and family members. In contrast, men may have a tendency to dream of violence, strangers, cars, and sex with unknown partners.

Not only is the content of our dreams different, but how we perceive and regard our dreams varies as well. Women tend to recall more details of their dreams and regard them as more important, on average, than most men might. Women are also more likely to share, record, and discuss their dreams with others. Additionally, women are more likely to define a dream as being a nightmare and are more likely than men to seek out dream interpretation and/or use a dream dictionary to help them to understand the meaning of their dreams.

Although men are sometimes more likely to dream of physical aggression, women are often more likely to dream of verbal aggression. Research has also indicated that women dream of work more often now than in previous years -- undoubtedly a reflection of the times.

Both men and women dream of work; however, men tend to dream of success or monotony, while women tend to dream of the challenges of balancing home and work, as well as emotional expression within the workplace.

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So, Why Do Men and Women Dream Differently?

There are differences in the way men and women think, express feelings, perceive feelings, and participate in the world. The reason for these differences could be socialization, or could be biological. The correct answer is likely a combination of the two.

Since some women can tend to gain their self-esteem from relationships and some men can tend to gain their self-esteem from their performance within the world, it makes sense that women may dream of relationships more often and men dream of achievement more often.

Of course, we are generalizing a little and should to be careful to avoid inadvertently falling into gender-based stereotypes about dreaming.

We all have different degrees of masculine and feminine traits. People can dream similarly or differently, regardless of sex or gender identity.

Similarities and differences in dreaming style usually have more to do with a person's background, personality traits, levels of introversion and/or extroversion, cultural environment, belief system, and worldview, than to do with an individual's sex.

Men Tend to Dream Of:

  • Strangers, success or failure
  • Sex with unknown partners
  • Physical aggression
  • Cars and roads
  • Violence
  • Shorter dreams
  • Less color
  • Competition

Women Tend to Dream Of:

  • Family members, relationships
  • Kissing, flirting with someone, or sex with someone known to the woman
  • Verbal aggression
  • Emotional expression
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Longer dreams
  • More color
  • Conversation

It is an exciting time to be interested in dreams. More and more studies are focused on answering questions we would love to know the answers to, including how differently men and women may dream.

Research can reinforce what we already knew or show us what we haven't considered. When it comes to dreams, we are learning that gender is just one influence on dreams and culture, age, and life experience may have a stronger influence on dreams.

How about you? Have you had dreams that fall within the emotional and/or societal experiences of your particular gender?

DreamsCloud is a place to log and share your dreams, keep an online dream journal, learn more about dream meanings and receive professional dream reflections. They offer a free app for iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry devices, in addition to a Facebook app.

About Reflections: DreamsCloud is of the belief that only the dreamers can truly know the meaning of their dream and that no other person can provide definitive dream interpretation. Upon the user's request, Dreams Cloud Reflectors provide insightful feedback, gleaned from years of study in the dreams field, to help the user to better understand their dreams. DreamsCloud reflections are not a substitute for psychotherapy or other professional treatment and should not be used as such.

Blog author Suzanne Bergmann, is a Licensed Social Worker with a strong interest in dreamwork and dream revision therapy. Suzanne has studied dreams over the last 16 years and has published numerous articles on the topic of dreams and dream interpretation. Suzanne is also part of the experienced team of dream reflectors at DreamsCloud, providing feedback and insight for dreams submitted by users worldwide.