Well, score one for the stereotypes: men really do forget more than women. Fortunately, not by much more.
A study published in BMC Psychology found that men do forget things more often than women, but the effect isn’t enough to brag about. Researchers used data from HUNT3, which is one of the largest longitudinal studies ever performed, with 48,000 people. It covers everything from cardiac to lung health, and one of the things they studied was memory problems. Researchers asked nine questions related to memory during regular check-ups, including how often subjects had problems remembering things, whether they could remember names and dates, and how well they remembered details from conversations.
In eight of nine areas, men performed worse than women, especially remembering names (89.7% of men reported trouble, versus 86.5% of women) and dates (74.9% of men, versus 64.7% of women). That said, though the differences exist, they are fairly small.
Three other things were found to affect memory: aging had a negative affect on memory, as did anxiety and depression, but a higher education had a positive affect on memory.
Our advice? Get a platonic female friend and have her remember all your important dates. Chances are, she’ll be good at it.