Fragile Ego - Handle With Care: New Study Reveals Gender And Age Differences In Self-Esteem

Queendom uncovers interesting gender and age differences when it comes to how we feel about ourselves.

MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- October 15, 2010, one of the web's foremost sources of personality, career, and IQ assessments, unveils interesting results of their popular Self-Esteem Test. Men and women and people of different age groups seem to differ as to how much value they would put on their personal price tag.

No matter how much we criticize others, point out their mistakes or mock them, we are still our own worst enemy. We beat ourselves up for every mistake and failure. Even those who take pleasure in finding fault in others are almost always seeking to punish what they hate so much in themselves. Nothing runs deeper than the pain of not loving ourselves. Low self-esteem is like the little pig's house of straw: one blow to our ego and it all comes crashing down.

Building up our self-esteem is lifelong process. If we're lucky, our parents will set us up on the right foundation by praising our accomplishments, patting us on the back because we tried our best, believing in us, and being positive role models. Even with a good start, though, there's plenty of bumping and bruising along the way, and a constant need to prove ourselves worthy. High school, making friends, all the way to our first job interview is like walking a gauntlet. Every time we stumble, we must pick up the pieces and rebuild our sense of self. analyzed data from nearly 13,000 test-takers to obtain a clearer picture of how we see ourselves. Statistics reveal an average score of 61 on self-esteem (on a scale from 0-100), indicating that most of us are still in that rebuilding process, but generally feel fairly good about ourselves. Five different aspects of self-esteem were assessed, including Feeling of Inadequacy, Sense of Self-Worth, Need for Approval, Unrealistic Self-Expectations, and Sense of Social Acceptance. While gender differences were actually quite small,'s results do reveal that women slightly, but significantly, outscored men on Need for Approval (score of 45 vs. 42) and Sense of Social Acceptance (63 vs. 62), and men marginally outscored women on Unrealistic Self-expectations (38 vs. 37).

Age differences were quite surprising. Those between the ages of 18-24 and 40+ showed the highest self-esteem (64 and 65 respectively) as well as a greater sense of self-worth (67 for both groups) and social acceptance (65 and 67 respectively). Need for approval dropped after age 40, as did unrealistic self-expectations. Feeling of inadequacy, however, was highest for those below 17 (score of 42), and then peaked again between the ages of 25-40.

"It just comes to show that self-esteem, while changeable, can indeed be improved, no matter where you are in the lifespan," explains Dr. Jerabek, president of the company. "Between the ages of 18-24, we've survived the rites of passage of the teenage years and have solidified our identity. We're rejuvenated, and excited to start a new and better chapter of our lives. As time passes and we find ourselves having to prove our worth once again as new employees, spouses, and parents, our self-esteem can take a bit of hit," theorizes Dr. Jerabek. "But by age 40, we're pretty much settled with who we are, more flexible and compassionate with ourselves, and thankfully, less nitpicky. That's something to look forward to!"

High self-esteem really does have its benefits.'s data reveals that those with high self-esteem enjoy higher grades in school, higher salaries ($75, 000+ USD), and tend to be better performers at work. Those with low self-esteem, on the other hand, are shown to criticize themselves frequently, get discouraged easily, worry constantly about whether their loved ones still care about them, and are more likely to feel depressed. Makes improving our self-esteem a worthy endeavor, doesn't it?

"Self-esteem isn't one of those words that psychologists toss around for nothing. It really is at the root of many of the false, hurtful self-beliefs we have, like 'I am not good enough', 'I will never be a success', and 'I don't deserve this'. And the longer these self-beliefs go unchallenged, the deeper they'll set it. This is why we say that rebuilding self-esteem can be a long process - it takes time to dig up those negative self-beliefs, and replace them with fresher, more positive views of ourselves."

    Other interesting tidbits revealed by's data:
  • 13% of test-takers said that they are uncomfortable admitting mistakes.
  • 16% feel that being themselves will only guarantee that others will dislike them.
  • 19% bring up their accomplishments during conversations.
  • 24% try to change their personality, opinions, or appearance in order to be accepted by others.
  • 25% believe that others consider them boring to talk to.
  • 31% believe that being good-looking and successful is the only way to attain respect.
  • 35% feel that they fall short of their own expectations.
  • 33% feel that most people around them have a better life than they do.
  • 35% believe that if someone falls in love with them, they would need to do their best to prove themselves worthy, as it is unlikely that it will ever happen again.
  • 35% acutely fear rejection.
  • 37% avoid arguments so that others won't be angry or hate them.

Those who wish to take the Self-Esteem Test and learn more about how they deal with stress can go to

About is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About Psychtests AIM Inc.
Psychtests originally appeared on the internet scene in 1997. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. Psychtests staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. Psychtests was founded and is led by Dr. Ilona Jerabek, a specialist in the field of psychometric assessments and Vrat Jerabek Ph. D., a researcher and authority in the field of artificial intelligence.

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
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