Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus

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First edition
Author John Gray
Country United States
Language English
Genre non-fiction, relationships, psychology, self-help
Publisher HarperCollins
Publication date
January 1, 1992
Media type Hardcover
Pages 286
ISBN 9780060574215

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992[1]) is a book written by American author and relationship counselor John Gray, after he had earned degrees in meditation and taken a correspondence course in psychology. The book states that most common relationship problems between men and women are a result of fundamental psychological differences between the sexes, which the author exemplifies by means of its eponymous metaphor: that men and women are from distinct planets—men from Mars and women from Venus—and that each sex is acclimated to its own planet's society and customs, but not to those of the other. One example is men's complaint that if they offer solutions to problems that women bring up in conversation, the women are not necessarily interested in solving those problems, but mainly want to talk about them. The book asserts each sex can be understood in terms of distinct ways they respond to stress and stressful situations.

The book has sold more than 50 million copies and, according to CNN, it was the "highest ranked work of non-fiction" of the 1990s,[2] spending 121 weeks on the bestseller list. The book and its central metaphor have become a part of popular culture and the foundation for the author's subsequent books, recordings, seminars, theme vacations, one-man Broadway show, TV sitcom, workout videos, a podcast, men's and ladies' apparel lines, fragrances, travel guides and his-and-hers salad dressings.



The book has sold more than 50 million copies, and according to a 1997 report by the book's publisher, HarperCollins, it is the all-time best-selling hardcover nonfiction book.[3]

The book has become a “popular paradigm” for problems in relationships based on the different tendencies in each gender and has spawned infomercials, audiotapes and videotapes, weekend seminars, theme vacations, a one-man Broadway show, a TV sitcom, and a proposed movie topic with 20th Century Fox.[4][5][6] The book has recently been turned into a successful stage show in France, where it has been running for six years in Paris. There is currently an English version on tour in the UK.[7]

Criticism of the book[edit]

The book has been criticized for placing human psychology into stereotypes.[8][9][10][11][12]

Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stony Brook University, makes the assertion that men and women are not fundamentally different, contrary to what Gray suggests in his book. In Kimmel's 2008 lecture at Middlebury College in Vermont, titled "Venus, Mars, or Planet Earth? Women and Men in a New Millennium", Kimmel contends that the perceived differences between men and women are ultimately a social construction, and that socially and politically, men and women want the same things.[13]

In 2002, author Julia T. Wood published a critical response to the portrayal of the genders in Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.[14] In the first chapter of 2003 book The Essential Difference, Simon Baron-Cohen compares with Gray's bestseller and states: "the view that men are from Mars and women Venus paints the differences between the two sexes as too extreme. The two sexes are different, but are not so different that we cannot understand each other."[15] In 2004 a Purdue University communication professor said that based on research she conducted using questionnaires and interviews, men and women are not so different and "books like John Gray's Men are From Mars and Women are From Venus and Deborah Tannen's You Just Don't Understand tell men that being masculine means dismissing feelings and downplaying problems. That isn't what most men do, and it isn't good for either men or women."[16]

A study by Bobbi Carothers and Harry Reis involving over 13,000 individuals[17] claims that men and women generally do not fall into different groups. "Thus, contrary to the assertions of pop psychology titles like Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, it is untrue that men and women think about their relationships in qualitatively different ways."[18]

Criticism of the author[edit]

John Gray was found to have received his degree from a diploma mill and was not actually the recipient of a real doctorate.[19][20][21][22][23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus". Goodreads. Retrieved 2016-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Talk show hosts give books a boost". CNN. March 3, 1999. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Time magazine Tower of Psychobabble, Elizabeth Gleick, June 16, 1997, Retrieved July 2011
  5. ^ The chronology of American literature: America's literary achievements, By Daniel S. Burt, page 696, New England Publishing Associates 2004,
  6. ^ NY Times, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus Retrieved July 2011
  7. ^[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Murphy, Lauren (February 14, 2002). "Mars and Venus at work". The Washington Times.  = Mars and Venus at work; Critics aim to bring Gray back down to Earth. HighBeam Research. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Can't Understand Your Mate? It's Time To Align Your Planets". The Palm Beach Post. November 1, 1998. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  10. ^ "John Gray Fires Back at Critic Who Questioned His Credentials". Inside Edition. November 20, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2017 – via Cult Education Institute. 
  11. ^ "Writer's Education from Mars". The New York Post. November 13, 2003. Retrieved April 2, 2017 – via Cult Education Institute. 
  12. ^ John Gray | Bio | Premiere Motivational Speakers Bureau. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth? Women & Men in a New Millennium on YouTube. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Wood, Julia T. (2002). "A Critical Response to John Gray's Mars and Venus Portrayals of Men and Women". Southern Communication Journal. 67 (2): 201–210. doi:10.1080/10417940209373229. 
  15. ^ Baron-Cohen, Simon (2004) [2003]. The Essential Difference. Male and Female Brains and the Truth about Autism. New York City: Basic Books. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-465-00556-7. ISBN 0-46500556-X. Pp. 223, 246. 
  16. ^ MacGeorge, Erina (February 17, 2004). "Purdue study shows men, women share same planet". Purdue News. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  17. ^ Carothers, Bobbi J.; Reis, Harry T. (February 2013) [October 22, 2012]. "Men and Women Are From Earth: Examining the Latent Structure of Gender" (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. American Psychological Association. 104 (2): 385–407. doi:10.1037/a0030437. Retrieved April 1, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Men Are from Mars Earth, Women Are from Venus Earth". Science Daily. University of Rochester. February 4, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2017. 
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^

Further reading[edit]

  • Sprecher, Susan; Toro-Morn, Maura (2011), "A study of men and women from different sides of Earth to determine if men are from Mars and women are from Venus in their beliefs about love and romantic relationships", in Kimmel, Michael; Aronson, Amy, The gendered society reader (4th ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 559–577, ISBN 9780199733712. 

External links[edit]