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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 June, 2003, 14:41 GMT 15:41 UK
What are the 78 differences between women and men?

Scientists decoding the human genome have discovered that just 78 genes separate men from women. But what are they?

It's the Y chromosome which makes men men, and now scientists have a better idea than ever before what makes it up.

But to help them on their way, and in an effort to help everyone understand the differences between the sexes, here are the suggestions of BBC News Online readers about what those 78 genes might be.

Everyone's got their own ideas about it - even if it only involves relative abilities at reading maps and putting down toilet seats.

To get the ideas flowing, the BBC's Jeremy Vine, Jenni Murray, Anna Ford and Stuart Maconie (right) chipped in with their thoughts.

Women understand colour. They seem to know what to wear all the time. Men just think red is nice, pink is nice, so why not have them together?
Jeremy Vine
Women have the Oh dear, the toilet paper is on its last sheet; must replace it immediately gene. This is entirely absent in men who have the Oh s..t! Can you pass me a toilet roll, love? gene!
Jenni Murray
Men have no opinions about curtains.
Stuart Maconie
On being told that someone has bought a new car women usually ask what colour it is - men ask what sort is it.
Anna Ford
Women have the If you need to be told I am not going to tell you gene
David Bergin, Switzerland
Women know instinctively what is dangerous or not recommended for babies in their care. Men, generally speaking, do not.
Sian Lindsey, Netherlands
Men like to have all their stuff (DVDs, CDs, etc) on show to impress their mates. Women like to hide things in cupboards.
Mark Nelson, UK
Women have a built in calendar gene - we remember birthdays, anniversaries and appointments effortlessly.
Linsday, UK
Ask a woman in the street how to get somewhere and she will direct via shops. Ask a man and it will be via pubs.
Fred, UK
Women put things on the bottom stair to take up next time she has to go upstairs. Men just step over them until told to pick them up
Karen Kelsey, UK
Men appreciate the importance of a 42 inch plasma screen. Women do not.
Jonathan, UK
A multi-tasking gene is clearly only owned by women - men can never prepare dinner so that everything is ready at the same time.
Kelly , UK
Women can use sex to get what they want. Men cannot, as sex is what they want.
Eoin Dempsey, Ireland
Women pick up on subtleties and then think about them. Men need things explained IN CAPITAL LETTERS before the message gets through.
Morag, Edinburgh
Men speak in sentences. Women speak in paragraphs.
Steve Munoz, US
At weddings, women cry then get drunk. Men get drunk, then cry.
Debby, UK
For men, 2am is time for sleep. For women, 2am is time for a discussion about where our relationship is going.
Luke, UK
When faced with flat-pack furniture, men never read the manual. Yet they spend hours reading manuals for cars or bikes they will never own.
Linda, UK
Men can store useless information. Like the top speed of a car they are never going to drive, let alone own.
Rob, UK
Men can balance an infinite amount of rubbish in the bin, without noticing it is full.
Yvonne Eccles, England
Only women can understand other women.
Jon Lipscombe
Women know when all you want is a glass of wine, nodding sympathy and a good whinge. Men offer a solution.
Wendy, UK
Woman have the diary gene. (And no, they do not make your bums look big).
Ben Appleby, UK
Women are missing the parking a car in between two straight white lines in an empty car park gene
Jane, UK
If you told a woman that you had just returned from a trip to the surface of the Moon, she would show her interest by asking who you had gone with.
Howard, UK
Men do not even bother to look for something, then ask where it is and hope that it was the woman who put it away
Kate , Isle of Man
When men want something they ask for it. When women want something they make a point distantly related to the subject and wait for a response.
David Lawson, England
Women have an ability to make men think they are in charge.
Sheila, UK
Men need a round of applause for emptying the dishwasher. Women think E on the petrol gauge means enough.
Peter Richmond, Canada
Men use I or me when they should use we or us. Women use we or us when they should use I or me.
Clair, England
Men have a gene which makes them blissfully unaware of impending emotional outbursts, but which sometimes backfires resulting in the registering of physical pain.
Gary, UK

Women have the we must name our car gene.
Louise, UK
Men refuse to pay more than £5.00 for a hair cut as it is not that important.
Mark Tomlinson
Men have the capacity to sleep through most sounds, whether it is a baby crying, dog barking, or doorbell ringing.
Val Soanes
Men know that common house spiders are far less dangerous than scorpions.
John S, UK

Women drive on the stretch of road they can see. Men move through the landscape by car.
Anne Taylor, UK
Women enjoy planning a wedding.
Tom Howes, UK
Men have an anorak gene, which triggers a lecture on thermo dynamics when asked a simple question requiring a yes or no answer
Deborah, England
Women eat curry if they like it. Men eat curry to prove they can.
Paul Angel, England
Men manage to sit in public places with their legs wide open without noticing how startlingly unattractive it is and how they get in the way.
Jane Penrose, UK
Women could never invent weapons that kill, only ones that make you feel really bad and guilty until you surrender
Dan, UK
Women are the only ones with the noticing gene - we notice when something is dirty/nearly empty/out of place and then we bring into play the doing something about it now gene!
Sarah Wilson, UK
Men can watch an entire film without having to ask who is that, what does he do?
Alistair, UK
Women know what to do when someone starts to cry. Men tend to shuffle out of the room mumbling something about doing the grouting.
Lucy, UK
Girls cannot climb trees. Furthermore, they cannot be in my gang.
Dominic Green, UK
Men will do something and not think about the risks involved then be sorry after. Women will think about the risks involved before hand.
Diane McKay, England
A man can choose and buy a pair of shoes in 90 seconds over the internet.
Paul, UK
Men have the ability to make a la, la, la, not listening face.
Laura Humphreys, England
Women pee together. Men do not acknowledge, let alone speak, to each other when peeing.
Angus, London
Men have the shed gene, where being locked up in a small wooden structure in quiet contemplation with a collection of garden equipment counts as stimulating entertainment.
Lorraine, UK
Men can drive without having to look at themselves in the mirror.
Christian Paterson, France
Men have a gene which enables them to answer any question, no matter how complex or important, with Mmm.
Rachel, UK

Women make lists upon lists of things for men to do when they know very well we will never do them.
Brian Mac, US
Women do not get turned on at the thought of two men together.
Donna, South Africa

Men CAN get a bus through there!
Bob Ellis,England
Men can watch six different channels at the same time and know the name of none of the programmes they claim to be following
Niamh Brown, Singapore
Men can write their names clearly in the snow.
Riccardo, UK
Women can smell old trainers at 100ft, men have to hold them to their nose.
Sally, UK
Men start a sentence and...
Cliff Grover, UK

....women finish it for them
Jane Grover, UK
Men enjoy publicising their faults on BBC websites; women enjoy publicising men's faults on BBC websites.
Paul, UK

Men have the empathy with computers gene. This means they are more likely to be found fiddling about with one rather than doing something useful.
Sarah Savill, England
Men are paid more for doing the same job. :-)
Nigel Harris, UK
Women have the take things personally gene.
Emma, UK
Women keep carrier bags hidden away in a cupboard. They even keep carrier bags within carrier bags.!
Matt, UK
Women parallel process, men parallel park.
Petal, UK
Men look at going down the gym as a physical activity, to women it is a social event.
Robert, UK
A woman would look at a sexy man and not be noticed. Men just stare.
Isabelle West, UK
Women think that a good place to keep the TV controller is on top of the TV.
Christopher, UK
Men have a gene that enables them to maintain a vice like grip on the remote control while reclining on the sofa studying the insides of their eyelids.
Jane, UK
Women can get by with 10 or 20 CDs. Men need 200 plus.
Damien Bove, Leeds
Women know that washing machines have programmes for every kind of fabric, colour and quantity and use them appropriately. Men will put a months supply of laundry through the 40 degree cycle (safest guess), regardless of any other detail.
Janine MacLean, UK
Women order rice and eat men's chips.
Liam, Wales
Men will hear you open a beer from three rooms away.
Aileen, Scotland
Women recall every outfit they have worn for the past two decades. Men cannot remember what they were wearing yesterday without looking on the floor next to the bed.
Tom, London, UK
If a man knows an acquaintance has given birth to a baby, he will remember the sex and name - if you are lucky. If a woman is told about a birth, she will remember names (first and middle), weight, time, how long the labour took and whether medical intervention was required.
Marcia, UK
Women have the ability to brain dump their entire day when they get home - men can only remember that it went OK
Bob Findlay, Ireland
Men cannot watch sports and talk to their wives at the same time.
Lisa, Canada

Thanks to everyone who took part.


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