Americans' lives are filled with stress, a best-selling author told a group of Wichitans on Wednesday.
When they're forced to deal with stressful problems — when they are powerless and don't know what to do — men and women approach the situation much differently, he said.
"Men cope with stress by forgetting about it," said John Gray, the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus." "If there's nothing you can do about it, forget about it.
"On Venus, if there's nothing you can do about it, 'at least we can talk about it....' That makes no sense to a man."
Gray was in Wichita to promote his new book, "Venus on Fire, Mars on Ice: Hormonal Balance — The Key to Life, Love and Energy."
Several hundred people attended a lecture at the Wichita Marriott where he discussed the book, an exploration of how food and nutrition play a role in healthy romantic relationships.
During the talk, Gray said understanding differences between men and women can help keep a relationship alive.
He said there are many fundamental differences between the sexes. Among them:
A woman's memory is better than a man's. "That is blanket, over-the-top," he said.
"Men are driven by emergencies," he said. "Emergencies relax men. Emergencies stress women out."
Gray said that American women in the workplace have stress levels that are twice as high as their male co-workers. When those women go home at night, he said, their stress levels double.
"When a man comes home from work, his brain turns off," Gray said. "Men have an 'off' switch."
A wife's stress level at home is typically four times as high as her husband's level at work, he said, and it can be infinitely higher than her husband's stress level at home.
"Women don't have an 'off' switch," he said. "They can't turn their brains off when they get home from work."
Gray said American couples share some traits with humans from around the world. Even in the primitive tribes of the Amazon, he said, men go home at night and sit around the fire while women find something to occupy their time.
"Men relax at the end of the day," Gray said. "Women are busy, busy, busy, busy."