When I was a girl, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I discovered something wonderful called science fiction. This, in turn, led me to discover something wonderful called science. Cut to ahem, mumble-mumble years later and I’m a SF author, a physicist and an amateur sociologist. As a SF fan I enjoy stories in which women are the heroes, kicking butt (literally and metaphorically) in exciting futures, possibly in new societies on other worlds with fascinating alien creatures. But as I observe the real-life nonfictional society and world around me, it’s pretty evident that men and women generally behave differently. Women appear a little hesitant to kick butt in real life. Why is this? I’ve spent a lot of time pondering these trends and I’ve read a lot of articles and studies. Of course each individual is genetically different, but I have finally concluded women are less assertive, in large part, because of gender socialization.