Washington:  Women show greater sensitivity, warmth and apprehension than men, while emotional stability, dominance, rule-consciousness and vigilance are the domain of males, says a study, indicating that the sexes share less ground than previously thought.

These findings are based on a survey of 10,000 people, which demolished many myths and stereotypes regarding gender differences, including the study that said differences between men and women were small.

The study explains why certain professions, such as engineering, are dominated by a particular sex in spite of efforts by governments to promote equality, said Paul Irwing of Manchester University, a study co-author.

The new analysis revealed that each sex shares a distinct set of characteristics, with just 18 percent of men having a typically "female" set of traits or vice versa, the journal Public Library of Science One reports.

Marco Del Giudice, who led the study, said: "The idea that there are only minor differences between the personality profiles of males and females should be rejected as based on inadequate methodology."

Past studies have shown that both the genders average similar scores on the 16PF5 - a well-known and frequently used measure of personality, according to the Telegraph.

But by estimating and comparing the average difference in men's and women's scores on each of the test's 15 different measures of personality, researchers found that actually the sexes shared less ground than previously thought.

The new paper "clearly rejects the idea that there are only minor differences between the personalities of men and women", researchers said.