What Women Should Know About Men’s Brains

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As more and more research reveals the differences in the male and female brains, it becomes easier for each gender to better understand the other and to allow the differences to unite rather than separate us.

After many carefully controlled studies, scientists have discovered actual physical differences between the brains of males and females. Men and women tend to maintain these unique brain characteristics throughout their lives.

For example, men’s brains are about 10% larger than female brains. Larger doesn’t necessarily mean smarter, although men like to think this is so. Now women can understand why men let compliments “go to their head.” Aside from the obvious distinctions, one of the more intriguing facts researchers have noted is the varying ways in which men and women approach time, judge the speed of things, accomplish mental mathematical calculations, and visualize objects in three dimensions.

Scientists believe these differences may explain why there are a significantly larger number of male mathematicians, mechanical engineers, architects, airplane pilots, bush guides, and race car drivers. Men also show an advantage in tasks requiring quantitative and reasoning abilities, and excel in science and math. In young boys, these areas of the brain mature around four years earlier than in girls.

Verbal abilities arise earlier in girls than in boys. But although men and women may communicate differently, they do process some language tasks similarly, while there are significant differences in other aspects of language processing. Scientists have also found that while men and women appear to process single words similarly, in the interpretation of whole sentences, women use both sides of the brain while men use only one side.

“There is no unisex brain,” Brizendine writes. “Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are different by the time they’re born, and their brains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality.”UCSF neuropsychiatrist, Louann Brizendine

As early as a few months after birth, behavioral differences between boys and girls are already noticeable. Males display greater efficiency in visual-spatial ability. This relates to being able to visualize things, their shape, position, geography, and proportion and demonstrates itself as boys aim at stationary or moving targets and notice minor movements in their visual fields. Males also perform better in navigation, and scientists have theorized that through evolution these kinds of abilities were necessary for survival when males had to seek food in unfamiliar terrain.

Better spatial ability in men might also account for the male superiority in map-reading, although as we know, men never ask for directions. So for women to be more of a team player with their man, maybe they should give them a map before the journey so they’ll be prepared.

One of the most pronounced behavioral differences between the genders is the innate aggression of men, which makes sense since we see their historical physical dominance over women. Even social conditioning cannot counteract this natural tendency. Of course, their greater muscle mass also contributes to this trait.

According to scientists, the reason boys excel in sports early on is their superior hand-eye coordination necessary for ball games. Another distinction is men are able to imagine, change, and rotate an object in their mind’s eye. The male’s advantage of seeing patterns and abstract relationships may explain why men dominate in games like chess.

On the flip side, boys usually have more learning disabilities than girls, such as dyslexia and ADHD. The symptoms differ as well. Girls with ADHD tend to show inattention, while boys show lack of impulse control.

While the chemical make-up of their brains differs, women and men have equal intellectual capacities, although they may go about accomplishing tasks in different ways. Knowing what we come into the world with allows us to accept our strengths and enhance them, as well as improving upon our weaker areas.

So just because men tend to excel in logic, reasoning, and math, does not exclude women from exhibiting these skills with study and practice. As more girls engage in sports traditionally reserved for boys, such as baseball and soccer, the inherent differences in the natural tendencies will begin to recede and we’ll see fewer disparities between females and males.

These differences help us understand and recognize that conflicts between men and women, whether partners, spouses, friends, siblings, or in work environments are not necessarily due to personalities that don’t mesh, but the result of brain biology. When women complain that men don’t listen or remember to do things, a lack of concern or lack of interest may not be at fault. Because the brains of men and women are wired differently, we can hope to understand that our differences are beyond our control, and we can demonstrate more patience and acceptance.

Many of these brain variations are beneficial as they are complementary, and thereby improve the chances of men and women getting along and joining forces to help each other and live together in harmony.

Sources: ABC News, San Francisco Chronicle, The Independent, Crosswalk
Supplementary Photo by Bob Jagendorf

Written on 11/14/2008 by David Bohl. David shares the viral message Slow Down FAST and helps people raise the roof on all facets of their lives without risking implosion. Get some must-haves here. Photo Credit: Hryckowian

 

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