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Male-Female Brain Differences

Male-Female Brain Differences

Male-Female Brain Differences

What kind of brain do you have? There really are big differences between the male and female brain, says Simon Baron-Cohen, director of the Autism Research Center, Cambridge University. In his new book, the Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain (published by Penguin) Baron-Cohen shows that, indisputably, on average male and female minds are of a slightly different character. Men tend to be better at analyzing systems (better systemisers), while women tend to be better at reading the emotions of other people (better empathisers). Baron-Cohen shows that this distinction arises from biology, not culture.

Cell numbers: men have 4% more brain cells than women, and about 100 grams more of brain tissue. Many women have asked me why men need more brain tissue in order to get the same things done.

Cellular connections: even though a man seems to have more brain cells, it is reported that women have more dendritic connections between brain cells.

Corpus collosum size: it is reported that a woman’s brain has a larger corpus collusum, which means women can transfer data between the right and left hemisphere faster than men. Men tend to be more left brained, while women have greater access to both sides.

Language: for men, language is most often just in the dominant hemisphere (usually the left side), but a larger number of women seem to be able to use both sides for language. This gives them a distinct advantage. If a woman has a stroke in the left front side of the brain, she may still retain some language from the right front side. Men who have the same left sided damage are less likely to recover as fully.

Limbic size: bonding/nesting instincts – current research has demonstrated that females, on average, have a larger deep limbic system than males. This gives females several advantages and disadvantages. Due to the larger deep limbic brain women are more in touch with their feelings, they are generally better able to express their feelings than men. They have an increased ability to bond and be connected to others (which is why women are the primary caretakers for children – there is no society on earth where men are primary caretakers for children). Females have a more acute sense of smell, which is likely to have developed from an evolutionary need for the mother to recognize her young. Having a larger deep limbic system leaves a female somewhat more susceptible to depression, especially at times of significant hormonal changes such as the onset of puberty, before menses, after the birth of a child and at menopause. Women attempt suicide three times more than men. Yet, men kill themselves three times more than women, in part, because they use more violent means of killing themselves (women tend to use overdoses with pills while men tend to either shoot or hang themselves) and men are generally less connected to others than are women. Disconnection from others increases the risk of completed suicides.

Computer is Masculine or Feminine?

 

A SPANISH Teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

‘House’ for instance, is feminine: ‘la casa.’
‘Pencil,’ however, is masculine: ‘el lapiz..’

A student asked, ‘What gender is ‘computer’?’

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer’ should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men’s group decided that ‘computer’ should definitely be of the feminine gender (‘la computadora’), because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;

2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;

3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and

4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

(THIS GETS BETTER!)

The women’s group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine (‘el computador’), because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;

2. They have a lot of data but still can’t think for themselves;

3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and

4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

The women won.