Men’s versus Women’s Brains: We Are Different!
By: Beth McHugh 2007
Sick of trying to figure out why the man in your life is so different to you and your girlfriends? Well, wonder no more. Research into brain function between males and females provides more and more evidence for why males think and act so differently to females.
Although the male brain is roughly 9% larger than the female variety, they both contain the same number of cells, it’s just that in the female brain they are more tightly packed.
Bu there’s more. Women have over 10% more neurons located in the part of the brain that is responsible for language. That is why girls generally display earlier language skills than boys, and women largely have a greater vocabulary and better communication skills than males. It’s not just through practice, it’s how our brains are organized.
A part of the brain known as the hippocampus is also larger in females than males which explains why women are usually better at expressing emotions and recalling intricate details than are men. It also explains why women benefit so much from talking about their problems and having a cry – our brains are wired in such a way that we can access our emotions, talk about them and express them, all of which helps us to cope better.
Men, in general, do not have this brain make-up and therefore do not find it easy to indulge in talking as a means of problem solving, particularly about highly emotional issues. Throw in the taboo of men not appearing “weak” and a situation is created whereby men do find it hard at times to open up.
It won’t be surprising to hear that men have over twice as much brain space devoted to sex and reproductive instincts as do females. Men experience more sexual thoughts on a daily basis than women. Because men have sperm rather than eggs, and thus are biologically capable of having many more children than are women, it makes sense that their brains reflect this biological difference.
When it comes to divorce, women’s brains also work differently to males. After menopause, divorces in the US are predominantly instigated by women. Due to a lowering of hormones that are responsible for nurturing and putting other’s needs first, women’s brains change in functioning after their childbearing years. This means that women, for the first time in their adult lives, no longer have a biological need to put their children, husband and extended family first. This results in a reassessment of their lives to date, including that of their marriage. If the latter doesn’t shape up the way women would like it, the change in brain function makes it easier for women to pursue their own interests rather than placing them secondary to others.