Brain – differences between sexes

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Overview

We all want to have the same rights and opportunities, and for some things like women’s right to vote, the fight was long enough for just for equality between men and women.

Consternation often appears after formulation opinions that men and women are different. Some researchers believe that women can’t achieve the same higher on tests of mathematics or science results as men, for example.

No matter how much most people would like that men and women are equal, there are differences in how they will deal with certain situations.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Scientific research
3. Brain structure – differences between male and female
4. Brain structure versus environment
5. 8 major differences


Scientific research

Analysis of inequalities between men and women, due to which various theories were born, is proof that both men and women need help to understand what is happening in the minds of some or others.

Research indicates that men and women actually have different structures and connections in the brain and that they use their brains differently. In some cases, this may explain some of the stereotypes that some people do not recognize about sexes.

For example, men score better on tasks involving spatial orientation, while women have better results in language tests.


Brain structure – differences between male and female

Scientists have found that there are slight differences between the brains of men and women, but they believed that changes confined to the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls sexual appetite and food intake.

Some scientists believe that the brain is bigger for men as they are physically larger. Because brain size was associated with intelligence, it is difficult to determine whether men are more intelligent.

The researchers found that certain parts of the brain have different sizes for men and women, a situation that could help balance the overall size differences. The latest studies found that parts of the frontal lobe, responsible for problem solving and decision making and limbic cortex, responsible for emotions regulating is higher in women.

In men, the parietal cortex involved in spatial perception and the amygdala that regulates sexual and social behavior were larger. Gray matter in men is about 6.5 times higher than in women, but before that men enjoy this fact, you should know that women have about 10 times more white matter than them.

This difference might influence how men and women think. To think, men use the gray matter which is rich in active neurons and women use white matter in which are many connections between neurons. Therefore, female brain configuration is more complicated, but these connections can allow a woman’s brain work faster than that of a man.

If women are concerned about their brain size, discussed above, they should know that women’s brains neurons are closer to each other. This proximity and fast connections facilitated by white matter is another reason why women’s brains work faster.

Some women have even up to 12% more neurons than men. Psychologists have found that the density of neurons sit side by side is higher in certain layers of the cortex, responsible for the signals that come to the brain that go from it.

Density of neurons in women, like a man’s brain size, is an attribute to estimate intelligence. Scientists know this because imaging studies have been conducted about how men and women think.

In such studies, men and women were asked to pronounce different words. To complete this task, the man was involved only a small area located in the left brain, while women’s most used areas were the both sides of the brain.

However, both men and women have spoken words as well, indicating that there is more than one way to act in the brain that will achieve the same result. For example, when women fail to be guided by a map it can be just that they use different landmarks. In IQ tests, average scores were reached by both men and women.


Brain structure versus environment

There may be subtle differences in how people treat their children of different sexes. Girls will be dressed in pink and will be given dolls to play with, while boys will be dressed in blue and will play with cars. For some people, these environmental factors are impossible to ignore when considering human brain.

If there are differences between the brains of men, they could be caused by how society shapes a person with neurons and synapses in the brain considered unnecessary, simplified.

Some psychologists disagree with the influence of environment and believe that the differences between the brains are structured since birth, some brain structures are unique and can’t be explained with the help of social or environmental theories.

This may be relevant to explain why there are many people with extraordinary intelligence, for example. The stereotype about women with poor results in mathematics and physics, could be explained by those small differences in the brain.

This can be explained by different brain development in boys and girls. However, the education system does not consider these issues. When a child is faced with an issue that his brain is not ready to tackle, the child may be frustrated and might be tempted to give up too quickly.

For these reasons might question whether or not the need to restructure the education system. But most important is to focus on discovering ways in which we can help those differences.

Knowing the difference between male and female brains could open great opportunities in diagnosing and treating brain diseases. For example, depression and chronic anxiety are diagnosed more frequently in women.

This could be related to differences in the chemical composition of the brain: studies have shown that women produce about 50% more serotonin, while men have less transporters that participate in recycling it.

Another theory assumes that it might be about how different parts of the female brain respond to emotions and pain. Men, on the other hand are more likely to be diagnosed with autism, Tourette syndrome, dyslexia and schizophrenia. In addition, disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia manifest itself differently in men and women.


8 major differences

1. Relationships. Women tend to communicate more effectively than men, focusing on ways they can find a solution that works for the group, addressing various aspects and using non-verbal suggestions such as tone, emotion, and empathy whereas men tend to be more task-oriented, talk less and more isolated.

Men have difficulty understanding emotions that are not explicitly verbalized, while women have the ability to intuit emotions and emotional cues. These differences explain why men and women sometimes encounter difficulties in communicating and why friendships between men are different from those among women.

2. Left brain hemisphere versus both hemispheres. Men tend to process better using left brain, while women process information as well on both sides. This difference explains why men can do better, in general, the left hemisphere specific activities, activities involving problem solving from a task-oriented perspective while women solve problems in a much more creatively and are more aware feelings while communicating.

3. Mathematical skills. An area of the brain called the inferior parietal lobe is usually much larger in men than in women. This section of the brain controls mental math ability and explains why men can achieve higher performance in mathematical tasks than women.

Interestingly, this is the area that Einstein discovered that he had developed abnormally. Inferior parietal lobe processes sensory information and the development of this part in women enables them to focus on specific stimuli, such as a baby crying at night.

4. Reaction to stress. Men tend to have a stress response such as fight or flight, while women adopt the care and approach strategy (social networking orientation). Psychologist Shelley Taylor invented the phrase “tend and be friend”, since known that during times of stress women take care of themselves and children and form strong bonds group.

The reason for these different reactions to stress is related to hormones. The hormone oxytocin is released regardless of gender. However, estrogen tends to increase the production of oxytocin, which is designed to relieve and to feel emotions, while men release testosterone reaching significant levels in type stress and reduce the effects of oxytocin.

5. Language. Two parts of the brain that are responsible for language were found to be higher in men than in women and is one reason why women excel in subjects that are based on their more developed language and thinking associated with language.

In addition, in men, language is processed only in the dominant hemisphere while women process occurs in both hemispheres. These differences provide protection in case of stroke. Women are more likely to proper recover completely after a stroke affecting the language areas of the brain, while men have not the same advantage.

6. Emotions. Women usually have a limbic system buried deep in the cortex than men, which allows them to feel more emotions and be more able to express them than men.

Changing the limbic system predispose women to depression, especially during times of hormonal changes, such as after childbirth or during the menstrual cycle.

7. Pain. Men and women perceive pain differently. According to some research, women require more morphine than men to achieve the same threshold of pain as them. Women are more able to localize the pain and try to seek treatment for it than men.

8. Spatial orientation. Men are usually more able to orient in space or mentally represent a shape and its dynamics compared to women. Experts have found that women parietal area of the brain is thicker, which hampers their ability to mentally rotate objects – an aspect of spatial orientation.

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