San Francisco neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine has a new book out about how a woman’s brain is different from a man’s and the implications these differences hold:
Women have come a long way toward equality over the past 50 years, but the Yale-trained Brizendine, 53, says her research indicates that human brains are still wired for Stone Age necessities.
Male and female brains are different in architecture and chemical composition, asserts Brizendine. The sooner women—and those who love them—accept and appreciate how those neurological differences shape female behavior, the better we can all get along.
Start with why women prefer to talk about their feelings, while men prefer to meditate on sex.
“Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road,” she writes. Men, however, “have O’Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex, where women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes.”
Untangling the brain’s biological instincts from the influences of everyday life has been the driving passion of Brizendine’s life—and forms the core of her book. “The Female Brain” weaves together more than 1,000 scientific studies from the fields of genetics, molecular neuroscience, fetal and pediatric endocrinology, and neurohormonal development. It is also significantly based on her own clinical work at the Women’s and Teen Girls’ Mood and Hormone Clinic, which she founded at UCSF 12 years ago. It is the only psychiatric facility in the country with such a comprehensive focus.
Sounds like this would make for an excellent read, particularly for us guys who are always complaining that we never seem to be able to grasp what the hell the women in our lives are thinking. The book doesn’t argue that one sex’s brain is superior to the others, just different in how they are wired and what they bring to the table. It can’t hurt to have a better understanding of the differences when trying to figure out how to make a long-term relationship work.
The article goes on to list a handful of facts at the end:
A few neurological differences between women and men from Louann Brizendine’s “The Female Brain”:
Thoughts about sex enter women’s brains once every couple of days; for men, thoughts about sex occur every minute.
Women use 20,000 words per day; men use 7,000 per day.
Women excel at knowing what people are feeling; men have difficulty spotting an emotion unless someone cries or threatens bodily harm.
Women remember fights that a man insists never happened.
Women over 50 are more likely to initiate divorce.
About the only one of those I might contest is the sex one as I have to wonder if there’s an age limit on it. Sure, when I was a younger man I can say that thoughts about sex came into my head quite often—don’t know if it was once a minute, but it was substantial—but these days I can go a couple of days without really thinking about sex. Or at least it seems that way. Perhaps I’m just getting to the point where I don’t remember thinking about sex so often. I’ve become desensitized to sex-thoughts or something.
*Shudder!* What a horrible concept!