Thought Catalog
June 24, 2015

13 Real Differences Between Male And Female Brains

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Shutterstock / Valery Sidelnykov
Shutterstock / Valery Sidelnykov

Although many people are taught that differences in male and female behavior are solely due to culture, science suggests a biological basis for many of these differences. Although these differences are not absolute, they tend to skew according to one’s sex.

1. Women are the only ones in their right minds.

Studies show that men mostly use their brain’s left hemisphere to process information, while women are more skilled at using both hemispheres. This would literally mean that women are the only ones in their right minds!

2. Males have bigger brains—which doesn’t mean they’re smarter. Duh!

On average, guy brains are about 10 percent larger than gal brains. But this is probably because on average, guys are 10 percent larger than gals. Although males tend to do slightly better in math while females do slightly better with language, standardized intelligence tests show no statistically significant difference between males and females.

3. The male brain is geared slightly more toward math.

Males tend to have much larger inferior-parietal lobules (IPL) than females. This area of the brain is thought to influence mathematical ability. The brain areas that are thought to control math and geometry skills mature in boys about four years earlier than in girls.

4. The female brain is geared slightly more toward language.

The frontal and temporal areas of the cortex are larger in females than in males. These brain areas are thought to influence language skills; they mature in girls about six years earlier than in boys.

5. Women are more emotional, but we all knew that already.

Females have a larger hippocampus and a deeper limbic system than males, which allows them to feel the full range and depth of the emotional spectrum far more than those coldhearted, unfeeling jerk guys.

6. Women feel more pain, but we all knew that already, too.

Upon experiencing pain, men’s right amygdala is activated, while it’s the left amygdala in women. Since the left amygdala is more closely associated with “internal functions,” it is thought that this is why women experience pain more acutely than men do.

7. Men tend to have better spatial abilities.

Men have a thinner parietal region of the brain than women, which makes it easier for them to visualize rotating 3D objects—assuming that’s your idea of a good time.

8. Men are more likely to suffer from neurological disorders.

Males are more likely to be dyslexic and autistic than females. They are also more likely to suffer from ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome.

9. Women are more likely to suffer from mood disorders.

Male brains synthesize serotonin far more quickly than female brains, which may explain why women are far more prone to depression. Women are also far more likely to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder after a traumatizing event.

10. Male and female fetuses start showing brain differences at around 26 weeks.

At around the 26-week stage, girl fetuses generally start developing a thicker corpus callosum—the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres—than boy fetuses. This may help explain the fact that women tend to use both hemispheres of the brain while men lean toward the left hemisphere.

11. When it comes to intelligence, there are more male than female outliers.

Male IQ has greater variance than female IQ; in other words, while females cluster toward the middle, more males occupy the extreme high and low ends on the intelligence scale.

12. Women handle stress better than men.

Both males and females release the hormone oxytocin during stressful events. But female estrogen combines with oxytocin to produce a calming effect, whereas male testosterone only makes men more aggro.

13. Men have weaker impulse control.

The brain areas that control aggression and anger are larger in women than in men, which may account for some degree in larger male rates of violence. TC mark

Information for this article was pooled from the following sources:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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