Sex of the brain - differences in men and women perception.
Mother and father transfers their own half of the genes necessary for the development of the child. Provided material determines many of the characteristics of the child, for instance - the colour of eyes, hair, blood type. Sex depends on which of the so-called sex chromosomes will be donated by father to the egg cell. Women have in their cells two X chromosomes, but ovum ready for fertilisation contains only one X chromosome cell. Men have only one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. If the egg is fertilised by sperm with the X chromosome, newborn will be a girl. But if father passes the Y chromosome, the child is a boy.
The second factor influencing the child's sex are hormones. The fetus is shaped as a male if the male hormones are present, a female fetus when the hormone will not appear.
The brain of the unborn child develops between 6th-7th week of pregnancy. When the brain starts to form, the male fetus is subjected to the action of the male hormone, the hormone dose is during this period four times higher than the level that reaches throughout infancy and childhood. The highest number of male hormone occurs in 6th week after insemination and also during puberty.
But we have to deal with certain disorders. There may be a corresponding numbers of male hormones to develop into male genitalia, but these organs may not generate additional quantities of the hormone so brain can be shaped according to the male pattern. As a result, the newborn baby will be a human that has a female brain and male body. In the same way, female fetus may accidentally be exposed to the male hormone and the child is born with a masculine brain and feminine body.
A series of studies that answer the question why some girls have characteristics typical for boys and vice versa. An irregularity of adrenal gland function in girls, which produce similar to the male hormones, affects their brain. The brain of a girl is formed on male pattern. This irregularity causes underdeveloped male genitals with simultaneous shaping of normal female ones. Male genital can be removed during surgery, but the changes that have already occurred in the brain, unfortunately can not be reversed. Another abnormal condition is Turner syndrome, which consists in the fact, that women is missing one of X chromosome (X0) - these women behave overly feminine. Taking a synthetic hormones can also have an impact on behaviour. If a pregnant woman was taking female hormones and gave birth to a male child, his brain will be formed on the female pattern. The same influence on the fetus has intake of the male hormone by the mother. The newborn girl will have characteristics typical for boys.
Men and women are different from each other.
Sexual development of the brain occurs in 4 stages (according to Milton Diamond):
- The first one is the basic modelling of sex, which decides on the aggressiveness or passivity.
- Second is responsible for developing gender identity - decides about sex that is assigned to a man
- Third one is related to the sexual preferences
- Last stage is probably the most difficult, considering our consciousness of this phase. This relates to control of the functioning of the sexual organs, including orgasm. This model is useful for explaining i.e. a sexual perversion and sexual behaviour of healthy men and women.
Our brain is designed differently. We react in different way to the same behaviour or events, and we have contrasting perception and feelings in regard to them. For a long time, scientists were conducting researches to find differences between the sexes. Although, sometimes these analysis were quite primitive. Research have proved that the sexes are not equal in terms of intellect. (Gustave Le Bon). In 1911 Bayerthal assumed that the minimum of head circumference for a professor of surgery should be between 52 and 53 cm, "less than 52 cm can not expect any significant intellectual activity, and below the 50.5 cm can not expect a normal level of intelligence." The scientist who also didn’t have a flattering opinion about woman was Gustave Le Bon, who said that “many French women have a brain, which in its size is more like a gorillas than the man's brain”. According to him, the inferiority of women was obvious.
In the 50s, Dr. Wechsler said that more than 30 tests for intelligence “discriminate" either men or women. Today’s interpretations of some tests may surprise us, and sometimes can prove to be ridiculous.
The first tests that confirm the thesis about differences between sexes were taken in 1882 in the South Kensington Museum in London by Francis Gatton. He found that women are more sensitive to pain and the men at the sharp whistling sound. Men also have a greater ability to work under stress, have a greater grip strength.
Ten years later, in the United States, studies have shown that women have better hearing skills, use the traditional vocabulary more effectively, like blue more than red and prefer to solve practical and concrete problems. Men tend to choose the colour red, use a freer language and prefer general and abstract thinking.
In 1984, H. Ellis published the book "Woman and Man", which met with great interest. He stated, inter alia, that women are superior to men in terms of cleverness, memory, ability to pretend capacity for compassion, patience and neatness. Women- scientists were more accurate in their work than male scientists.
Our brain decides on who we are, how we feel, think or behave. The human brain has reached the highest level of development in comparison with the brains of other living beings, but it is the least understood. Perhaps we will never be able to discover and fully recognise many phenomena that we take for granted, for instance, memory, language, creativity, etc. The brain of women is smaller than men, but it has no meaning when it comes to intelligence.
The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for spatial, verbal and visual information. A person with a damaged right hemisphere loses its sense of orientation, even in own home. This hemisphere is also responsible for shapes, patterns and abstract thinking. The left hemisphere refers to language skills, practical and specific thinking and is responsible for the linear order. The right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa. Knowledge about which parts of the brain rules specific functions derived mostly from the battlefields. However, the disadvantage was that only men’s behaviour could be known whilst nothing was mentioned about women. Then they assumed that what applies to men can be also attributed to women.
Research on the brain function of women were carried out many years later.
The first news in this topic are own by psychologist Herbert Landsell. He carried out a research which found out that the damage to the same areas of the brain in men and women causes other effects. Men with damaged right hemisphere had problems with tests on the spatial orientation, when a woman with the same damage had this capacity limited to a small extent.
Men compared to women have lost their ability to perform spatial tasks in IQ tests.
This researcher then took a closer look to the left hemisphere. Both, men and women have broken the same area of the brain that was responsible for language skills. Men have lost many of these skills, women were affected to a small extent. Landsell came to the conclusion that women's spatial ability and language are controlled by both hemispheres, and in men the space corresponds to the right hemisphere, language to the left. The more the brain is closer to the feminine pattern, the more dispersed are its functions. Professor Doreen Kimura has found that the functions of language (grammar, spelling, phonetics) in men are on the front and back of the left hemisphere, and women are clustered in front of the left hemisphere. However, the human brain - male or female - cannot cope with the influx of too much information. Effectively, we can use only a limited part of the capacity of the brain. Studies conducted over the concert pianists have shown that they can play precisely two different melodies, one with each hand. When they tried to hum at the same time, the precision of their right hand decreased. This is because both, the humming and right hand movements are controlled by the left hemisphere. If at the same time we are taking too many tasks that are controlled by the hemisphere, the capacity is exceeded, as a result, operations are carried out less efficiently. The same applies to other activities, and this means that differences in brain structure between men and women lead to differences in the efficiency of the performance of their specific tasks.
The Canadian researcher Sandra Witleson, thinks that these differences can cause that men can perform two different tasks at the same time with ease - which is opposite to women. In her view, a man more than a woman, can easily, for example, at the same time speak and read the map- each of these steps are in fact controlled by another hemisphere. In women, the same operations are controlled by areas in both hemispheres. They can interfere with each other and a woman will not be able to simultaneously speak well and read the map. Witleson was also interested in differences in emotions and reactions on certain experiences. Emotions in men and women are placed in specific areas in the brain and these areas are positioned differently. The differences relate to the corpus callosum or fibers that are connecting hemispheres, and are ensuring the flow of information between them. The corpus callosum is thicker in women than in men, so there is a greater flow of information between the right and left hemispheres. Therefore, women are better able to infer, associate and combine a verbal and visual information.
Emotional functions in women are placed in both hemispheres. The functions of our brains are innate and they need to develop. There is a hidden difference in the brain that makes girls and boys feel and see the same things in other way. The girls shortly after birth are more sensitive to touch and sound, can hear two times louder than the boys, they become anxious and nervous because of the noise or pain. It's easier to comfort them singing and reassuring words, they appear more than boys interested in other people. The girls are eagerly chatting to people, while boys can "talk" to toys or look at some patterns. The girls can faster distinguish photographs of famous people from strangers, the same ability comes later for boys. The girls quickly learn to speak and have a richer vocabulary. The girls are doing less grammatical mistakes and perform better in tests. Boys are interested in spatial tasks, girls- in interpersonal.
In pre-school, ways for having fun in both sexes are different. Boys and girls play separately. The girls take to their group younger children, boys want to join the older. The boys invent a story of a voltage, fighting villains, the girls talk about home and friendship. Boys fun is violent, brutal, they are interested in the function of objects and their effects, and thus break them apart. When it comes to school, girls quickly learn to read. As the basis for learning to read is not a vision, but hearing. The boys better recognise animal sounds and will imitate them. They have better coordination hand-eye which is necessary during ball games. They can move, transform, rotate the object in mind with greater ease than girls. They have a better sense of perspective. Girls better understand the information that is presented by the teacher, while boys prefer to explore by their own. In the early years of school children are primarily concerned with reading and writing and these are activities in which girls excel.
During puberty, when hormone levels increases, differences in boys and girls become more noticeable. So far in their bodies was the same number of hormones.
In girls body is getting rounded and shaped, breasts swollen, menstruation occurs. Boys start to have deeper voice, hairline moves back and testicles are dropping down. In boys, the hormones start to work two years later than in girls. The most important hormone in boys is testosterone, it helps to expand the body increasing the ability to accumulate phosphorus, calcium and other elements necessary for the growth of bone and muscle. It helps to get a 40% protein and 15% fat in the body. The level of testosterone is 20 times higher than in girls after puberty (Dr Anne Moir- Neuropsychologist). This causes a sudden growth of the body.
The boys also produce more red blood cells, which are responsible for the prospectus distribution of oxygen throughout the body required for energy, which is why the boys have the physiological predominance to conduct a more active lifestyle.
In women, the main hormones are oestrogen and progesterone. They are responsible for the regulation of protein and fat, and controlling the distribution of body fat. In girls body 23% are protein and 25% fat.
Flow of hormones is stimulated by the hypothalamus, which regulates them too. In men, the pituitary and the hypothalamus are making sure that the same level of hormones is kept at all times. When testosterone suddenly increases, the information is transmitted and its level reduced. This is called "negative feedback", and its result is a nearly constant level of hormone. In women tho, it is a "positive feedback”. Hypothalamic is responsible for the menstrual cycle and the phases of which are adjustable within about 28 days. With the phases of the menstrual cycle personality changes occur and they can cause mood swings, feeling a bit low, crying a lot etc. Oestrogen is responsible for the well-being, recovery, optimism, its amount is increased in the first phase of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is causing negative feelings and depressing mood.
Jane Reinisch- director of the Kinsey Institute in the United States has studied the behaviour of children, who have been subjected to additional amounts of the male or female hormone. In boys, who in the womb received an extra dose of male hormones, found 2 times higher levels of aggression than in their brothers who did not get them. The girls, who got the higher dose were 50% more brutal than their sisters. Girls and boys whose mothers during pregnancy were taking an extra male hormones were more confident, independent, and those children whose mothers took female hormones like classes in a group and rely more on others. The level of testosterone increases rapidly during adolescence. Because of that, higher level of crime is recorded in adolescents between 13-17 years of age as the hormone has a greater impact on the behaviour of aggression. Boys, who mature earlier are enjoying in a group of more prestige. About the position in the group decides, for instance, physical strength and intellectual interest. In girls group, there is no room for domination and structure. Adolescence reveals differences in interests and abilities of both sexes. The brains of girls and boys are suited to better perform different tasks. Girls at the beginning of schooling are smarter when it comes to reading and writing, but the boys in adolescence are catching up with speaking and writing also revealing mathematical ability. While girls learn to count quicker, boys demonstrate the superiority of mathematical reasoning. A difference is even more apparent with age, as the male hormone increases spatial skills, when female hormones weaken them. Studies have shown that girls with highest level of oestrogen are intellectually less developed compared to those who had high levels of the male hormone. Higher testosterone in girls also means that they perform better in science than the average woman. Girls whose mothers were given male hormone during pregnancy, have a higher IQ and are characterised by a natural mathematical interests.On the other hand, girls with Turner syndrome have trouble with things mathematical and spatial abilities.
Testosterone gives to men an advantage because it focuses and stimulates the brain which in men is more structured, and each function has its specific location. The brain of men is more inclined to focus on one issue. Women are more susceptible than men. They react more strongly to touch, smell, sound, laugh more often when happy and are more friendly to the people for whom they do not like, have a better memory for faces. Women show greater emotional sensitivity than men. It involves closely with the cyclical rhythm of the hormonal changes induced menstrual cycle. Before ovulation in women predominate upbeat and positive mood, increasing demand for family contacts, social and emotional balance. After the time of ovulation begins to dominate the volatility: irritability and emotional sensitivity is increased closer to menstruation.
The brain is also a centre of sex. Male hormone affects the brain and makes men sexually more active. The larger the quantity of testosterone the higher sexual needs. Sexual awareness in men occurs earlier and is more important for them than for women. Sight is the most important sense in men and what excites them is image of nudity. Women more excites sensory impressions. Boys can reach orgasm due to sexual fantasies, they have sex, leading to dreams of pollution. Most girls do not have such dreams. Men deprived of sex becoming a sullen, when women rarely experience this. Women and men are physically attracted to each other because of their differences. Some researchers say, that the brain of a man predisposes him to be sexually aggressive hunter. When women lack mainly what accompanies sex, men simply lack of sex as such. According to this concept, man's world is a world of things. Women are focused on feelings that are associated with these things. For instance, pornography for men is so impersonal, because it does not interest them, who is a woman they look at. They think only of what would they do with her. Women are generally not interested in pornography, because they combine their experience with a particular man. Generalising such views, we can say that men want sex, women - relationships between people. Men want the body, women feelings. And if each one better recognises and understands their roles conditioned by differences in the brain resulting from gender, their relationship is better and happier. An extreme example of misunderstanding is the anecdote frequently quoted by psychologists: A man whose partner has asked him to show her more affection, just ... he washed her car.
One of the most important differences between the sexes is that men are more homosexuals. Various sexual deviations such as transvestism, exhibitionism, sadomasochism apply to a much greater extent men.
Scientist Dorner and Diamond independently conducted research on gender sexual inclinations. The results of their study were very similar. They found that if disorders occur in one of the stages of fetal development , a man will be aggressive and confident, but will be homosexual or can be effeminate and will manifest interest in the opposite sex. If only the centres of sexual preferences will be subject to the action of "improper" hormone, a person who is having only a little bit of atypical characteristics of its own gender can still manifest interest in person of the same gender. Another type of sexual dysfunction is a transsexualism, ie. Imprisonment in the trap of the opposite sex. The person, although brought up socially as a man feels and wants to be a woman and vice versa.
Dorner also said, that increased stress of a pregnant woman, as well as taking barbiturates can raise a risk of homosexual child. ***Barbiturates- the common name of barbituric acid derivatives, used on a large scale in the 50s, 60s and 70s as hypnotics, anaesthetics and antiepileptics. The best known are phenobarbital (Luminal - used today) and cyclobarbital (Fanodorm - used these days, but just in Russia). In the 70s of the twentieth century they were often misused for the personal purposes. Marilyn Monroe, American actress, probably commited suicide by taking those drugs. Because of the disadvantages: the production of tolerance accumulation, abuse potential and overdose toxicity (especially in combination with alcohol or other drugs), the vast majority of barbiturates was withdrawn from most countries of the world.***
*** Swedish neuroscientists found that the brains of gay men resemble the brains of heterosexual women and lesbians brains of heterosexual men.
***Why do gay men do not become extinct? Italian scientists have found the answer to the question why, if homosexuality is at least partially genetically determined, not gone the way of evolution. With the help of a mathematical model they confirmed that genetic mechanism which contributes men to homosexualism, may increase the chances of numerous progeny in women. The author of the study, Professor of the University of Padova, Andrea Camperio-Ciani, believes that this genetic factor is universally responsible for more interest in the male sex:
And what about women? Ciani says that his work doesn't iexplain in any way a homosexual tendencies in women. In his opinion, a similar mechanism probably exists, but he is not yet able to describe it.
On the other hand, when it comes to heterosexual couples, a woman brings to the relationship an emotional sensitivity, tendency to mutual interdependence, the longing for closeness and affection for sex as an expression of intimacy. The man, however, is less demanding when it comes to feelings. He perceives his duties in terms of ensuring financial security. Research was conducted, and both sexes were asked about what kind of person they would like to be. The men pointed to features such as practicality, quickness, confidence, and self-criticism. Women on the other hand sensitivity, impulsiveness, compassion and generosity. The results show that women and men are different and have different values, so therefore you have to compromise, a lot of understanding at least partly to understand these differences.
Women see, hear and feel, cry more often and it’s easier for them to express emotions.
Unfortunately, most couples that are married or in long lasting relationship, focus most attention on to altering their partner to the tenets of their gender. The perfect thing would be to understand and accept the differences in behaviour, feelings and the way of perceiving the world. Only by knowing the differences between the sexes we will be able to accept the other side with its advantages and disadvantages.
The differences between men and women also reveal when they become parents. Women have an innate affection and love for the child, the men learn this. The woman is more sensitive to the needs of the baby, she focuses all of her senses on it. Women are interested in the child as such, men - what it will be in the future. Men - child communication is based on "doing" things in educational purposes.
A woman's body is more adapted to function in a world of people, once man’s body in the world of things. In the world of people you need to be constantly at the disposal of, you do not have at the same time use a large physical strength. A woman's body is weaker than man’s when it comes to one-time effort, but when it comes to long-term activity it’s much stronger. A good example is the greater a woman's ability to cope with the disruption of sleep. If you have to get up at night to the sick person or to the child, woman will wake up quicker and fall asleep once again much easier. Man needs more time.
Women and men, despite the fact that both achieve the same results in science, have different achievements. But the reason for this is that for both sexes a success, career and money mean something else and have different value. Men are more interested in prestige, promotion, performance. Women attach less importance to money that’s why managerial positions are usually dominated by men. Women and men bring to the work different abilities, so they can be complementary to each other. Men are more gifted spatially, they are more aggressive, all the time need competition, hierarchy and rules. They have theoretical and analytical mind. Women are capable to spot the details or to see the information given by gestures and facial expressions, they have a greater need and a desire to create social bonds and associating with people.
Without a doubt, our sexes are different. Our brains operate so that we think differently, we have different strengths, the values that guide us in life. We are not conscious about this divergence. We expect that the representatives of the opposite sex are more similar to us. We believe, that if our partners love us, they will react and behave as we do. However, such an attitude only leads to disappointment, because we don't read one another thoughts, we do not know sometimes, what the other half expects from us, what is thinking, often we are not aware of its concerns. That is why it is very important to talk, share insights with each other and constantly try to understand. Men expect from women logical thinking, concise speech, simple reactions. Women want men to be more effusive in showing feelings, more sensitive and not to be afraid of sharing worries. But we are peculiar, and we can not expect that someone will fit into our pattern and immediately meet all expectations. We need to understand each other, to respect all differences, to put the matter clearly, if we will remember those differences everything can be explained. Construction of the brain is responsible for how we think, learn, see, feel, communicate, love and how we make love. We come into the world with the brain that is already shaped on a female or male pattern.
Previous studies have shown that the brains of men and women differ in terms of construction in specific regions and functional organisation. Male brains are, for instance, more asymmetric with the right hemisphere that is larger than the left one. For this reason, Ivanka Savic and Per Lindström, neuroscientists from the Karolinska Institutet, began to wonder, whether there are differences between the brains of people of the same sex, but opposite sexual orientation.
They gathered a group of 90 volunteers matched for age: 50 heterosexual people (25 men and 25 women) and 40 homosexual (20 women, 20 men).
During magnetic resonance imaging found that the brains of
homosexual women were as asymmetric as heterosexual men brains. The right hemisphere was larger than the left, while the brains of heterosexual men and homosexual men were largely symmetrical.
When during the Positron Emission Tomography (PET), researchers have begun to look at the flow of blood to detect the network of connections within the brain, once again been proved that the brain of the homosexual person reminds the brain of heterosexual person of the opposite sex.
Gays more prone to depression.
As strict functional connections mean, that women are more prone to mood disorders, including depression. The latest findings also allow the Swedes to explain why gay people, especially gay men, also seem to be more susceptible to the occurrence of affective disorders.
Savic and Lindström were able to demonstrate that heterosexual women and homosexual men respond similarly on the smell of male sex hormones (androgens).
Other experts say that it remains unknown, how it comes to changes in the emotional centre of the brain. Is it affected by genes, or it's caused by the impact of hormones in the womb.
According to present knowledge, the genes may play a role in male homosexuality, but not in females. It is also known that in male rat brain asymmetry is determined by early exposure to the action of androgens. Development of symmetry of the hemispheres in females can be reversed by removing the ovaries after birth.
The fact that the marriage has become the world standard, is a proof of the victory of the female brain and will. For men, the worst thing is to imagine their partner in a sexual situation with someone else. For woman is easier to cope with incidental adventure of her husband than with long-term love affair.
As we can see, there is a lot of differences between men and women, but it all can be used for good of us all. We are created in such a way, to complement each other and to accomplish our goals and remain ourselves. We don’t have to be ideal or self-contained, we can be weak sometimes. We are allowed to show our imperfection and remember that our partner is designed to fill the gap.