I've always thought of myself as a pretty well informed progressive woman. But reading Louann Brizendines, The Female Brian, my sense of self-awareness was blown right out of the water. We are all aware of the prevailing viewpoint that men and women respond to events in different ways the whole men-from-mars-women-from-venus dichotomy. But I was unaware of the profound neurological and biochemical differences between the genders. After all, I came of age in the feminist 70s, when we were meant to understand and spread the word that women were not inferior to and therefore, more or less, the same as -- men.
According to Brizendine, The female and male brains process stimuli, hear, see, sense, and gauge what others are feeling in different ways. Our distinct female and male brain operating systems are mostly compatible and adept, but they perform and accomplish the same goals and tasks using different circuits Under a microscope or an fMRI scan, the differences between male and female brains are revealed to be complex and widespread. In the brain centers for language and hearing, for example, women have 11 percent more neurons than men. The principal hub of both emotion and memory formation the hippocampus is also larger in the female brain, as is the brain circuitry for language and observing emotions in others. This means that women are, on average, better at expressing emotions and remembering the details of emotional events. Men, by contrast, have two and half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive as well as larger brain centers for action and aggression.
Have you ever had an experience when you knew that a negotiation was falling apart because you correctly read the emotional character of the room but your male colleagues thought you were over-reacting?