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The Differences Between Men and Women?

Updated on February 24, 2015
Model of The Human Brain
Model of The Human Brain | Source

Men's versus Women's Brain

The question is, are there really any differences in the way men and women analyze things or even perform certain tasks, due to the anatomical differences between their brains? The answer to this question of course, is unsurprisingly mixed. Some advocates of equal rights for women in the workplace as well as in social settings, for example, outright reject the notion that there are indeed anatomical differences between men’s and women’s brains. They are somewhat skeptical that this structural separatism, could be used to deny women equal opportunity and equal pay.

Although sexism or racism cannot be justified through scientific studies, scientists were able to present solid evidence that real differences exist in the brains of males and females, which may be responsible for variations in how both sexes perform on a number of tasks. For numerous years, behavioral researchers have been conducting studies on girls and boys and men and women on a various tasks, and making a list of measurable differences in the way they do things. They discovered that little girls, for example, learn to sit up, crawl, and walk months earlier than little boys.

Little Girls also tend to remember words and things they have seen much earlier. They also found that boys, on the other hand, learn spatial tasks such as rotating and fitting together blocks, puzzle pieces, and other objects earlier than girls. Some of these differences --- in slightly altered form --- they believe, persist throughout adulthood.

The Differences Between Men and Women

On an average, when it comes to difference between men and women, men were found to be generally better than women at the following:

  • Rotating objects in their minds
  • Imagining the shapes they could see from various angles
  • Hitting a target with an arrow, dart, or ball
  • Recognizing simple shapes hidden with complex ones
  • Working out problems that require mathematical reasoning
  • Navigating by a sense of distance direction

On the contrary, women were found to have the tendency to outperform men on tests of the following:

  • Perceptual speed (quickly recognizing images or objects that match in every detail)
  • Of changes in a setting or series of objects
  • On tests of fluency of ideas and words
  • On fine-motor coordination
  • On mathematical calculations
  • On navigating by a memory for landmarks

Despite the above findings, however, we should keep in mind that the above are just statistical tendencies. While some women are better than men at one or more from the first set of skills, some men are better than women at items in the second set.

What Studies Have Shown

However, in an attempt to better understand the role play by the brain, a Canadian researcher studied men and women who had suffered damage to various parts of the brain due to strokes, accidents, and other causes. It was discovered that men have the tendency to lose speech functions and dexterity more frequently than women.

The explanation for this, based on what was found, was that damage is more common to the posterior portion of the brain --- regardless of hemisphere --- and significantly, speech and hand movements appear to be governed by the posterior part of the male’s brain but the anterior portion of the female’s ! Based on these and other pieces of evidence, the researcher concludes that the brains of males and females become organized quite differently due to hormonal influences in the womb at the early beginning of life and shortly after birth.

If we take a closer look at the sex roles among hunter-gatherers( such as the pygmies), and analyzes the evolutionary significance of those separate tasks, we should not be surprise at what we see, according to scientists. The men of each tribe tend to shape tools, protect the village, go out in search of meat --- sometimes over great distances --- and return with it.

They further argue that route finding, targeting, and spatial skills would help to enhance success at those endeavors, and survival for themselves and for tribe members. The women tend to gather food closer to home, take care of household chores such as making clothing and home artifacts, and teaching and rearing children.

For those tasks, navigation by landmarks, manual dexterity, verbal fluency , and the ability to quickly detect small changes( in the home setting, a child’s health, and so on)could be crucial to their own survival and the tribe’s.

Whether one choose to believe or deny that there are indeed anatomical differences between the brain of males and females, it’s a matter of choice. While the above findings may appear rather convincing and the arguments somewhat logical; obviously, most of us live in complex urban societies today, and have the freedom to explore and develop whichever subset of our innate abilities most appeals to us.

Ideally, we often do the things we do or tend to excel in certain areas, despite the statistical tendencies of male and females, or the traditional sex roles of hunter-gatherer societies.

By W. Mcfarlane 2012


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    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      5 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for stopping by Nyamache, and for also sharing your opinion on this much debatable topic. As far as women being better at multitasking when compared to men, this statement certainly has the potential to spark a heck of a debate! :-)

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 

      5 years ago from Kenya

      Much findings here, women and men think differently. Women are good at multitasking unlike men.

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      Thanks for your comment midget38. I am just curious as to how others might feel about these differences!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      The differences indeed affect the way we communicate between the sexes!! Both indeed have strong points and should complement each other. Thanks for this, and I've enjoyed it!

    • mackyi profile imageAUTHOR

      I.W. McFarlane 

      6 years ago from Philadelphia

      SommerDalton, thanks for dropping by. You have certainly made a valid point here! It's either that they tend to forget or they are totally unaware of the fact that these differences do exist. I appreciate the vote!

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 

      6 years ago

      This is awesome and so informative. I think a lot of us tend to forget the differences when talking to different sexes:). Voted up plus 2!


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