Male vs Female BRAINS (Part 1)


 

PREVIOUS:
MBTI 4 functions-ENFP / ENFJ

SITE: Anatomy of the Brain

 

DIFFERENCES
Many ACoAs don’t know or understand that males & females really do think / act differently in certain ways – & not just because of social conditioning. Missing this awareness causes a great deal of confusion & frustration in relationships.

Many studies have been looking at what happens in the M vs F brain when we think about or do things. While there are all kinds of variations among each gender, & that our early years (with family, religion & culture) does have a profound effect, we start with differences in bio-chemicals (estrogen vs testosterone) & brain wiring.

EXP: When Cher’s ‘daughter’ had his sex change & added testosterone to the hormonal mix, at first Chaz became more argumentative (& assertive), compared to how he had treated his long-term mate until then. (‘Becoming Chaz‘)

✴︎ Research tells us that some social stereotypes are based on actual biology – BUT have nothing to do with over-all intelligence! – only skills, tendencies & preference.
“Every individual can have both M & F characteristics”, but scientists don’t yet know how much each person has of M or F-like patterns of brain connectivity.
And study results do not apply to individuals but rather to the 2 genders as a whole. Broad indicators can be compared to the biological differences between Introverts & Extrovert.

Other M / F differences relate to:
1. Personality TYPES  // 2. Family ROLES  // 3. Birth ORDER // 4. LEARNING Preferences  …..

NOTE: Since variations in human behavior are dealt with in other posts, this series focuses mainly on physical structures.
SEE: 20  M/F Differences, Backed by Science” 

Some BRAIN MAPPING studies 
• One study at the U of Penn used diffusion-tensor-imaging (DTI) of water molecules in the brain’s white matter, made up of axons – the “wires” that connect neurons. ➡️ Tractographic images of neural connections via DTI

They scanned nearly 1,000 young people (ages 8-22),  mapping neural circuitry, showing all the signals that travel like busy road traffic (connectivity) – focused on the 4 hemispheres, (2 cerebrum & 2 cerebellum)

•  Psychologist Stuart Ritchie’s research at the U of Edinburgh, MRI-scanned over 5,000 men & women (ages 44-77), drawn from 500,000 participants in the UK Biobank‘s long-term bio-med study. The volume of 68 specific areas were examined, including the thickness of the cerebral cortex (wrinkly outer layer important in consciousness, language, memory, perception…..), white matter, resting state connectivity & cognitive testing.

▪︎ Ruigrok et.al. in Germany, studied 2,186 MRI scans (age range 21–90) for sex differences in grey matter (GM) volume, in many parts of the brain. Neither age nor longer education affected their conclusion – that size & quantity of GM was located in different part of the F & M brains.

• Research at Madrid’s Consejo Superior in Madrid looked at the cortex with stereo-logical correlative light & electron microscopy, searching for which structures may underpin M vs F variations in cognitive function (thinking). Differences were found in the density of synapses, which are the junctions between neurons that allow cells to communicate with each other

• A 2013 researchers from UCLA and Universidad Autónoma de Madrid used 3D high-resolution structural brain MRI scans of automated segmentation of the hippocampus. 104 healthy participants (ages 18-27) took a series of IQ tests measuring abstract, verbal & spatial intelligence, along with working memory, executive control, attention & processing speed

• Looking for gender differences re. the prevalence, age of onset, & symptomatology of many neuro-psychiatric conditions, Amber Ruigrok, et.al, at the U of Cambridge in the UK looked at overall brain volume & density, in 6 age-categories (18-59) – of the amygdala, hippocampus, & insula – areas implicated in sex-biased mental illnesses

Male & female brains differ right down to the genetic level. Every male cell  contains a Y chromosome, while F brains usually do not.  😾

M & F brains process the same neuro-chemicals, but in different degrees :
▪︎ serotonin – which, among other things, helps us sit still
(Ms are less inclined that Fs)
▪︎ testosterone – the sex & aggression chemical
(Ms tend to be more physically impulsive & aggressive) 
▪︎ estrogen – a F growth & reproductive chemical
▪︎ oxytocin – a bonding-relationship chemical……
(Ms process less of it)
▪︎ glucose – for thinking, memory & learning
(
Fs ‘burn’ more glucose, so their brains heat up more)

NEXT: M-F brains #2

2 thoughts on “Male vs Female BRAINS (Part 1)

  1. This article has turned this site into a joke, “brain sex” is no more “scientific” than the previous “racial brain” studies. The only difference is that scientific racism is generally regarded as the pseudo-science it is, scientific sexism sadly still is going strong, which is why nonsense like this is being pushed by many in neuroscience today. Read the works by respected neuroscientist’s such as Cordelia Fine’s “Delusions of Gender”, or Gina Rippon’s “Gender and Our Brains: How New Neuroscience Explodes the Myths of the Male and Female Minds” etc., to understand the truth about so-called “brain sex”.

    Since we all live in a male dominated society, where we are all socialised into highly gendered roles, that start the second a parent knows the sex of it’s child, it is a nonsense to claim that it is possible to prove there are any traits that are not developed from this socialisation, excepting those that involve physical strength. The only way an experiment would be able to confirm that differences in brain anatomy exist independently of the social environment, would be to take a large group of females to a desert island as babies without any adults, and do the same with males, then after a number of years scan their brains to check for any differences. However, this could never happen as babies could not survive on their own and so will always be subjected to the preconceived notions of their caregivers, by the time they are able to survive on their own they will already have been subjected to considerable socialisation (whether intentional or not on the part of the caregivers).

    Furthermore, we know the brain is plastic and changes throughout the lifetime depending on the input it receives. For example, the composition of London cabbies and ballet dancer’s brain’s change after training. We also know that even the expression of genes can change after therapy such as in the case of PTSD suffers. Therefore, the idea of brain’s being fixed into a male/female patten is unscientific nonsense.

    Moreover, the one thing we do know is that biological sex is fixed and that every cell is encoded as XY if male and XX if female, the one good thing about this article is that it does acknowledge this. However, this article then contradicts itself by seeming to hint that it is possible to change sex with the aid of cross-sex hormones, e.g. the references to “Cher’s daughter” becoming a “he”. Or perhaps the author believes that one can have the opposite sex brain stuck in their body, e.g. that males can have “feminine brains” and females can have “masculine brains” which then defines their sex, rather than their actual biology? Such a conviction would be a faith based belief, which one is entitled to, but lets not pretend it has anything to do with science.

    Much on this site is valuable, but articles such as this drag it down into pseudo scientific nonsense, and so forces the integrity of the whole site to be called into question.

    Like

    • Thank you for you point of view. However, you might have waited to look at the next several posts before offering such a strong rebuke.

      Are you also a scientist? Perhaps you can write to all the researchers listed & dismiss their findings directly.

      I gather you haven’t read Anne Moir & Davis Jessel’s “Brain Sex”: “…..the answers lie in the basic biological differences between the male & female brain, making it impossible for the sexes to share equal emotional or intellectual qualities, say the authors.”(Review)

      BTW – The Bible also supports M/F differences, but that’s not scientific either, right?

      PS: Re. alcoholism & the brain — “Effects differ between men & women. After about 5 drinks, women lose spatial reasoning. After the same number of drinks, men experience memory function loss…” https://hccegalitarian.com/2403/showcase/speaker-raises-awareness-on-alcohol-abuse/

      Also ARTICLE:”Male and Female Brains Are Different. Should It Matter?”
      Neuroscientist Larry Cahill on the great ‘neurosexism’ debate
      https://gen.medium.com/male-and-female-brains-are-different-should-it-matter-6db82ead5e20

      Eric Metaxas Radio Interview
      BOOK “What men want to say to women but can’t” Christian perspective re. being male / female by Denise McAllister

      Like

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