Men and women: why are we so different

Men and women: why are we so different

The main ideas

  • We differ genetically in the brain have sex: male or female.
  • The women with the male brain type (and vice versa) are not as rare.
  • Only part of our features is given to us from birth: a lot depends on our upbringing and environment.

"We're just two intersections, then we turn right and see the City Hall" - says Andrew, studying the tourist map of the city. "Yes, I remember, there was a pastry shop on the corner" - easy to say I told him ... Most of us, of course, familiar with this type of situation. Men and women, we often have different perceptions of the world around us, is not the same think, the same situation cause us conflicting emotions.

More recently, these differences are explained to us exclusively the influence of sex hormones and the style of education for boys and girls, which "forces" of men and women behave in a certain way. Today more and more scientists are convinced that gender peculiarities of perception, thinking and even behavior are primarily associated with the construction and operation of our brain. Let's try to figure it out.

Congenital dissimilarity

In January 2005, in a public speech, Lawrence Summers, the rector of Harvard University (USA), said that men are more successful in science than women, and this may be due to anatomical features of the brain.

From birth we are given only one tenth of our mental abilities

"This remark has resumed scientific discussion that began more than a century ago, when scientists discovered that brain size among men slightly more than women, tried to use this fact to justify their intellectual superiority", - says Larry Cahill, a neurobiologist University of California (USA). Today there is no evidence that intellectual abilities are dependent solely on the structure of the brain, but clearly something else: the brain of men and women develop and operate differently.

"It is not only the structure of the various departments, but also the structure of neural circuits and chemicals that carry messages from neuron to neuron" - says Sc.D., an anthropologist Marina Butovskaya. And these differences are formed long before we were born, they laid genetically.

Between 18 and 26 weeks of intrauterine development of the testicles of the unborn boys begin to produce sex hormone testosterone, which interacts with the brain tissue, converts it. Ultrasound examination of women with gestational age of 26 weeks to distinguish a boy from a girl brain brain.

Men and women: why are we so different

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Scientific studies conducted over the past ten years, allow us to say that there are two types of brain: male and female.

"The most important difference lies in the fact that we have different developed limbic system and cerebral cortex - explains Doctor of Biological Sciences Sergei Saveliev. - Cora is responsible for conscious perception, analysis, comparison, and selection. In men, it contains about 11 billion nerve cells, in women - about nine. But in the female brain is dominated by the limbic system - a more ancient area of ​​the brain that controls the physiological, hormonal processes, emotional and instinctive behavior. "

Other key features of gender brain function related to the size of its sections. In 2001, neuroscientists at Harvard Medical School under the direction of Gil Goldstein made a comparative measurement of 45 areas of the brain and found, for example, that women have an average of more developed areas of the frontal cortex, which is the center responsible for planning actions. And men - the area of ​​the parietal cortex involved in the perception of space. In addition, men have more size of the amygdala - a small area of ​​the brain that controls emotions and social and sexual behavior. "It is interesting that in the same situation - says Larry Cahill - men activated the right amygdala nucleus, and for women - left. That is why men, talking about some event, describing it as a whole, women are concentrated on the details. "

Moreover, among there are women who have a "male" brain, and vice versa.

"About 10% of women in varying degrees of brain masculinized, - says Marina Butovskaya. - This is due to the fact that their nervous system before birth, in the womb, at the age of six to eight weeks has been exposed to excessive doses of testosterone. The brain is feminized to some extent in 15-20% of men. The reason for this, on the contrary, a lack of testosterone ... Most often, this occurs if the mother during pregnancy has gone through a lot of stress. "

We speak different languages,

Men and women are not only different perceptions of the world, but also talk about different things and different words.

It is known that men and women are interested in different subjects. Men are more likely to talk about politics, cars, sports; Women - Children, fashion, relationships. In this case, all that says the stronger sex, taken seriously, and women's conversations are usually regarded as trivial - authors of the book "Gender and Language" write.

So manifest social representations, according to which what they do and say, man, significant and important, and that women do less significant. Women are more likely to use in his speech adjectives used diminutive suffixes ( "baby", "dear"). In a speech more men verbs and nouns. Usually a strong half of humanity is allowed much more than the fairer sex: women generally use literary forms, while men are more likely to use colloquial expressions, slang and swearing.

Inherit and develop

But why the nature and evolution have made sure to make us so different from each other? Sergey Savelyev believes that the differences are primarily related to the reproductive challenge - to continue the human race - and therefore, the influence of upbringing, education and the environment in which we live, is limited.

"From birth, we are given only one-tenth of our neural networks, others are formed under the influence of stimuli coming from the outside world" - does not agree neuroscientist Catherine Vidal, chief researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. This means that part of the brain differences acquired during life.

"Woman is not born, it becomes" - Simone de Beauvoir wrote in his book "The Second Sex". It seems that men, too, are not born. In short, each sex should be, in any case, know your strengths ... to be able to laugh at my weaknesses.

Why do you need testosterone?

It determines the number of "floor" of the brain, but not only. In men, testosterone is greater than that of women. Testosterone they owe many of the qualities needed in hunting and war.

Depend on it: muscle strength, speed of reaction and impatience (92% of drivers honking at traffic lights - men!), Aggressiveness, competitiveness, the instinct of domination (the dominant male ensures the quality of the breed), accuracy, endurance and resistance, wound healing, beard growth and baldness, vigilance (this allows the hunter to observe animals from a distance), orientation in space (to return to the home production), thirst for adventure, new experiences, willingness to take risks, sexual attraction to young females (ready for reproduction) and the desire to protect her. In turn, the female hormone estrogen in women develop attraction to the dominant male, strong, experienced, recognized in society (hence, not too young, but the ability to protect it).