Differences in the female and male brain

Posted on 2013-04-15 00:00:34

There’s always a big difference in the way new born girls boys are treated even with the most equality-driven individual. Girls will be dressed in mostly pinks and boys in blues. The former will be given dolls as presents while the latter cars. These environmental differences may play a big role in shaping the child’s brain. If there are differences in people's brains, it might be due to how society has shaped a person, with neurons and synapses pruned away as the brain deemed them unnecessary. However, not every psychologist agrees that the environment has a major role to play in brain development. Some believe that our brains are structured at birth. When looking at Albert Einstein’s brain, scientist found that it had a unique structure that was most probably already formed at birth. This theory may help to explain why we don’t have many Einsteins in the world today. It is still usual to see more ladies as tailors than men and more men as mechanics than women. There’s also a stereotype of women being “weak” in Einstein’s favourite subjects of physics and math and hence the brain structure theory can back that up proving there may be slight differences in the structure of the female and male brain. It may be that the rate of development between girls and boys is different; however, our educational system doesn’t take that into account. We have seen that when a child takes up a hobby or a subject they are not yet ready to tackle, they may give up too quickly but later on, with encouragement, take it up and perform very well in it. However, we cannot entirely rule out the fact that at times due to societal pressure, girls tend to pursue careers or hobbies that have been dominated by the female gender. It could be due to fear of challenge or a fear of the unknown. This also applies to boys. They may not take up a career due to the societal pressure of being termed as ”gay” for being in sectors dominated by women. At times they feel they need to take up courses like engineering which have been labeled, ”difficult” so that they can prove their manhood. However, another study demonstrated that this sort of insecurity is all in our heads. In that study, girls' math scores improved when they were told that the exam was gender-neutral, while white men's scores on the same test dropped when they were told the scores would be evaluated against Asian men's scores. This seems to suggest that we can easily overcome any biological differences, or we can just as easily doom ourselves to fulfilling these prophecies. Research is still being conducted on the human brain using male species as it is believed that the female brain would show wildly inconsistent results during various phases of the menstrual cycle. Some brain disorders like depression and chronic anxiety are often diagnosed in women than in men. This may be due to either:
  • The differences in the chemical composition of the brain. Women produce only about half as much serotonin (a neurotransmitter linked to depression) as men and have fewer transporters to recycle it.
  • How the various sides of the female brain respond to emotions and pain.
Women are not the only victims in brain disorders. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with dyslexia and schizophrenia. In addition to this, disorders like schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease can show up differently in men and women Based on the location of neurons, brain injuries may affect men and women differently too. These differences in the brain once mastered can change the way drugs and treatments are administered between male and females. Before then, I guess we may keep fighting for equality.