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Male and female brains

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1
    Hello guys, I am very thankful for you taking the time to read and maybe answer my question.

    This might be a controversial topic, but I would like to know if female brains tend to take actions based more on emotions, however a male brains tends to be more logical? As I would like a biological proof to disprove or prove the idea.

    I am sorry if I seemed like I am disrespecting women in any way, I find it very natural to take actions based on emotions if they do. It's just that I am very interested if there is a biological proof..

    Thanks a bunch, also please tell me why.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2012 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    Before this topic goes off the deep end, you're asking about 'sexual dimorphism'
    Humans display this trait, which is genetically based, so do lots of other mammals. How it manifests is widely varied, example: human facial hair, versus deer antlers. Males of these two species have antlers or beards depending on the species, female deer do not have antlers. Female humans do not have a beard.

    Read the first few lines of this:

    In plain English:
    This study found that areas of the human brain associated with language were proportionally larger in females than males.

    Therefore, this answers your question - human female brains have slightly different structure from human male brains.

    Notice that none of this necessarily translates to emotion. I think you may be basing some of your question on cultural stereotypes or norms rather than something else biological. So let's NOT assume "emotion".

    If you google for 'nih: sexual dimorphism' you will find scholarly articles and some overview articles meant for non-scientists.

    If you were to google just for 'sexual dimoprhism' you would start to see, um, fringe opinions rather than actual science.

    This is the good and bad aspect of the internet. It is easy to find really odd opinions which means folks have freedom of speech. For casual surfers, it can be hard to discern the real science based stuff from non-science sites with some kind of agenda, or outright quackery. Which is the downside of the internet.

    For example:

    This whole thing is meant tongue-in-cheek, so you can see right though it. Other sites, not so easy to see through it.

    So stick with NIH - National Institutes of Health, unless the going is too tough.

    Then you can try wikipedia. But some of the citations and information used to write the articles are from magazines and newspapers. So you can get into the non-science stuff fast. As an everyday analogy, this is like the difference between the New York Times and the tabloids at the grocery store.

    So if you want to research Elvis, pop culture, or Rosell then wikipedia is really shines. For science stuff, most, but very definitely not all, articles are reasonably good.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  4. Nov 28, 2012 #3
    As stated above, there are a few slight changes in the brains of humans that consistently vary by sex (women have more neurons devoted to language, men more to spacial orientation). It's important to note that these deviations are based on averages, it does not mean that all women are better linguists, just on average women are better linguists.

    In terms of emotions, it's actually a nonsensical question. Humans are entirely driven by emotion, it's how we evaluate decisions and make choices. We can be conditioned to elicit specific emotional responses to certain stimuli, and thus change our behavior, but we still act entirely based on emotion, both men and women. The question you should really be asking is if emotional responses differ in men and women, and if so, what specific differences are there.
  5. Nov 28, 2012 #4
    I agree with all you say, especially with your comments on Wikipedia, but I fear you may be wrong about the Flat Earth Society. They really do seem to mean what they say, e.g. this:

    This site is not a joke. We are actively promoting the Flat Earth movement worldwide. There are, admittedly, several non-serious Flat Earth posters, but they are fairly easy to identify. ​
  6. Dec 2, 2012 #5
    I just wanted to make a small addition to the discussion (if anyone still cares!) :)

    1.) Sexual dimorphism is not a trait, per se, but a variation of a particular trait

    2.) Sexual dimorphism CAN have a genetic basis, but, it can also result from hormone differences (pre and postnatal), either as a result of gene expression, experimentally- induced differences, stress, teratogenic effects, or, in polytocous animals, from differential exposure to sex hormones in utero (Intrauterine Position).

    ***oops...(Def.) Polytocous- producing multiple offspring in a single birth. Animals adjacent to each other within the uterine horn receive different levels of hormone, depending on the sex of the adjacent fetuses. (For example, a male mouse situated between two female mice in utero will be more feminized , in anatomical structure, as well as future behavior, than one situated between two males. The effect is similar for females, as well.
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