A --- HOW men's and women's brains are different
Evidence from neuropsychology, especially
clinical evidence of what happens to
after strokes and brain injuries, gives
logical explantions about natural differences
between talents of men and women.
1. Experts vs. Generalists
Why are women not more important in
as geniuses? The usual assumption is
women have not had access to education
have not had the opportunity to excel.
is true to an extent, but not the cause.
There is a real difference in brain
-- women tend to have more balanced brains,
whereas men tend to have more specialized
brains. To understand this section, it is important
to have read the previous section on "balanced" brains.
A very important observation of stroke
injury victims is that "men who have had unilateral brain damage
[left or right side only] tend to show
profound deficits in functions associated
with the side of lesion than do women
similar lesions." (Lezak 1983).
Translated this means that women tend to have talents distributed over larger areas. For example, men tend to have language
concentrated in the left brain, and
all language ability with a damaged
brain, whereas women temd to have language
talents spread over both hemispheres.
These observations are based on averages
of many people. Every person is different.
Some women have very specialized brains and
become absent-minded experts, and some men have balanced brains and become
good balanced thinkers amd multi-taskers.
The following graph shows an overlap
and you could be anywhere on the bell
of the population.
|These are only tendencies. Where do you fit?
||Men with more specialized brains
||Women with more balanced
||More likely to become geniuses and experts
||Better at managing, generalist thinking,
and "intuitive" thinking
of many aspects of a situation).
||More likely to become absent-minded experts,
and be poor managers
||Less likely to excel as experts
|Careers where this tendency is a real advantage
||Musician, Craftsmen, Specialist in any field,
and any career using spatial
||President, CEO, Manager, Supervisor, Mother,
Nurse, Secretary, Lawyer, Cook,
Examples are easy to find.
- Hospitals are almost "run" by nurses.
Specialist male doctors ask the generalist
nurses what is happening with their
- Secretaries are exceedingly important at
keeping most organizations operating
thereby making the CEO and specialists
- Most men do not seem very adept at being
house-husbands, which involves keeping
of many things happening at the same
2. "Feminine Intuition" is Real
(a) Men tend to be very narrow focused so
they miss other details around them. What they pay attention to is usually what
they are good at.
(b) Women with their multiple-focus brains
will notice and think about many things.
- A man who likes cars will walk down the street
thinking about the cars parked along
road -- their make, model, history,
body rust, paint job, dollar value,
She might suddenly call the dog to
attention... which makes him stop running,
and none of the accidents will happen.
one gives her credit for preventing
but her husband wonders why she is
and why she didn't notice the Jaquar
in mint condition they just passed.
at him, not in criticism but with understanding
of his maleness, and respect for his
knowledge... yet she quietly stops to comb down the patch
of wind-blown hair sticking up from
and wishes he had worn a different
that matched the color of her sweater.
- The old man on the steps looks lonely and
hungry, and may have lost his job,
shoes are untied..
- The traffic lights all are painted a dull
shade of yellow that does not match
of the light
- The person in front is carrying books so
may be going to the library that
is a block
- The woman in the car is sitting away from
the driver and frowning so they may
had an argument.
- A terrier dog is running across the lawn
....and may run out in front of the car with
the unhappy couple...who may not
dog and run over it...and the dog
to the old man... and he will suddenly
up and trip on his shoelaces...but the light is yellow so it may turn red
and stop the cars in time before
is run over.
3. Women talk, men grunt
Women have a reputation for talking
on the average, more of the female
is devoted to language. Of course,
also have strong language areas, and
become teachers, lawyers, and writers,
the tendency is for women to have stronger
In contrast, the right brains of men
to be more like their animal ancestors,
skills useful for hunting and warfare
needed today for driving their SUV
Often when couples get together, the
women use their strong language and generalist
skills to talk in the kitchen, prepare
and manage the party, while the pack
of men in the living room grunt and scream right-brain
animal sounds as they watch someone
a goal on TV sports.
The men will also be treating the TV Remote as if it were a spear, pointing it at the TV, searching for prey
(programs) as if they were deer hiding
the trees, and always looking for something
better on the next mountain (channel).
B --- WHY men and women's brains are different.
Human brains evolved differently for cave-men
Rather than just have people laugh
differences with jokes about "dumb
or "boys toys" which involve
I would prefer to understand how male
female brains evolved very logically,
each has its advantages and disadvantages.
I see ignorance about these male-female
differences as the main cause of marriage
Early humans developed some unusual
for good reasons. As the jungles of
Africa changed to grasslands during
drying spell, jungle apes designed
were at a disadvantage in catching
Evolution favored walking upright which
more use of hands and arms for using
1. Cave-MEN evolved their animal right-brain
talents, such a visual spatial, into advanced
abilities in hunting, fighting, design, inventing,
using tools and operating equipment.
The left brain language tends to be
developed, ranging from grunts and
Hunting led to many brain developments
humans, such as
However, cave-MEN developed specialized
over millions of years that were perfect
for hunters, and which ancient CAVE-WOMEN
probably took for granted.
- Tool use led to more advancement in brain design.
A sense of time was very useful in planning tools for future
Creative visual-spatial ability allowed imagining a finished spear point
when looking at a chunk of flint,
path of an imaginary spear flying
empty space to hit an animal in specific
vital points if thrown at a high
or low angle
and at different speeds, before he
his new spear.
- Logical thinking solved problems of losing the spear head
by notching and tying it to a shaft.
- Language use could easily have developed to help
with hunting. Pointing the hand or
at an elephant and grunting a sound
would associate the grunt with the
as a name.
However, MODERN-WOMEN, often don't appreciate the
following special features of hunters
are still so important for the self-respect
of many men. To criticize these traits is to criticize
a husband's natural instincts and "manhood"
In other words, when the husband...
- Limited language skills. For a hunter who was often alone during
the hunt, language for most males
need to progress much beyond grunts when thinking about something when alone,
shrugs as a way of quietly communicating to fellow
hunters tracking a prey, and yells when the spear hits the goal...as demonstrated
by men watching sports on TV today.
- Risk-taking. Men hunting for dangerous animals had to
take dangerous risks, and even the
was a gamble about finding game.
center in the brain decreased. Some
get a pleasure high from adrenaline,
emotions are replaced by pleasure
This seems to be more common in men
- Tribalism. The tribe is highly important for any social
animals, especially to men defending
or village. Tribal thinking in the
attaches emotions to groups of people
who are "the good guys"
bad guys." This goes for both
sports...the words "kill them"
used routinely by men watching their
team/tribe in a competitive sport.
- War. War is a spin-off of hunting skills and
tribalism. War is like a hunt because
often brought home valuables like
women or slaves. The thrills and
danger of war were similar to attacking
mammoth or bear.
- Bragging. Men would naturally brag to the world about
their own hunting skills when sitting
with other hunters at the fire, or
home to the family and neighbors.
was good in the hunting world because
stories taught the young men how
and brave men brought back more food
their families. Boys would want to
under the best hunters, and the boys
who were the best hunters by how
hunters bragged. Modern men usually
also about ownng the best car / house/
/ TV set / computer / stamp collection
- Non-sympathetic toward weakness. The cave-man brains would have had little
encouragement to develop sympathy
timid or weak human or animal. A
cowardly fellow hunter could lead
and starvation. A weak prey would
easy to kill and not allow bragging
strength or bravery.
- Works hard to make lot of money, because he knows that the wife wants a
new house / dress / jewelry/ trip
/ kitchen remodel / etc. (Romance
usually follow a standard theme that
can't be happy unless she marries
husband, and men know that.)
...the wife should be proud of catching a
- Proudly polishes his fancy car (mammoth tusk)
in the driveway in full view of neighbors,
- Grabs the TV remote (spear)
- Shrugs or grunts an answer as of to say it's
- Gambles (in moderation)
- Races his motorcycle or parachutes off cliffs
- Yells and screams when his team scores a
- Brags about the big contract he achieved
at work today
- Works long hours to make lots of money for
- Doesn't show much sympathy when little Jimmy
skins his knee
Modern men who act differently, more like
a cave-woman with feminine traits,
not have survived well in a cave-man
2. Cave-WOMEN evolved brains (and bodies)
for talking and nurturing in a family
- Nurturing instinct. Most mammal babies grow fast and become independent
within a year. Baby horses can walk
minutes, run within hours, and follow
herd within a day. The important
that by next Mother's Day most female
give last year's baby a cold shoulder,
him out of the nest, and give birth
next little one. Little Bambi didn't
mom many clover leaves after getting
But as humans evolved larger brains,
humans had a problem -- the larger
meant larger heads and more labor
Women solved the problem by organizing
first labor strike. Early cave-women
minimizing labor pains by having
premature with smaller heads and
brains. (Too premature and the baby
die. Not premature enough and the
would die. Nine months was the compromise
agreement after a million years or
- Body talents. To be successful at raising children with
larger heads, women needed wide hips
birth. Cave-women also evolved a
design that made it natural to carry
while nursing, but in the process
and arms were not as good for throwing
(or baseballs, etc.). Cave-men idolized
who would produce lots of children
wide hips and breasts. Also, if their
were fat, that told their neighbors
the man was a good hunter. The earliest
figurines are called "fat venuses."
Roman statues of "beautiful
showed them as very plump, showing
be from a rich class with a rich
- Management talents. This premature birth meant mom had to become
domestic, good at managing a cave.
nine months the baby has so much
to do before it can be kicked out
nest that mom has to say no to the
on with the husband's "business
of a mammoth hunting. And mom has
baby next season, along with other
still hanging around the nest until
get married off. With many things
in the cave, including cooking the
disciplining or feeding the children,
for the old people, talking with
all of the
people, and sewing up leather clothes,
developed management talents to juggle
many activities and people.
- Language talents. Many family members in a cave led to lots
of interaction, so women developed
skills to manage the people and for
ideas to the young children. Grandmothers
who told stories to their grandchildren
ancestors, legends, history and morality
are a main feature of most cultures.
are so important for passing on skills
stories that in one First Nations
the west coast of Vancouver Island
Canada, "if there was not a
the young woman would be given traditional
medicine to prevent her from having
-- from the nuuchahnulth.org stories)
C--- The single-focus "bachelor pad"
vs. the multiple-focus "woman's
When our daughter was pregnant, we
a social event with her. I noticed
women kept discussing "when she was due." When the men met, they asked, "what do you do?"
1. A man's achievements, careers and hobbies
define his identity ...whether it's the size of mammoth he caught, or things he has accumulated,
or skills he has shown, or size of his boat,
or horsepower of his car.. A man living alone
fills his house, time and life with what's
important to him.
You know "a batchelor lives here" when the house may be a mess, but the man
ignores the mess and instead talks
"important things" such as
achievements to impress women with
a real man he is...
However the apartment may be a mess -- with dirty dishes or floor, no curtains
on windows, lack of planning of a color
unmatched furniture or kitchen utensils,
no flowers in vases, behind on rent
dirty dishes left over from breakfast,
meal pizza delivered to the door, and
favorite loud music playing so you
- HIS complete collection of original Beatles
- HIS photographs and books and models of steam
locomotives of the British Empire.
- HIS library of original leather-bound books
- HIS wall full of high powered stereo equipment
with 26 speakers around the house
- HIS monster computer system with 32 Gigabytes
of Ram and a 12 Terabyte hard drive
- HIS opinon on .....
When the neighbours knock on the door
him to turn the music down...he turns
music up instead. Turning the music
is to show cowardice in the face of
and would not show off his stereo equipment
2. A "woman's touch" in a home means
that she has taken care of many intuitive
details, especially relating to human
and making the house feel like a home,
pleasant "cave" for her family
to live in.
You know "a woman lives here" when you see the following "feel good"
- Family pictures are on the walls
- Things are generally neat and clean and sanitary
- The curtains on the windows match and are
- The furnishings and decorations are probably
a similar style
- There are fresh flowers, real not plastic,
on the table.
- The music is background music so it doesn't
interfere with conversation
- Food is to be served in an attractive way
on the dining table.
D --- Some myths about creativity and "left-right
1. Myth: Women are more "right-brained"
Reality = WOMEN on the average tend to be
more "left-brained" than
A commonly voiced myth, usually spoken
written by women in books for women,
"women are more right-brained
This is wrong. The evidence from strokes
and injuries shows that women have more language development over
more areas of the brain, as described above. Because language is
a left-brain specialty, women tend to be actually more "left-brained"
than men, on the average.
Compared to the average male, women tend to have more left brain talents such as talking more, talking more
intelligently and logically, and to
at secretarial skills of keeping track
schedules, organizing file cabinets
and writing eloquently.
Girls in school tend also to excel at language
skills and history with its sequential thinking.
Reality = MEN on the average tend to be right-brained
For example the right-brain spatial area is important to animals for finding food, and for humans operating equipment, designing bridges,
fixing car engines, and building houses.
Men tend to be better drivers in high-speed
situations like racing where right-brain
spatial sense is so important. Men
very impuslive rather than logical,
language in grunts rather than perfect
Part of the "women are right-brain"
myth includes the myth that "left-brained men are more militaristic" and thus cause wars. Yes, men cause
almost all wars and military operations,
but it is because war is mostly a cave-man and right-brain operation, - planning, tool use, hunting skills, tribalism
and visual-spatial, with little sympathy
for weakness-- flying airplanes, aiming guns, deciding
who is the enemy, establishing territory,
sneaking around the woods, and so on.
2. Myth: Women have a strong right brain because
of their strong emotions
Reality = Emotions are not exclusive to women.
The temporal lobe is the main location
memories. Language sounds and words
left side. Music sounds and images
The front of the temporal lobes combine emotions to
memories. As someone said, "emotions
tell us how important our memories are.
With strong left brain / language abilities,
women will tend to put strong emotional
to language. This makes them very aware
emotional inuendos and meanings to
3. Myth: Women are more "creative"
Reality = Women will tend to be more creative
in their instinctual talent areas,
language, people and relationships.
Creativity itself has nothing to do
male vs. female, it has to do with
or parts of the cortex are most wired
the creative "yes" patch in the frontal lobe.
If there are strong connections between
creative frontal lobe and music sounds,
the person will tend to be strong at
new patterns of music sounds, and have
career as a composer.
However, because women tend to have
left-brain language development, they
naturally tend to have stronger creative
connections to language and people
- Creative planning for events of all kinds,
(parties, conventions), buinsess
nopn-profit organizations, organizing
in any situation, managerial
- Creative writing, especially about people
and relationships, romance stories
- Creative storytelling, a classic grandmother
role in most cultures
- Creative acting, combining women's talents
for language,. people awareness,
- Creative "cave" interior decorating,
moving the furniture or mammoth bones
- Creative ideas about other people when talking
with other women (the source of the
idea) and imagining romance or matchmaking
Men will men will tend to have more
with standard animal visual-spatial
in the right-brain.
These are very important for human tool-using
activities, such as hand tools, construction,
engineering, invention, architecture, operating
equipment, weapoins, strategic thinking,
as explained above,