I was reading an article this morning in the infamous Red Eye paper about the differences in brain chemistry between men and women. I know enough about science to realize the idea that there is a chemical/biological difference probably has some credence to it. However, I also know enough about psychology to fully understand the nurture vs. nature idea and firmly believe that much of human behavior falls under the nurture category. I think a lot of scientists do as well.
The article focused primarily on a book written by Dr. Louise Brizendine entitled “The Female Brain”. It seems that Dr. Brizendine looked at many of the commonly identified differences between the sexes and tried to explain them scientifically. A noble pursuit I am sure and undoubtedly a very lucrative topic for a book. Much of what was discussed in the article was in the vein of the differences in empathic and communicative abilities of men and women. Naturally, women tend to be better at both of these things. Dr. Brizendine found chemical backing behind these common beliefs. She even let the reader know that 10% of both men and women exhibit the characteristics most commonly associated with the opposite sex, which tells me that nurture certainly plays a large part in the process and she conceded to it as well. Apparently, the hormone levels and sizes of different parts of the brain in men and women explain much of the differences in capacity to communicate and empathize.
Times like this I wish I were reading the book or a scientific journal rather than the stupid Red Eye. I want to know what parts of the brain and what hormones she is talking about. Maybe the average Red Eye reader doesn’t but I do. Maybe they do too, I don’t know. Anyway on the next page there seemed to be many people who completely disagreed with Dr. Brizendine’s point of view. The one I thought was completely off base was her assertion about sex. Dr. Brizendine claims that, on average, men think about sex once every minute and women think about it once a day. Her reasoning for this seemed to be because men have double the brain space and processing power devoted to thinking about sex in their brains. Women’s brains are apparently wired so that they express their sexuality through dressing up and attracting male attention.
Problem one, last I knew double meant times two. If the man has double the brainpower to think of sex, wouldn’t it follow that if the man thinks about sex once a minute that the woman would think about it every two minutes? Or maybe there is some exponential variant in conjunction with brainpower that means double the brainpower equals 1440 times the frequency of thought. I don’t know. All I really know is if women are supposed to think about sex once a day I know some incredibly sexually obsessed women. Granted I know a few who may think of it even less than once a day but they are more than compensated for by those I know who think about it endlessly. Now, sure women like to dress well and get male attention, but don’t men do that too? What was the whole Metrosexual thing about? Maybe I know strange men but they obsess about their appearance and worry if women aren’t looking at them a whole bunch.
Anyway, I guess my point is that I thought this lady’s book looked like a bunch of hooey. I think she is in it for the controversy, which will undoubtedly lead to money and, very likely, more book deals. Best of luck to her.
I forgot my iPod at home today so there will be no musical interlude today. Don’t cry they will be back tomorrow.