A study released yesterday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found notable differences in the brain wiring of men and women that lends validity to some of the most typical, tired stereotypes we have about each sex. The eye roll-worthy stereotypes of the emotional fast-talking dames and stoic, work-focused dudes have long existed on film and TV. It turns out rom-com writers haven’t been lazy all these years, they’ve just been scientifically accurate.
Researchers studied the brains of 949 individuals ages 8 to 22 and found that men have greater neural connectivity between the front and back of one hemisphere in their brains, meaning they have a strong wiring for perception and coordinated action. In the female brain, the connectivity goes from left to right, which lends itself to women being way more verbal (big surprise there), intuitive, and analytical. That’s why men are adept at performing one active task at a time, like installing an engine or navigating a car full of hungry, whiny kids to Mount Rushmore. Women, on the other hand, are built for multitasking, memory, and social skills, which is why they’re better suited to chat up your dull boss at the Christmas party, while simultaneously setting out appetizers and recalling the names of his three shiba inus.
The findings are pretty much in line with older behavioral studies that concluded girls outperform boys in attention, verbal, and memory tests, whereas boys always sweep spatial and motor tests. Before the “See, women do suck at driving!” and “Men never listen to what I’m saying!” calls come in, need I remind you that these are general links between common behaviors. But the findings do support the notion that the battle of the sexes is pretty moot when it comes to brain wiring. Quit it with the all-women-are-gossips and any-man-can-assemble-my-IKEA-shelf. One gender’s brain isn’t superior to the other. They’re more like a yin and yang, complimenting each other. It’s sorta romantic, in a brain-y way.
Image via Veer.