Psychological and neurological differences
There is no surprise when stating that men and women are different. The differences being not only physical but also the thought processes and the brain structure. This is not to say that one gender is smarter or more intelligent than the other, but just to point out certain differences.
The differences between a male and female brain begin to show at an early age. We can begin to see differences in spatial- visualization ability in 2-3-month-old infants. Girls begin to talk earlier and more eagerly react to faces, whereas boys respond to artificially induced perpetual modifications in their visual surroundings.
Brain scans and structure reflect the lives we have led not just the genders. Although there are exceptions. These differences are of degree and not of kind.
Some of the structural differences of the brain between men and women.
Women usually have a larger hippocampus (the information/memory center) although this is disputed by some studies, they also have more neural connections in the hippocampus than men. Consequently, women tend to absorb and retain sensorial and emotive information better than men. Women usually have verbal centers on both hemispheres, whereas men tend to have them only on the right. Which may explain why women are better at verbalizing feeling and emotions and can more vividly recall information associated with emotion from their long term memory. This could also be explained as there is more natural blood flow to cingulate gyrus (the concentration part of the brain) in women who will often cogitate on and recall emotional memories more than the male brain. Various researches studying connections in the brain have found that women tend to have stronger neural connections between the two hemispheres (side to side) while men tend to have more neural connections from front to back.
Female brains tend to use almost ten times more white matter of the brain than male whereas males tend to use gray matter nearly seven times as much than females
White matter is a network connecting gray matter and processing centers. This could be used to explain why women are able to juggle between tasks. Gray matter is information and processing centers in specific parts of the brain. This could be used to express why some men when involved in deeply engaging tasks tend to pay little to no attention to their surroundings.
A research conducted by the university of Hertfordshire showed that 70% of the female participants performed better at multitasking that their male counterparts.
To generalize this may explain why women are great multitaskers and why men perform good in task- focused projects.
Can biological differences between the two sexes lead to behavioral differences?
Some behavioural differences
Structural difference also exhibits certain behavioral differences. The female brain is twice as likely to experience clinical depression as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. Men, on the other hand are 40% more likely to develop schizophrenia and twice as likely to become alcoholic or dependent on drugs. Both genders process the same neurochemicals differently, for example serotonin (hormone associated with happiness and depression) is processed differently in women which might explain the high tendencies of depression.
Dyslexia in boys is 10 times more than that in girls, and males are four to five times more likely to be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Although it can be argued that autism is harder to detect in females and that is why they are less likely to be diagnosed, however that is a separate topic in itself.
Women do well in various forms of verbal abilities. They overtake men in tests of perpetual speed or fine motor coordination, Women are more proficient at retrieving information from long term memory. Their reading comprehension and writing abilities outperform that of men’s.
On the other hand, for men, they have better visuospatial skills they excel at visualizing 2 and 3 dimensional objects and their angles at different rotations. They can more easily manage information in their working memory. They also do well at aiming projectiles as well as tracking objects in motion.
Due to the direction of the neural connections between the male and female brain it could lead to better intuitive thinking, drawing conclusions and analysis in women. And Men, tend to have keen perception and stronger motor skills.
It could be generalized that that men and women have differences in their brain processes and structure. However as stated before, the differences are to a degree and not of kind and there are always exceptions. Our brain scans and structure reflect the lives we have led and not just the genders. A study conducted by Maguire et al in 2000 showed that the taxi drives in London had larger hippocampi than the control group consisting of non- taxi drivers. The larger volume in the hippocampi was to accommodate the navigational information of the streets of London. Several other studies suggest that the structure of the brain can be can be altered depending on the lives we live, the jobs and hobbies we have. There is also the discussion of the impact of culture on our brains, the way we think and process information.
Conclusively, the differences between the brains of men and women cannot only be reduced to just biology, but a combination of factors such as culture, age, upbringing and day to day lives, history as well as biology can be analyzed to presume our differences.