The Male Brain and the Female Brain

Do you ever wonder why your husband or boyfriend is acting inconsiderate? Or why they seem to lose their senses when they see a hot woman? Or why they snap so quickly into anger? New research shows that the hormones in mens brains are very different then the hormones that women have and this creates differences in personality and behavior.

The hormones in women’s brains make them much more likely to be considerate, nurturing and understanding of others emotions. When baby girls are born their brains are instantly flooded with estrogen. This makes them much more likely to watch adults faces and begin to develop areas of their brain for observing and understanding emotions. Baby boys are flooded with testosterone which makes them mush more action orientated so they are more focused on a mobile or things that move. On the play ground you might see little girls working together cooperating and building a house, then out of nowhere a little boy the same age may come running by and smash the house.  Research has shown that the estrogen and progesterone in girl and woman’s brains makes them much more likely to nurture, take care of others needs, and observe and understand others emotions. They build super hwys for understanding emotions and caring for others. Boys and men on the other hand do not have these hormones; instead they have testosterone which makes them much more action orientated, aggressive, sexual, and solution focused. The problem that happens when it comes to couples is that women look at their men and say “I made him lunch, and I bought him a shirt, I’m always thinking about him and considering him, but he doesn’t ever consider me!” Ladies they just aren’t built the same as us.

What does a man have that a woman does not have? The area in men’s brains for sexual instinct is 2.5 times larger than what is found in a woman’s brain. At age nine boys testosterone rises 25% which sets off puberty and makes his brain’s sexual pursuit circuits grow more than twice as large as those in girls’ brains. Testosterone primes the visual cortex to focus on sexually attractive females. Sometimes all it can take is the hint of a female shape to make a young man snap his head around.  The kind of chemical cocktail that goes off in a man’s brain when he sees a woman with a hour glass figure causes him to literally lose his senses. During sex men’s brains produce chemicals that create euphoria similar to being on cocaine. When men have regular sex their brains rapidly manufacture dopamine- the brain’s feel good neurotransmitter for reward. Plus most men have shame tied to directly asking for their adult attachment needs to be met and often try to initiate sex to try and feel loved, wanted, valued, and appreciated. As women we have a hard time understanding why it seems like our men go into a trance like mesmerized state when they see a hot or sexy female. We can now understand that men do not look at other women and lose their senses on complete free will, that when a man sees a women that has an hour glass figure their brain’s is literally lighting up like a Christmas tree.

As women it is so difficult for us to understand why men have so much trouble controlling their anger. A man’s brain area for suppressing anger, the septum, is smaller than it is in the female brain so expressing anger is a more common response for men than women. The amygdale, the part of our brains that is associated with emotion and the fight or flight response, is larger in men. Starting from age nine until men are late in their forties their brains are fuelled by testosterone and vasopressin which fuels their brain circuits often making them a hair trigger for anger. Studies have found that although men and women report that they feel anger for an equal number of minutes per day, men get physically aggressive twenty times more often than women do. As a man’s frustration grows (say in bumper to bumper traffic) his testosterone and stress hormone, cortisol, activates the amygdale and fires up his fighting circuits. Then his “good judgement” brain circuits, the frontal lobes, go dark and offline. Also women’s brains are flooded with estrogen, progesterone, and oxytocin which can cause a calming effect; men’s brains are not.  When you look at the facts, biologically men have a harder time suppressing their anger.

New research on males and females can help us to have a deeper understanding of some of the fundamental differences between men and women. Many of the women I work with (including myself) struggle to understand why men behave in ways that we ourselves would choose not to do. It is my hope that by sharing this information more women can further understand their men and give them a bit of a break (after all they aren’t women now are they ;) . I want to clarify that in no way am I condoning negative behaviours of being inconsiderate, having a wandering eye, or venting anger on another person. And in now way am I condoning any kind of abuse or violence caused by anger towards women.   It is my intension to educate and help women understand that there is more going on in this picture than what meets the eye, and to further help us to find peace, as well as love and accept our men even more.

Robin Menard MSW RCC RSW
Marriage and Couple Specialist
A Path of Heart Counselling Services

All of this information was borrowed from the book ‘The Male Brain” by Louann Brizendine, M. D.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *