Women's Brain Essay

1194 words - 5 pages

Women's Brain

Women have smaller brains than that of their male counterpart. Since the ability to think is partly determined by the size of the brain it is obvious to an accurate researcher if I were to ignore the differences between the male and female brain. The question to be posed is, with the knowledge of the function of the human brain, can a scientist accurately determine if the differences in the way males and females perform various tasks is a biological phenomena, or rather as a result of social persuasion? All kinds of research have shown that the bigger the brain, generally, the smarter the animal. (1) However, as Emily Dickinson might agree, it is not the size of the brain that counts, but rather what is contained within the brain. Human male brains are, on average, approximately 10% larger than that of the female, but this is because of men's larger body size: more muscle cells imply more neurons to control them. (3) If the size of the brain is not the determinate factor of the differences between the male and female brain what is? Of special interest to researchers of this subject was the amount of gray matter, the part of the brain that allows us to think. The researchers wanted to know if women have as much gray matter as men. (1) It would be logical to conclude that if there is less gray matter, the component of the brain associated with the thinking process, than obviously, biologically men and superior in intellect to women. However, as is the case with many biological researches, more questions arose than were answered. According to one psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, there is no difference in the amount of gray matter in men and women. To make up for the smaller brain size, women have 55.4% gray matter vs. 50.8% in men. (1) Thus disputing the hypothesis that the difference in amount of gray matter is the reason for the difference in the way men and woman perform various tasks. If this is an accurate conclusion, the question still remains, why are men more inclined to perform better on spatial, intuitive, nonverbal tasks, such as mathematics, while woman tend to excel at verbal, sorting, detail-oriented tasks such as English? (4) Some scientists believe that the answer to this question lies in the evolutionary development of the brain. Over the last couple of decades, proponents of evolutionary psychology have been piecing together a case that the mind is naturally sexed. Our male and female forebears faced different evolutionary pressures in their struggle to survive and reproduce in the Pleistocene grasslands, and as a result they have different mental aptitudes and even differently organized brains. (5) This would suggest that since men were the ones that hunted they are better equipped to analyze spatial-oriented tasks. At first this appears a logical conclusion. In order to hunt for food the male would have to be aware of how far the prey is. However, I have to question, if humans are simply...

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