Why are women interested in people, and men in things, the weaker sex strives for empathy, the strong one prefers to systematize everything? Hormones are responsible for everything.
Proponents of gender chauvinism do not get tired of pointing out that a woman's brain is smaller than a man's, which means that the gray matter and nerve cells in women have counted twice. Why not proof of the intellectual superiority of the stronger sex over the weak? However, to operate with such arguments in the scientific community will not work.
A large volume and mass of the brain may not be very functional, but only naturally belong to a larger individual, but at the same time not be a guarantee of successful mental activity.
The ratio of white and gray matter in men and women is different: men have slightly more gray, and women have more white. The gray matter is responsible for analysis, it is a kind of processor. White matter is responsible for connecting neurons to each other. Consequently, men have more processing sites, while women have more binding sites.
However, women and men do think and act differently. And the nature of behavior is the main source of information about the hormonal background of a person: you just need to know which hormones are reflected in a particular emotional remark.
The beginning of all beginnings
The fundamental differences between the male and female organisms are laid at the stage of the embryo.
Then, after birth, in the first seven days of life in boys, the concentration of the male sex hormone testosterone sharply increases in the blood. Such high rates persist for two weeks, and then gradually begin to decline.
In girls, estrogen levels rise from the second week of life and stay at high rates for about a month. Considering that nature does nothing for nothing, the question arises: what is the reason for this hormonal firework, which in its strength resembles a rehearsal of puberty? According to neurophysiologists, such a development of events is necessary for programming the sex differences in the brain. Studies that have been conducted in this area have shown that a person has receptors that are sensitive to female and male sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) in various brain structures that are responsible for cognitive abilities, emotional background, and behavioral patterns.
The role of estrogen
According to researchers, normal estrogen levels are responsible for maintaining high intellectual abilities in women. This hormone not only has the ability to stimulate the growth of certain types of neurons, but also promotes the formation of synapses. And the more synapses (contacts between neurons), the better our thinking organ works. One of the main structures that comes under the influence of estrogens is the hippocampus (the area of the brain that serves as the memory center). Due to this effect, women have a pronounced ability to memorize words and texts. Therefore, in terms of the strength of verbal memory and emotional manifestations, women of reproductive age confidently overtake men.
In addition, estrogens contribute to the development and maintenance of declarative memory, so ladies can reproduce in detail all the nuances of a bygone event, accurately tell about the location of objects, notice the most subtle details in any business, and subtly feel any changes in the mood of another person. Scientists have been able to establish a relationship between the amount of estrogens and the ability to navigate the terrain: the higher their level, the more difficulties a woman has with remembering abstract information and determining her own location.
A decrease in estrogen levels, which is associated with age-related hormonal changes, is a risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease.
Thanks to estrogen, women's memories are always very vivid and detailed.
Influence of androgens
Male sex hormones - androgens - also have a significant impact on the functioning of the brain. In particular, testosterone triggers such characteristic forms of male sexual behavior as aggressiveness, risk taking, dominance, energy, self-confidence, impatience, and a desire to compete.
Already in the prenatal period, this male hormone actively affects the right hemisphere of the brain, which is responsible for understanding mathematics and the ability to think abstractly. Therefore, boys are more inclined to study the exact and technical sciences.
It has been proven that testosterone has a direct effect on the hippocampus, but its role is completely different than that of estrogens. The male hormone helps to perfectly navigate in space, better and easier to put the car in the parking lot, quickly and efficiently solve problems that require the processing of a large amount of information. Representatives of the strong half of humanity have more developed operative memory, logical thinking, the ability to build and maintain chains of cause-and-effect relationships in their heads. Testosterone affects the ability to solve problems with a lack of time and resources, because it is rightfully considered a hormone of determination. In conjunction with norepinephrine, it makes it possible to perform logical actions in spite of circumstances. Accordingly, a decrease in testosterone levels in older men negatively affects cognitive and other functions.
Testosterone helps a man immediately capture the essence and not focus on the nuances.
Whose brain is better?
Overall, there are over 100 differences in the brain between men and women. The consequences of these differences lie not in the “smarter-sillier” plane, but in the “rather more inclined” and “rather less inclined” planes. The functionality of the brain does not depend on the size, but on the interaction of neurons, as well as on how actively a person uses and uses its resources to solve various problems. That is why gender does not determine the level of intelligence, but only makes features in the way of thinking. Each of the sexes has its own strengths and weaknesses, which are determined by nature and fixed by civilizational processes.
With age, the hormonal background weakens, and differences in brain activity
in men and women are smoothed out.
However, in addition to physiological differences, there is an environment that sometimes has a much greater impact on the intellectual capabilities of the child. Therefore, the differences in the work of the female and male brains are not a basis for manipulation, but another reason to understand and get to know each other better. Each person has both male and female hormones, and therefore every man "carries" a woman in himself - and vice versa. In addition, with age, the hormonal background weakens, and men and women converge in terms of characteristics (in such cases, they often say about men “become softer”, about women - “wiser”).