Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Talk is Cheap

From the Daily Telegraph :
In fact, women talk almost three times as much, uttering a staggering 20,000 words a day on average compared to men's 7000.

They speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat and get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a female psychiatrist suggests.

In her book, The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says the disparity is caused by differences in the male and female brain.

The sex hormone testosterone, responsible for moulding the male brain in the womb, shrinks the areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory, she claims.
A claim backed by evidence from autopsies, though whether testosterone is the culprit is another matter. The human brain is sexually dimorphic, and although hormones have been implicated, the exact mechanisms are not understood.
The result is that men chat less than females and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent.

In contrast, women have more brain cells set aside for communication. And the act of talking triggers a flood of chemicals which gives them a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts on a high.
As does chocolate. Seriously. Oestrogen amplifies the serotonin effects (at least) of chocolate, so while to guys chocolate is "Oh chocolate, that's nice" to girls especially near ovulation it's more like OMG!!! CHOCOLATE!!!!!". But it's hormonal, I doubt it has anything to do with the structure of the brain. There's no actual evidence here.
Dr Brizendine, who runs a female 'mood and hormone' clinic in the US and describes herself as a feminist, said testosterone also reduces the size of the section of the brain involved in hearing, allowing men to become "deaf" to the most logical of arguments put forward by women.
Not to mention the pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo, rank superstition and sheer claptrap purveyed by many feminists. This is sexism pure and simple. It also demeans women who, I'm ashamed to say, sometimes have their cynicism filters dialed way too low. But not all - witness the Skepchicks and others.
Their {Mens} brain power, however, is definitely superior when it comes to sex.

Dr Brizendine believes the area responsible for sexual thoughts is twice as big in male brains.
Not true - but they do have an auxiliary neural processing centre, much like dinosaurs, that handles much of their thinking for them. It's located below the navel, and between the big toes. This leaves the rest of the brain free to concentrate on matters such as footie, pizza, and beer.
Studies have shown that, while a man will think about sex every 52 seconds, the subject crosses women's minds just once a day, said said.
Again, exactly wrong. Dynamic MRI scans show that young women think of sex about once a minute during the day. Boys only think of sex once, starting at 00:00:00 and ending at 23:59:59.
Dr Brizendine, whose findings are based on her analysis of more than 1000 scientific studies, added: "There is no unisex brain. Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality."
Oh Unisex brains exist - rarely, and usually associated with a small minority of people who are intersexed. And there's no guarantee that a girl with a girl brain won't be born in a body that's intersexed or even male. But regular readers of this blog will already be quite well aware of that. They'll also be aware if the influences of the many other hormones, vassopressin, the various oestrogens, both in creating the neural structures before birth, and modulating thinking patterns afterwards.
Other scientists, however, are sceptical about the effects of testosterone on the brain.

Deborah Cameron, an Oxford University linguistics professor, said the amount we talk is influenced by the social environment we live in.
No Sh1t Sherlock!

Good lord, what is scientifi reporting and the quality of research coming too?


Calamity Jane said...

Zoe, the more you write the more I question my own gender ... Chocolate does nothing for me aside from raise my blood sugar. I never use 2 words when one will do (unless I'm writing of course). I'd much rather watch a plane take off than watch a male stripper take off his undies. And the clincher has got to be I hate shoe shopping! I only have 3 pairs of shoes that I wear on a regular basis!

Annalucia said...

Me too, Calamity Jane. I talk less than most people I know of either sex. Part of it comes from knowing what it's like to be bored senseless by yammerers, and not wanting to inflict the same thing on others.

Love chocolate, though. I'll eat the unsweetened baking kind if nothing else is available.