Just How Different are Men and Women?
- Saturday, October 21, 2006
3. During the three months after birth, girls' skills in eye contact increase by more than 400 percent, while boys' skills do not increase at all. (Sounds true)
Answer: True; girls are not exposed to the testosterone surge in utero that shrinks the neurological centers for communication, observation and processing of emotion in boys, so girls are better equipped from birth to develop skills that use those parts of the brain. See...we can't help it that the testosterone tsunami shrinks our communication, observation and processing skills. Those guttural grunts are actually quite articulate given the handicaps we must overcome.
4. Women can't develop the desire to have a child just by holding someone else's baby. (False)
Answer: False; infants produce pheromones that cause the female brain to produce oxytocin, a hormone that can create that desire. I have witnessed this phenomenom. Now I am observing that holding an infant causes both the female and male brain to develop the desire for your grown children to start producing grandbabies. Eligible sons...are you reading this?
5. Pregnancy causes a woman's brain to grow. (False)
Answer: False; the brain shrinks in the last three months of pregnancy but returns to normal by six months after a woman gives birth. No comment.
6. Women tend to value a man's appearance over his material resources and social status. (False)
Answer: False; in a study of 10,000 individuals in 37 countries, women in every culture looked for social and financial independence more than visual appeal in a mate. I have found that to be true. Woman are not nearly as shallow as men on the appearance issue in their mates. I am perplexed by my bride's decision to pair with me. I missed the cut on the visual appeal and financial independence markers. What was she thinking?
7. Hugging, especially for women, releases neurochemicals that can increase trust in the hugger. (False)
Answer: True; after a hug lasting at least 20 seconds, the brain produces oxytocin that turns on the trust response and dulls more critical judgment. Interesting. Joni, if you are reading this please skip to number 8. Thank you, dear.
I think I learned something important here. When I hug my wife she often gives me the dismissive pat after 10 seconds or so. I thought she was just being a bit impatient. Now I realize that she was protecting her critical judgment. I will hold the embrace in the future to rev up that trust response and dull her critical judgment. How sad I am just learning this after 30 years.
8. Breast-feeding can make women absent-minded. (False)
Answer: True; breast-feeding can extend and intensify the mental fogginess that many women experience after giving birth. I still contend the mental fogginess can be traced directly to sleeping 4 hours a week.
So I got six out of eight correct. Much better than I would have predicted. And what is the value of this little exercise? Not much. It is fun. I think it is important to realize and value the differences in the minds of men and women. But for me the application about how our minds are wired is gender neutral. There are many references to the mind in the New Testament Scriptures. Here is the answer key for all of the statements to follow.
Romans 8:5-7 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. NLT
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