Finally an answer to the age old question of brains and intelligence between the battle of the sexes. Read on to find out who wins…
Intelligence: Men Vs Women
Believe it or not, there are substantial differences between the male and female brain. For instance, men have 4% more brain cells than women do and approximately 100 grams more brain tissue. For those males now rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of having superior IQ’s to that of women, alas, women have more dentritic connections (these enable brain signals to be sent more quickly).
It is documented that women have a larger Corpus Collosum than men, which means they can transfer data more quickly between left and right brain hemispheres. Men tend to rely on the left side of their brain, whereas women tend to use both sides equally.
Primarily, the brain is made up of grey matter and white matter. Studies have revealed that men think more with their grey matter and women with white. Gray matter can be associated with information processing centres and white matter is a conduit to network processing centres. Researchers have stressed that just because the sexes think differently this doesn’t actually interfere with intellectual ability. Interestingly, most males have 6.5 times the amount of gray matter than females, yet most females have 10 times the amount of white matter than males.
This may help explain why men excel at subjects such as maths, whilst women tend to be better at languages. So whilst men and women use very different neurological pathways and parts of the brain, they perform equally in most broad measured IQ tests.
The most dominant hemisphere for men is usually language control on the left side, but more and more women seem to be able to use both sides of their brain for speech and language abilities. In the case of a stroke, this can give females marked advantages. If a man has a stroke on the left side of their brain they are less likely to be able to recover their speech than if a woman was to suffer the same affliction. However the situation is reversed if there is a blood clot in the frontal lobe of a woman’s brain, as most of her white and grey matter (85%) is located there, whereas men have considerably less than half this amount in their frontal lobe.
Females have larger limbic system on average, than that of males. The limbic system involves bonding instincts. This is why women find themselves more in touch with their emotions than men and are generally able to better express themselves. Women have an increased ability to bond with children than that of men, which is why they are normally the primary caretakers of children. Notably, there is no society that favours men over women as the primary caregiver for children.
This larger limbic system does have its disadvantages, however. It leaves women more susceptible to feeling down and depressed and women are three times more likely to commit suicide than their male counterparts. Interestingly enough, men actually kill themselves three times more than women, mainly because they use more aggressive and lethal means to accomplish the task. Women most often will take an overdose of pills, which if caught early enough can be remedied, unlike men who often hang or shoot themselves.
Ultimately, these findings suggest that evolution has created two completely different brains which can be utilised for equally intelligent behaviour.