...meandering thoughts and a reminder to myself that a mundane day can be just as beautiful as a spectacular one.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Female Brain (I've got one of those.)

"The Female Brain" written by Louann Brizendine, M.D. was full of interesting info.  I thought I'd post some of the most interesting things (in my opinion) from this book:  I'm pretty sure I read most of these passages aloud to Stuart as I was reading the book - because I found it so fascinating.
  • "To the observing eye, the brains of females and males are not the same. Male brains are larger by about 9 percent, even after correcting for body size. In the nineteenth century, scientists took this to mean that women had less mental capacity than men. Women and men, however, have the same number of brain cells. The cells are just packed more densely in women-" (p.1) Really?  How cool is that?  Different packaging - same product.  Kind of like how a box of wine doesn't look nearly big enough to hold that many bottles of wine.
  • "All babies were thought to be hardwired to gaze at faces... Girls, not boys come out wired for mutual gazing... Over the first three months of life, a baby girl's skills in eye contact and mutual facial gazing with increase by over 400 percent, whereas facial gazing skills in a boy during this time will not increase at all." (p.15)  I had no idea that was a girl thing.  Neat.
  • "Passionately being in love or so-called infatuation love... shares brain circuits with states of obsession, mania, intoxication, thirst, and hunger... The brain circuits that are activated when we are in love match those of a drug addict desperately craving the next fix." (p.66)   I've certainly experienced this myself.  But, it feels somewhat better to know that there is a scientific explanation. 
  • "Rejection, it turns out, actually hurts like physical pain because it triggers the same circuits in the brain." (p. 75)  Oh boy does it ever.  And I just thought I was being a drama queen.  
  • "Researches have shown that when women do engage in extramarital sex, they retain fewer sperm from their main partners (their husbands, in many cases) and experience more copulatory orgasms during their trysts, retaining more semen from their lovers... Women are no more built for monogamy than men are." (p. 88)  Scandalous!  Think of how many papas out there who aren't really poppa after all.  This is soap opera material. 
  • "Between six months and the end of pregnancy, fMRI brain scans have shown that a pregnant woman's brain is actually shrinking ...gradually returns to normal by six months after giving birth." (p.100) Yikes!  That doesn't really seem fair- does it?  Something to look forward to if I ever get a bun in the oven, I guess.  (And don't worry Stu, I'm not the woman on page 88.) 
  • "New mothers lose an average of seven hundred hours of sleep in the first year postpartum." (p. 105)  Geez - this is a crazy amount of sleep to just vanish. 
  • "It is commonly believed that men leave their aging, chubby, post-menopausal wives for fertile, younger, thin women. This couldn't be further from the truth. Statistics show that more than 65 percent of divorces after the age of fifty are initiated by women." (p.147)  And again I was fooled.  I totally thought this statistic would read the opposite. 
  • "The female brain is only half as likely to be wired for same-sex attraction as is the male brain. Therefore men are twice as likely as women to be gay." (p. 185) Something I never put much thought into- but interesting nevertheless.
So, I would recommend this book.  I'm sure you would find other details of the book to be interesting as well.  It was certainly entertaining.

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