It would be nice to think that men and women are not that different. One is the exact mirror image of the other, with the exception of genitals, of course.
However, our biological backgrounds have more differences than we may even realize. Women are not considered on par with men, and most of this divide is due to hormone levels.
Women’s mental and emotional health differs in comparison to men in many different ways. The school of thought used to be that men and women are the same cognitively, but a woman’s need to nurture impeded upon and changed the natural course of the gender.
However, scholars are beginning to realize that this is not exactly the case. Men and women, while similar in some ways, are built to be biologically different.
What exactly are these biological differences? Read on to learn about women’s health and wellness, and how this topic causes women to be very different from men in a myriad of different ways.
1. There’s a Reason Why She Remembers Where Everything Is
Why do men always turn to their female cohorts to locate items for them? Men lose their wallets, smartphones, car keys, remotes and shoes, only for a woman to come along and locate them in an instant. While this seems to be a stereotype, there is actually a biological explanation for this phenomenon.
Women, according to recent studies, are more likely to display impressive memories and verbal fluency skills. What does this mean for women? Well, women are more than likely going to recall where someone placed an item. Also, women are more likely to use landmarks and popular locations when looking to orient themselves.
2. She Has the Inability to Deal Directly With an Issue
Sometimes women seem to have difficulty being direct and frank when confronted with an issue. While many dismiss this as a result being emotional, scholars argue that a woman’s cognitive ability affects and ultimately causes this to happen.
Men’s brains have a clear connection between the areas involved with understanding and an action; however, women’s brains connect with many other areas, as well.
Imagine this: A husband and wife visit the grocery store to buy dinner for that night. The husband immediately ventures to the section for chicken, while the wife browses around. She ends up adding milk, eggs, dessert and wine to the list.
The woman leaves the grocery store with an abundance of different items, while the man enters the store and leaves with exactly what he needed. This scenario is all due to the different cognitive functions of men and women.
As a result of this cognitive difference, men are more likely to deal with an issue as it arises, while women have difficulty focusing on the root of the issue. They can’t solve the current problem in time before they have to face a new one. This can be overwhelming.
3. Cognitive Differences Create Even More Discrepancies
The fact that women’s brains are connected more from left to right, while men’s brains are front to back, can cause even more differences in ability.
Women are better equipped to multitask and perform intuitive-type tasks, while men are generally more spatial and apt to perform motor skills readily. Men tend to be in the here and now, but women tend to relive the past and think about the future.
Many dismiss this as a gender stereotype. After all, most of us can’t help but see the biological connection. In general, men have a larger muscle mass and are therefore stronger than women. Sure, there are some exceptions to this generalization, but for the most part, research proves that men and women tend to have cognitive differences due to variations in their brain’s make up, too.
4. They Are Actually Unable to Think Alike
Women complain about this all of the time: “He never listens when I’m talking,” or “Why can’t I keep his attention?” There is actually an explanation for this common conundrum. While women may think that men are just lazy or rude, they actually can’t help but doze off while women drone on and on.
Most male thoughts occur within the left side of the brain, while female thoughts occur within the right. The left side of the brain is associated with logical, clear thought, so naturally men like to think this way. Most men like to discuss and focus on one thought at a time.
So, why are women are the complete opposite? You have probably guessed it already: Women think with the right side of their brains. Women have the ability to ponder more things at a time. In fact, women can’t stop thinking. It’s true: female brains are constantly racing around like a hamster in a cage.
5. Men Don’t Analyze Things
Part of that whole left-brain ordeal means that men, as we have said before, like to keep things simple. Reading between the lines is generally left for the right-brain thinkers, aka the women.
Have you ever had this happen to you? Whether you are a woman or friends with one, communication can sometimes get hairy. For example, you make plans with a woman, but something unexpectedly comes up. What is the natural response? “Sorry, but something came up.”
Most women will pick this simple statement apart. Women think in statements such as: “What does that mean?” “Are they ditching me for someone else?” “What did I do wrong?” However, a man will simply accept the fact that something came up and reschedule their plans.
6. Men Are More Visual
It is no secret that men are more visually charged than women. While men appreciate visuals more, they are also more visual and spatial thinkers than women. This is all due to the fact that men are left-brain thinkers. The left part of the brain is more logical, straight forward, and spatial as compared to the right brain. Therefore, men have an easier time thinking in pictures and visualizing things.
This cognitive difference affects communication in a big way. Women communicate well with words, but men, inarguably, have a bit of trouble. This is all because men think in visuals, as opposed to women who think with words.
Ladies—try to remember this the next time your man has difficulty relaying his thoughts. Maybe he could draw a picture for you instead.
7. Women Think With Their Hearts
Well, not literally, but in a way, women tend to think with their emotions. As has been repeatedly said, men are left-brain thinkers and women are more right-brained. As a result, women tend to let their feelings take over their decisions, as opposed to men who think logically and without attaching emotions.
When you add into the mix that women are dealing with outside factors, such as PMS and PMDD, emotions tend to travel on quite the roller coaster. Therefore, women stereotypically receive a bad reputation for thinking with their emotions. However, it’s actually beyond their control. Instead of blaming women and their hormones, try to remember there are a myriad of different factors affecting their wellness and health.
Let’s face it, the world needs the emotional side of the picture, too. Considering all facets of a problem from both a logical side, as well as an emotional side, for decision makers, is what helps our leaders make the best choices for everyone.
8. Women Allow Their Emotions to Show
It is a common misconception that women are more emotional than men. In fact, quite the contrary rings true. In a recent study, researchers examined a group of half men and half women.
Emotionally-charged content was shown, and emotions were monitored through skin electrodes. The studies found that more than 60 percent of men admitted to feeling as emotional as they were. In fact, they were reportedly much more emotional than the researchers anticipated.
Men and women appear to feel the same emotions, so why do women appear to be more emotional? The only explanation, as of right now, is to examine the social gender stereotypes that men fall victim to in today’s society. Men who are emotional receive a negative label, so it is no wonder that men hide their feelings.
It’s not just women who are dealing with social gender stereotypes. Clearly, they hurt both men and women. The good news is, they are slowly falling by the wayside as man-and woman-kind continue to evolve.
9. Women’s Brains Work More Quickly
Enough of the left and right brain talk, and let’s get down to what really matters: brain matter. A man’s brain has more than 20 times the amount of grey matter compared to a woman’s brain. However, a woman will have ten times more white matter. So why does this white matter stuff matter?
Grey matter is full of active neurons, while white matter is responsible for connecting various neurons at high speeds. Therefore, while a man may reach a conclusion more simply, a woman will come to the same conclusion quicker.
10. Women Are More Likely to Become Depressed
Women and their emotions always are stereotypically linked. But did you know that women are actually more likely to become depressed or suffer with chronic anxiety? The statistics are true, thanks to the brain and certain hormones.
Women produce half as much serotonin compared to men. Also, since the female brain thinks more with the right side, it automatically associates different coping mechanisms for emotions and pain. Women are chemically more prone to becoming diagnosed with depression or anxiety as a result of these findings.
While scientists work arduously to duplicate these statistics and findings, it is important to note that no two men and women are alike. While most men are left-brain thinkers and more logical, there are women out there who excel with critical thinking, and vice versa – men who think analytically are not an anomaly.
The next time you question why a woman is overreacting, panicking or over-analyzing something, try to remember everything you learned from this article. Women are cognitively different from men. No longer are the days of thinking men and women think alike. Instead, it is imperative to understand that there are various reasons for women being different.
At the end of the day, it is a great thing that women and men are not cognitively equal. Where would the fun be if we were all the same? So, appreciate your opposite-sex cohorts for who they are and understand their cognitive differences.