Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Female Brain

The Female Brain
My notes from reading “The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine, MD

Here are a few facts about the difference in female and male brains. Yes, there is a huge difference! I know it’s such a shock to everyone.
1. Men and women have the same number of brain cells but men’s brains are larger, so there is more room.
2. Women have 2 ½ times more brain cells devoted to communication and social orientation. Men have 2 ½ times more cells devoted to sexual drive and aggression. To me this answers many problems women and men have in relationships. Stop asking each other to provide what you need if they don’t have the brain capacity to do so. He can’t read your clues. It takes him longer to process emotions so typically he just skips it. It’s just not there, so be it, deal with it. And there is nothing wrong with you if your sex drive lags after kids. He needs to get that flat out.
3. Reading emotions is equal to reading reality. Baby girls look for every reaction (look, touch, tone) to see whether they are loved or rejected. Imagine if mom is depressed or a little too Botox’d = the lack of facial expressions confuses girls and they naturally turn to someone more expressive.
4. Women have emotional memories that men do not. We use both sides of our brain to respond to emotional experiences where men only use one side = nine of our brain areas light up to his only two. This can explain why men’s worlds are so black and white and concrete. They can’t read the rest of it as well as women can.
5. Girls develop confidence when you intently listen to them. Don’t break eye contact; don’t let your mind wander. Yes, this takes great amounts of patience for you, but you are helping her develop her sense of a successful self.
6. Girls inherit a “nervous system environment” that mimics her mother’s and becomes her view of reality. A nervous mom = a nervous girl, calm mom = calm girl. Boys are not as affected by mom’s nervous system as girls. This stress factor is absorbed by the cellular micro circuitry at the neurological level.
7. Boys don’t care if they cause conflict. Play is not about relationships, but about the game/toy, social rank, power, and territory. Girls take turns 20 times more often. Their play is about nurturing. They use language to get consensus without giving orders (aka “Let’s do this…..”).
8. If you want your daughter to be strong, don’t let her sense your fear or disapproval in your facial expression or tone of voice when she is trying something new, courageous, or daring.
9. Connecting through talking activates the pleasure centers in a female brain. Sharing secrets that have romantic or sexual implications activates those centers even more. It’s a major dopamine and oxytocin rush – the biggest, fattest neurochemical reward outside of an orgasm. This is the pleasure of bonding, even with other females.
10. The male brain uses mostly vasopressin for social bonding and parenting, whereas the female brain uses oxytocin and estrogen. Males need to be touched 2-3 times more frequently than females to maintain dopamine levels. Women can get their oxytocin rush from bonding with their kids and other females.

Ladies, you need to know your monthly cycle! Know when and how to make decisions. Get your serotonin, estrogen, and progesterone checked regularly. These chemicals affect your whole life!

There are so many more facts that fill the pages of this book! It really helps explain those frustrating and annoying things the other sex is doing/not doing. It also helps us to see that each side is not right or wrong, just programmed differently with each needing their own special desires fulfilled in a certain way to function happily. I think this is a great book for men and women to read. Knowledge is power.

Until next week!

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