Fact: The male brain is different to the female brain?
Following extensive research using a fancy technique called diffusion tensor imaging to produce wiring maps of the brains of nearly a thousand people, Ragini Verma and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania recently published their conclusions in the respected PNAS journal. The press got hold of the story and the news flew around the world. At last it was official; males and females have different brains.
- "Men and women's brains are 'wired differently'" headlined the BBC
- "The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'" quipped The Indepedant
- "Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal" - The Guardian
- "Brains of men and women are poles apart" offered The Telegraph
That's what I like about the press; never let a bit of balance or background checking spoil a good story. With a little bit of luck we can follow up with:
- "Men from Jupiter, Women from Mars" or
- "Studies prove the sexes are from different species.
- Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw. Proverbs 25:8
The diffusion tensor imaging work at Pennsylvania has merit and reveals an insight of "what's going on in there" but the conclusions of the research are flimsy when scrutinized. The researchers attributed observed differences back to out dated functions of the areas concerned; notable for the cerebellum. Here their report falls apart and did not warrant the headlines that it subsequently received. It is unfortunate that headline grabbing underwrites and inflates the validity of a misunderstanding. Our collective knowledge is skewed and distorted instead of being enhanced.
I have done my own study regarding the differences between the male and female human brain. I have found that it is solely confined to one area of the brain which has (until now) been completely overlooked. The area is called the definitionem centri which is located outside of the main brain (which explains why it has, to date, been missed.) The area is developed solely through social conditioning and contains the information of how we, as different sexes define certain thoughts. In women it is usually located at the bottom of their hand bags and in the male is found around the trouser pocket region. Here lies the root of the only differences between the male and female. It is a question of our definitions and understanding.
- A woman thinks she looks good in that dress / A man thinks she would look good out of it.
- A man thinks he looks good in that suit / A woman thinks he looks good in that suit.
- A woman knows she'll be ready in a minute / The man wants to know which minute exactly.
- To a man a car jack is for changing a wheel / To the woman it's that dishy young mechanic that checks her engine oil.
- The headache should be at the top the list for medical research for men / At the bottom for women.
- "Would you like to come in for coffee?"... Please define coffee!