More or less all of us were raised being told that there are significant gender differences between girls and boys. But how much of the difference were men and women born with? Can everything be refurbished and claimed that there are no differences at all?
Well, it turns out that there are some vital gender differences. However most of them are complementary to each other, in order to help us survive through our evolutionary stages.
What makes Women different from men?
1. More White Matter & Verbal Centers
Women have more white matter processing and verbal centers in both hemispheres of the brain. This ensures that they can multitask better and are much more expressive. This was helpful in making sure that women multitasked well, when they were supposed to take care of the offspring. Their superiority with words was so that the infant would have exposure to a good learning environment.
2. Bigger Hippocampus & More Oxytocin
Women also have a bigger hippocampus and so, they not only remember better, but can take in information from all the senses pretty well. During earlier times as women roamed around as nomads they developed heightened sense to know if the new place was safe enough for vulnerable offspring or not. Women have more oxytocin which makes bonding with others easier, again a requirement for rearing children and holding the group together.
Talking about Men
1. More Grey matter
Men on the other hand have more gray matter, which makes them good at concentrating and doing specific tasks, one at a time. This was an ability that was required in hunting and food gathering. Further, some chemicals in men make it difficult for them to sit still for long and make them slightly more aggressive than women. This was also required to be an efficient hunter and to defend the tribe from threats.
Significance of gender differences in today’s time
These complementary differences made sure that men and women utilized them by joining forces and survived, and made sure that the tribe or community stayed together. That goal has been achieved, but in today’s life, many of these differences are not required. Not to a large degree anyway. But since the prefrontal part of the brain is the newest development, our pace of change is quite fast for it, and yet it is continuously adapting. Soon, these differences may go as our environments change.
Beyond these few necessary sorts of differences, a large chunk of what we are fed about gender differences is largely sociocultural. Earlier it used to guard patriarchal systems and now to sell consumer products. Products like Barbie and Hot Wheels sell because they target these sex stereotypes and perpetuate them.
In a study where men and women were given a problem situation and not told how to solve it, showed that women acted more aggressively and men more placidly, defying the stereotype. Therefore, a lot of us play out certain roles because we are socially expected to.
If we change the expectations, the roles and differences may change too.
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