Are men and women really that different? From my perspective, we are the same at the spiritual level; we all want to be loved, supported, seen and heard. We all want to be appreciated for our gifts and honored for our contributions.
The difference is in how we think and respond to situations and people often become frustrated when members of the opposite sex act differently than how they expect. Those I counsel in my practice make statements like "I wish he would listen to me like my girlfriends" or "I wish she would stop wanting me to talk so much." The result of these expectations is frustration, blame and unhealthy relationships. And this isn't just speculation; there is scientific evidence that men and women are indeed wired differently.
- In a study from the National Academy of Sciences in 2013, researchers discovered physical differences between the brains of men and women. Men are generally better at spatial tasks involving muscle control while women are better at verbal tasks involving memory and intuition.
- In 2001, researchers from Harvard found that certain parts of the brain are differently sized in males and females. Women's brain processes were more complicated than those in men, but this allows for women to possibly think at a faster rate.
- Louann Brizendine, founder and director of the University of California, San Francisco's Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic, published The Female Brain, in which she notes that women are chatterboxes, speaking an average of 20,000 words per day, which is nearly three times the mere 7,000 words spoken by men.
- Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to show that on average, men's brains are wired more for perception and task-oriented actions, while women's are wired for social skills, intuition and memory, which makes them better equipped for multitasking, emotional and relational connections.
So, why does this information matter? Think about it. If we understand that we are physiologically and emotionally wired differently, we can cease to expect each other to think, function and respond in the same way. Instead we can take the opportunity to learn from each other's difference and accept each other for the unique people that we are.
My husband, Carl Studna and I are thrilled to be hosting a free online teleseries in mid-June entitled, Bridging The Gender Gap - Developing Trust and Understanding Between Men and Women and we'd love to have you join us. Visit: www.bridgingthegendergap.net for information and to sign up.
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