Girls Crave Closeness, Boys Crave Competition

Self, Family

Why ladies can't help their sensitivity and men can't help their aggression.

The more us ladies claw the corporate food chain, enjoy casual bedmates and brush up on our Sunday football stats, the more likely we are to think we can maneuver in this world just like men. With more beautiful bodies, of course. Women Are Confusing Flirts

After all, the old stereotypes of the sewing circle opposed to the hunter are just products of sophisticated socialization, no? We can be steely and cut-throat. We can be aggressive and unfeeling.

Can't we?

Perhaps, yes. But new research proves it may just not come as easy for us girls.


Scientists have grappled for years over why men seem to be more competitive and simple with one another, while female friendships tend to be thornier and more complicated, yet often closer.

So in response, researchers for the National Institute of Mental Health analyzed the brain activity of 34 adolescent boys and girls between the ages of 8-17 when confronted with possible friendship. The scientists showed the group pictures of 40 other adolescents and asked them to individually rate each picture on how interested they would be ( 0, not interested and 100, very interested) in forging a friendship with that person. The scientists told the group that their number would later be revealed to each person and chats would be set up amongst the like-minded.

The team found that ladies automatically started processing information in an emotive, touchy-feely kind of a way. The girls were bursting with activity in the nucleus accumbens (associated with reward and motivation), hypothalamus (associated with hormone secretion), hippocampus (associated with social learning) and insula (associated with subjective feelings). Yet, the opposite was true for the boys. In fact, the activity in the insula region actually declined; an explanation for why it might be easier for boys to view each other competitively. Women Outnumber Men on Niche Dating Sites

On a larger scale, some researchers think this is just another evolutional mating pattern.

Men, they say, must constantly fight each other off in order to win women, while women must use insight to decipher who will make the best father for her offspring.

At the very least (as some researchers think the girls were just fretting over giving people bad scores) this proves consideration and sensitivity are natural talents for women. Guys, on the other hand, don't bother themselves with such worries. Or as John Cloud for says: "Boys are cads because they're not wired to be any other way."