Female VS. Male Brain: Is There Really A Difference?

Love, Self

The nature vs nurture debate continues to cause controversy!

Recently I had the pleasure of addressing a conference of matchmakers in Florida.  The topic I chose was somewhat controversial  'Whatever happened to Adam and Eve?  Overcoming challenges of partnering today.' 

I was invited to speak because I established my own consultancy, Yvonne Allen and Associates, in 1976 with a background in psychology. I wanted to introduce discerning singles in Australia to potential partners and assist them to achieve their relationship goals. It seems as though that I am recognised as the 'grandma' of the matchmaking profession in the western world!

It was with interest — and concern — that I read Sarah Knapton’s column titled Mars and Venus?…no way in The Sunday Age (Melbourne, March 9). Knapton reported that Professor Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist at Aston University, Birmingham, UK recently stated that it was a myth that male and female brains were wired differently. She clamined that there was no science to back up this idea.

In her address to an audience on International Women's Day, Professor Rippon is said to have claimed that gender differences in the brain only exist because of environmental factors and that they are not innate. She indicated that any differences in brain circuitry were the outcome of the "drip, drip, drip" of gender stereotyping…and that a woman’s brain may become wired for multi-tasking simply because society expects this of her and that "‘the brain adapts in the same way that a muscle gets larger with extra use." 

While I would query Professor Rippon's view that gender differences emerge only through environmental factors, I do think that a blurring of gender differences has occurred over recent decades with detrimental impact when it comes to attracting and keeping a partner.  Over my many years of working with business and professional singles seeking a partner, I have been in a lot of unusual position witnessing dramatic changes that have taken place when it comes to men and women living and loving together.  I have observed that something as natural as falling in love and living happily together 'forever after' has become increasingly difficult to achieve.

In 1976 most singles in the western world assumed they would marry and stay with their partner for life and they did. However, these days there are millions of singles of all ages on dating sites — some with populations much larger than many countries — who are seeking to meet a partner to share their life with. It is evident that what was once regarded as the natural destiny of most adults has become elusive and will not be achieved by the ever increasing numbers of lonely, albeit successful people

If Professor Rippon is correct, maybe women are indeed changing our biology, and perhaps losing abilities such as multi-tasking in our quest to focus and to achieve similar accomplishments as men. It would also seem that attributes once regarded as characteristic of the feminine such as warmth, softness, caring and vulnerability etc. are being concealed — or perhaps lost? — as  women succeed in the cut and thrust of the business world.  

Unfortunately, it does seem like many women who are excelling in what was once known to be a 'man's world', have adopted a male like persona as they have focused on succeeding in their careers.  From my point of view this is not only tragic — but unnecessary. I believe women can achieve in any career that we choose to pursue while taking care of the attributes and strengths we have as a female — not as a pseudo male.

My credo: Do it as a woman and excel!

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.