Men and women may be created equally, but make no mistake about the difference between equality and sameness. A woman’s brain is not like a man’s brain. Here are a few differences (via LiveScience) that highlight the reasons why relationships can be so very…interesting!
A Second Wind
After menopause, the female brain gets a second wind of sorts, as the major hormonal changes in her body have settled and the nest is now empty. So, while her male counterpart is now more focused on family and relationships, she may be ready to travel, go back to school, or even start a business. The quest for adventure that marks men’s younger years tends to invigorate women in their later years.
Adolescence all over again?
The hormonal changes women go through between the ages of 43 and about 52 (it varies depending on the individual) can only be compared to the quick and major shift in hormones in adolescence. And, when the body and brain experience major hormonal changes in a short period of time, it affects both the physical and emotional in a big way.
So, if you thought you cried a lot as a teenager, you may want to invest in Kleenex for this stage of your life. Interestingly, men’s hormones also change as they get older. However, their changes are much more gradual, so they don’t experience the same dramatic effects women do.
Some research suggests that a woman’s brain shrinks up to four percent throughout pregnancy. (It grows back within 6 months after delivery.) There is conflicting evidence regarding the way a woman thinks–and, in particular, her memory–while she is pregnant.
If most women are like me, I experienced very real memory loss (short term) while I was pregnant. I’m just glad that it eventually seemed to come back, I think. I can’t remember…
On Again, Off Again
For a woman to get in the mood for sex, it takes time. Certain areas of her brain need to be turned off. So, if any one of those areas is turned “on,” it could kill the mood.
A woman may refuse a man’s advances because she is angry, feeling distrustful — or even, because her feet are chilly, studies show. Pregnancy, caring for small children and menopause can also take a toll on a woman’s sex drive.
I think many of us moms can’t really relax to think about anything other than taking care of our baby until they are sound asleep. My husband has learned that it’s not personal if I need more time. Sometimes it just takes turning the baby monitor down. Beyond that, our brains really do work differently altogether when it comes to sex:
For guys, foreplay is everything that happens three minutes before insertion. For women, it is everything that happens 24 hours beforehand,” said neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine of the University of California in San Francisco and author of The Female Brain.
Brizendine’s advice to guys: plan ahead!
For some of us, the differences make sense. For others, the concept is a slap in the face to the idea that men and women are just the same. There may be a lot of unisex options in our world. However, Dr. Brizendine has this to say about the male and female brains:
There is no such thing as a unisex brain.