Monday, January 18, 2010

The Science Behind Men and Woman - Part II

Outside of differences in brain structures, men and women have different hormones working in their blood streams. This accounts for differences between the emotional responses of men and women towards stress.

Living with someone and growing old with someone can be two different things, if we don't understand some basic things.
Photo Credit: "It's all about love" by Candida.Performa

Without pretending to be a scientist (I'm clearly not), let me attempt to describe, how some of these operate. First, let me quote Dr. James Dobson who, in his book Briging Up Boys, said (emphases mine):

If testosterone is the gasoline that powers the brain, serotonin slows the speed and helps one steer. And ... you guessed it. Females typically have more of it than males.

Of course, you know testosterone and estrogen, right? Let me expound a bit more on serotonin. According to Wikipedia, emphasis mine, serotonin is (emphases mine) ...

. . . a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system (CNS) of animals including humans. It is a well-known contributor to feelings of well-being; therefore it is also known as a "happiness hormone" despite not being a hormone.

A male's risk-taking tendency is due to the lack of "breaks." Males have relatively lower amounts of neurotransmitters compared to that of females. If you're a male, how many time did a female stop you for being too aggressive? If you're a female, how many times did you observe a male's seeming disregard for his own safety?

There are biological explanations that define a gender's predisposition towards certain behaviors. One thing's clear --- it isn't about culture alone.

(On the same breath, biology does not justify destructive behavior, especially those that endanger the lives and limbs of many. Inside the brain is a civilized mind -- or so we hope -- that discerns what is right from what is wrong.)

Why is it important to understand differences between men and women? It is simply because, it is much more costly not to understand it.

A friend of mine back in college was kidding when he said this, though I thought he made a lot of sense:

Women ... can't live with them, can't live without them.

But he finally got what it took to live happily with a woman. He ended up marrying a lady who was also an acquaintance of mine, and they were both doing well the last time I heard about them.

There were eight of these friends who married their college girlfriends. They were very enviable couples who strolled the campus back then, an envy of lesser mortals in the battle field of courtship.

Yet, only three out of these eight couples were together five years after college. This was very sad news to me. Their girlfriends were also my friends.

What went wrong? That would be the topic of future posts, but it had something to do with one trying to fix the other.

So, is it important to understand the difference between a man and a woman?

What do you think?

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