Men's brains (upper) and women's brains (lower).You know how everyone says women are better multitaskers than men are? Well, it's because we are. A new study shows that men's and women's brains are wired differently -- something many of us have suspected all along. And I kind of hate that. It drives me crazy when people say "oh well, men and women are wired differently so bla bla bla" and the next thing you know, they've justified war and giving Sally more shit work than Steve. Ooh, that's so irritating. And yet, there appears to be something to that generalization. The different ways our brains are wired give women an edge over men for certain tasks, and vice-versa.
So here's the nitty gritty:
Men's brains: More wiring from front to back of brains within each hemisphere.
Implications: They should be better at perception and coordinated actions; Also better at figuring out directions and completing one task at a time.
Women's brains: More wiring between right and left hemispheres of brain.
Implications: They should be better at communicating, analyzing, and have better intuition; Also better at group problem-solving and multitasking.
Now obviously we all know exceptions to these huge, sweeping generalizations. I'm sure there's a man out there who can multitask. I know I'm pretty darn good at figuring out directions. Well, usually. Anyway! What do you even do with this information?
Go a little easier on yourself if you find certain tasks are harder for you? Be a little more forgiving of the men in your life if they're lousy at communication? Maybe -- but science has also shown us that our brains can be incredibly flexible about learning to do things in new ways. Maybe we learn we have certain strengths and weaknesses, but that's not the end of the story. I think that's a starting point.
Do you think women are usually better at multitasking, communicating, and group problem-solving than men are?
Image via Ragini Verma, Ph.D., Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences