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The Mind of a Man

man_slut

TRIBE Member
The Mind of a Man
Can't get your man to listen to you? Don't blame the TV or his upbringing -- his brain is wired that way.

By Gina Shaw
http://content.health.msn.com/content/article/77/90417.htm?pagenumber=1

It happens like this: You and your husband come home from a long day at work. You're both tired and stressed. You want to talk about a confrontation you had with your boss and a project that's giving you trouble. He wants to lie on the couch and channel-surf. If you can convince him to listen to you, he promptly tells you what you should have done about the boss blowup. The whole thing turns into an argument, and instead of talking it out with you, he storms off.


At least some part of this argument should sound familiar to many women. We're constantly asking ourselves what's going on in that man's head:


"Why doesn't he ever seem to listen?"

"Why doesn't he remember things I've told him?"

"Why doesn't he notice how messy the house is?"

"What is it with him and that remote control, anyway?"


Turns out he's not just being stubborn, and it's not just how he was raised. According to family therapist Michael Gurian, author of the new book What Could He Be Thinking?, male and female brains are wired differently long before birth. The surge of hormones --testosterone for men, estrogen for women (although we each get some of both hormones) -- that floods our developing fetal brains leads to marked differences in brain development and neural connections.


Brain imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans demonstrate these differences, says Gurian, who has relied on the work of a variety of neuroscientists and biologists in writing What Could He Be Thinking? These scans can show how and where the brain functions during activities. The typically "male" brain, for example, devotes much more brain area to spatial skills -- things like mechanical design, manipulation of physical objects, and abstraction. With so much brain area devoted to spatials, male brains usually have less area for word use and word production.


There are a number of other differences, and some of them aren't just structural, but chemical. The male brain usually produces less of two powerful chemicals, serotonin and oxytocin, than the female brain does. Serotonin tends to calm us down, while oxytocin may be related to bonding behaviors.


Picturing the Brain


PET scans provide a dynamic, "living color" illustration of male-female brain differences. "If you line up PET scans of 50 male brains and 50 female brains, you'll see more colors lighting up in the female brain because there's about 15% more blood flow, on average, in the female brain," says Gurian. If you show those 100 men and women a picture of someone looking sad, he says, you'll notice that less of the male brain lights up as the men try to figure out the emotion involved. "There's less involvement of the emotive centers and less going on in the hippocampus, where memory storage is."


On the other hand, if the same 100 men and women were asked to do a math or science problem, the PET scan would show, on average, that women used more of their brain to get the answer than the men did. "The male brain tends to be more efficient to lateralize and compartmentalize, which has the advantage of making him more task-focused. The female brain has more [nerve] connections and constantly cross-signals and takes in more, so it tends to see and feel more than the male brain," Gurian says.


And new research from UCLA scientists suggests that male-female brain differences may be genetically hard-wired in place from the very beginning, even before the flood of hormones occurs during fetal development. Studying the brains of male and female mice, researchers found 18 genes produced at higher levels in male brains while 36 genes were produced at higher levels in female brains. "This provides evidence that there are differences in gene expression in male and female brains, before any influence of hormones," says Eric Vilain, MD, assistant professor of human genetics and urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a pediatrician at UCLA's Mattel Children's Hospital. "It's possible that these genetic differences may influence the development of differences in male and female brain structures, independently of hormonal action."

Why Won't He Talk?


So why doesn't he want to talk? "Males, first of all, don't take in as much of the conversation as women do," Gurian says. "Because we have more cortical areas devoted to spatial mechanicals and fewer verbal centers, we're not getting as much of it, and in general, men will want to end conversations more quickly than women."


When he sprawls on the couch with the remote at the end of the day, a guy may not be deliberately ignoring his wife or girlfriend. The male brain rejuvenates differently than the female brain does, Gurian says. "Using brain scans, University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Ruben Gur found that the male brain goes to a rest state to rejuvenate much more than the female brain does. To build brain cells and restore himself, a man needs to 'zone out,'" Gurian says. That's why he channel-surfs or stares at the computer.


But the female brain, thanks to all that oxytocin, wants to bond at the end of the day in order to rejuvenate. "She wants to talk, using all those verbal centers, and she wants to get close to him," Gurian says. But the timing's all off. "If the wife takes a break and vents first to someone else -- a friend on the phone, perhaps -- and lets her husband rejuvenate during that zone-out period, he'll be much more prepared to listen later on, during dinner, for example. It's all about timing."


Of course, male-female brain differentiation isn't black and white. We all know men who are better at talking and expressing their feelings than their wives are, and women who can fix a flat while their husband is still on the phone to AAA but would rather get root canal than talk about their feelings. "I'm arguing that there is a broad brain spectrum, and we're all along the continuum," he says. "There isn't just one kind of male and one kind of female."


Gurian has also dubbed some people, both men and women, "bridge brains" -- people whose brain wiring crosses sexes and fits in as much with the predicted behavior of the opposite sex as with their own. "Nature has always liked the exception as much as the rule," he says.


And he's not arguing that men can point to brain research and say, "Great! Now I have an excuse not to talk, to channel-surf all the time, and forget our anniversary."


"Males and females both have to do their part. Men do need to listen to their spouses," Gurian says. "But what I'm suggesting is the natural rhythm is awry right now. If men and women could both understand better how their brains work differently, they could use these natural rhythms to relate better."


Published Nov. 17, 2003.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Inheritly if women just let us sit on the damn coach and surf our channels we would be happy. Its obvious that our happiness is of no concenr to them because they keep on thinking that we give a damn about that annoying thing they're co-worker.


Daddy cries because mommy doesn't actually care about him!!
 

Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
i need time to veg out in front of the tv without someone trying to talk to me

does that mean i'm a guy?

people are people - that guy vs girl thing is just an excuse to maintain bad and inconsiderate habits
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Sunshyne Jones
i need time to veg out in front of the tv without someone trying to talk to me

does that mean i'm a guy?

people are people - that guy vs girl thing is just an excuse to maintain bad and inconsiderate habits
yeah right. obviously youre one of those people who dont believe in science.

fuck. READ the article again for fuck sakes before making such stupid statements.

stupid comments aside, this is probably the first article ontribe where i have read it with such interests. instead of always arguing about things, i think both sexes should learn more about each other, and learn how to communicate. As the article says, its all about TIMING and APPROACH.

unfortunately there are too many sunshyne jones' who still blame "men" for having bad habits.

:rolleyes:
 

PRIMAL

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by qtip
yeah right. obviously youre one of those people who dont believe in science.

fuck. READ the article again for fuck sakes before making such stupid statements.
Mr. Cranky Pants. :)
 

Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
I know it's not what the article says ... but there are opposing views. Scientific text books and studies used to say that Autism was caused by parents who didn't pay attention to their kids and we now know that isn't true.

The brain probably works the way the article said (who am I to say it doesn't), but we all know what's considerate and what's not and what the 'differences' are between men and women that cause arguments and relationship problems. Saying "my brain isn't meant to work that way" or "my brain doesn't work that way instinctually" is not really a good excuse in my book. And I say this for men AND women ...

I tend to want to solve problems when people come to me with a problem too, it's hard for me to just listen as I want to offer solutions. This is supposedly a 'guy' thing.

Lots of women complain that their boyfriends or husbands aren't romantic enough ... "oh, men!" they'll say ... but what's romantic? are they romantic to their partners or are they waiting for the guy to romance them like some hollywood romantic comedy movie? Do they talk about romance with their partner?

Does the woman who wants her husband to talk to her when he wants to watch tv ever think that maybe she's the one being rude by not giving him some chill out time when he doesn't need ot talk about something serious?

Can the man who laughs with his buddies when his wife calls to find out where he is blame it on "I forgot to call ... it's a guy thing"? or is he just being inconsiderate?

(I just use these examples because they are 'typical' types of complaints.)

We all may be 'hard-wired' a certain way, and men may be 'hard-wired' differently than women, but I still say it's no justification or excuse for behaviour of people of either gender that's repeated and discussed over and over again, especially when that behaviour causes negative results or responses every time.
 
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Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by qtip


unfortunately there are too many sunshyne jones' who still blame "men" for having bad habits.

:rolleyes:
I explained further in another post
wasn't blaming men for having bad habits

was saying that better behaviour can be learned based on what happens every time someone behaves a certain way

and that saying "my brain just works that way" isn't an excuse - for EITHER gender - in my books.

it may be a way to approach an explanation but it's not the be all and end all.
 

lok

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Sunshyne Jones
I know it's not what the article says ... but there are opposing views. Scientific text books and studies used to say that Autism was caused by parents who didn't pay attention to their kids and we now know that isn't true.

The brain probably works the way the article said (who am I to say it doesn't), but we all know what's considerate and what's not and what the 'differences' are between men and women that cause arguments and relationship problems. Saying "my brain isn't meant to work that way" or "my brain doesn't work that way instinctually" is not really a good excuse in my book. And I say this for men AND women ...

I tend to want to solve problems when people come to me with a problem too, it's hard for me to just listen as I want to offer solutions. This is supposedly a 'guy' thing.

Lots of women complain that their boyfriends or husbands aren't romantic enough ... "oh, men!" they'll say ... but what's romantic? are they romantic to their partners or are they waiting for the guy to romance them like some hollywood romantic comedy movie? Do they talk about romance with their partner?

Does the woman who wants her husband to talk to her when he wants to watch tv ever think that maybe she's the one being rude by not giving him some chill out time when he doesn't need ot talk about something serious?

Can the man who laughs with his buddies when his wife calls to find out where he is blame it on "I forgot to call ... it's a guy thing"? or is he just being inconsiderate?

We all may be 'hard-wired' a certain way, and men may be 'hard-wired' differently than women, but I still say it's no justification or excuse for behaviour of people of either gender that's repeated and discussed over and over again, especially when that behaviour causes negative results or responses every time.
all grand, but what if I told you that in the womb, you just got a couple extra shots of testosterone? :D
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Whenever I watch boy-girl couples talk and argue, I'm always blown away that the human race has made it this far.

I don't mean negative habits like remote control hogging and whatnot, but the fundamental methods in which men and women think, talk, and debate.

All of it essentially makes me happy I date boys, because (sorry girls), I can't relate to the way most girls think. I couldn't deal with it every day. It's so foreign to me.

(Again, I'm not talking superficial qualities like not doing the dishes, I mean the way in which men and women logic and problem solve)
 
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Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by qtip
yeah right. obviously youre one of those people who dont believe in science.

fuck. READ the article again for fuck sakes before making such stupid statements.

stupid comments aside, this is probably the first article ontribe where i have read it with such interests. instead of always arguing about things, i think both sexes should learn more about each other, and learn how to communicate. As the article says, its all about TIMING and APPROACH.

unfortunately there are too many sunshyne jones' who still blame "men" for having bad habits.

:rolleyes:
and I do like the part about timing and approach
but FUCK you're defensive.

not every woman blames men for everything.
 

Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by lok
all grand, but what if I told you that in the womb, you just got a couple extra shots of testosterone? :D
i wouldn't be surprised
wayyyy more like my dad than my mom

could be something to that haha
 

man_slut

TRIBE Member
I think timing and approach are very critical. i'm still trying to learn that one. A lot of problems stem from EGO issues as well.

Originally posted by Sunshyne Jones
and I do like the part about timing and approach
 

jebac

TRIBE Member
haha, your name is man slut...

i think now is the appropriate time to introduce some women jokes into this thread

why arent women good skiiers?

because theres no snow from the bedroom to the kitchen


what do you do when your dishwasher is broken?

slap the bitch and tell her to get back to work.

-jebac
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Adam
Whenever I watch boy-girl couples talk and argue, I'm always blown away that the human race has made it this far.
See I find angry women to be so sexy they are completely unresistable. I argue that many men suffer from this affliction and its actually an evolutionary trick that has allowed us to make it this far. Although love is a powerful motive that blushed look bright red lipped eyes wide open ready to rip you a new asshole look is so damn sexy that love is just a backup.
 

Adam

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
See I find angry women to be so sexy they are completely unresistable. I argue that many men suffer from this affliction and its actually an evolutionary trick that has allowed us to make it this far. Although love is a powerful motive that blushed look bright red lipped eyes wide open ready to rip you a new asshole look is so damn sexy that love is just a backup.
Hahahaha

I try to analyze all weird human traits in an evolutionary context. Doesn't it make more sense for men and women to easily be able to understand each other, and form logical thoughts in the same way? I understand it in the hunter/child rearing sense, but not in general.

Maybe women and men think so differently so that they fight alot, and the men end up running away and fucking random women, hence spreading their seed.

Or so Dr. Phil can make a living.
 

Sunshyne Jones

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by man_slut
I think timing and approach are very critical. i'm still trying to learn that one. A lot of problems stem from EGO issues as well.
It's tough, that timing thing. But see, you're saying you're trying to learn it, and that's the approach I'm talking about!

I agree with the article on that front, but I just don't like people being given too many ways to excuse negative behavior.

:)
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
I went down to Quartier last night on my way home from work. I had leant my friend Mike my drill and he had it at the restaurant along with four orders of duck confee to pick up (man was that duck ever good!!!!).

So I get there and its him the cleaner and Robin. I've lknown robin for a few years and I never forget an ass like hers. She was damn near in tears she was more flustered than I have ever seen her and I fell victim to the trap by asking whats wrong...


Long ass story shorted to guys length her boyfriend told her "don't worry about ti we'll talk when I get there in the evening" and she was worrying about what this meant.

To any guy this means exactly what it says "DON'T WORRY WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT LATER" ie not a big deal, dont' concern yourself with it and its going to be taken care of tonight anyway.

In two hours of drinking free beer I listened to this chick agonize over what "Don't worry" meant, at times she was ready to break up with him, at other times she was going to be his slave to win him back.

Regardless I learnt something very important. If you want to fuck with a chicks head end your phone conversation with "Don't Worry" cause it makes them worry about just about everything!
 

jebac

TRIBE Member
In two hours of drinking free beer I listened to this chick agonize over what "Don't worry" meant, at times she was ready to break up with him, at other times she was going to be his slave to win him back


thats women in a nutshell for ya. im telling you, what EVERY girl needs is a good, long, deep dicking.

-jebac
 
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