“The female mind is just better at communication.”
“Male brains are better at spacial visualization, so men are better at parking.”
Fill in your own gender stereotyped trait. The point being that the idea that men and women are different at a brain level has been perpetuated in a major way long before your mom tried to get out of her portion of the road trip drive.
How long? Most look to the mid-19th century when leading physician Paul Broca, you may recall his name for the ENTIRE PART OF THE BRAIN THAT IS NAMED AFTER HIM, once said,
But we must not forget that women are, on the average, a little less intelligent than men, a difference which we should not exaggerate but which is, nonetheless, real. We are therefore permitted to suppose that the relatively small size of the female brain depends in part upon her physical inferiority and in part upon her intellectual inferiority.
The more scientists actually look at the structure of the brain, rather than measuring skulls like your boy Paul, it appears that there may be more similarities than differences.
In recent research led by Tel Aviv University’s Daphna Joel, over 1400 brain scans were analyzed to see what makes a brain distinctly “male” or “female.” Pretty much nothing was the conclusion they reached.
Researchers analyzed the brains of men and women in regards to gray matter volume, white volume matter, and measures of connectivity. When placed on a continuum of “maleness” to “femaleness,” as created by common trends among the genders, only 0% to 10.5% of brains contained either all male or all female structures for each of these measures. Instead, most brains contained a mixture of both male and female typical traits. So, while there do seem to be common similarities among genders, very few brains actually seem to belong solely to one camp or the other.
This led the researchers to conclude that, “we should shift from thinking of brains as falling into two classes, one typical of males and the other typical of females, to appreciating the variability of the human brain mosaic.”
So, it looks like your upstairs may not have as much to down with your downstairs as much as previously thought. Let that idea fill your mosaic and comfort you this week as you confidently listen to a Taylor Swift song, rock parallel parking, or make 22 cents more on the dollar than your similarly structured counterparts!