You know because we are robots. No but really, a new study has found that women and men are neurologically different and thus feel emotions differently. Because we need more studies to support this hypothesis, really…
The study focused on activity in the amygdala, a cluster of neurons found on both sides of the brain and involved for both sexes in hormone and other involuntary functions, as well as emotions and perception.
Mr Cahill and his co-author Lisa Kilpatrick scanned the brains of 36 healthy men and 36 healthy women. The subjects were told to relax with their eyes closed during the scan, so that differences between the sexes could be studied at rest rather than during â€˜heavy liftingâ€™ such as accessing memories.
The study found that…
For men, the cluster â€œtalks withâ€? brain regions that help them respond to sensors for whatâ€™s going on outside the body, such as the visual cortex and an area that co-ordinates motor actions.
For women, the cluster communicates with brain regions that help them respond to sensors inside the body. These areas tune in to and regulate womenâ€™s hormones, heart rate, blood pressure, digestion and respiration.
This is a pretty small sample size so clearly these are not generalizable findings. But I have to question the cultural beliefs that surround these types of findings. I have to question a study that finds women and men are made differently as opposed to how environmental, cultural and social factors have affected these brain patterns (thoughts and actions). Can something learned change brain chemistry?
Many feminists and cultural theorists have found that it is cultural and environmental factors that support women in internal thinking, acting, responding and support men in external thinking, acting and responding, etc. So then how valid is this study? How can a study like this be valid without a consideration of surrounding factors?
I fear that studies like this just add to archaic ideas of inherent differences between men and women that are biological, as opposed to recognizing the way patriarchy functions to create these differences.