Janice Boekhoff


Are men and women really different? Of course, we see personality differences all across the board from sensitive males to dispassionate females, but as a whole, aren’t we all just the same deep down?

I remember arguing with my dad as a kid, telling him men and women were the same inside, we merely had different parts on the outside. He laughed at me and my young hubris–for good reason. If you live long enough, you recognize the general differences between the sexes. Still, I’m not into stereotypes.

As a geologist, I was a woman in a male-dominated field. I discovered there were many people, mostly men, who went in to geology because they loved to figure out the details of things. Me? I loved the ideas behind the science. Also, many of these detail people had trouble getting past the details and communicating science to the general public. Not me. One of my favorite parts of the job was leading public meetings where I could educate and answer questions. Was this because I’m female or was it because of my personality? Maybe both.

New research has confirmed the previous findings that, as a general rule, the brains of men and women function differently. Scientists used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging to map nerve connections between regions of the brain. They found the brains of men and women have different neural connections.

Male brains tend to be more connected from the front to back of the same hemisphere, while female brains are more connected between the left and right hemispheres. This explains why men typically outperform women on spatial tasks (like map reading) and motor skills, while women are typically better at tasks involving verbal skills, memory and intuition.

Since, I’m the map reader in our household, but I often have the memory capacity of a flea, I guess I’m just a walking contradiction (not the first time I’ve heard that, by the way). But aren’t we all packed with contradictions?

Now, I would say to my dad, that, yes, men and women are different. Each of us was made just as God intended—a remarkable mishmash of marvelous and challenging traits.

Reference: “Men and Women really are different,” Creation Magazine, 36(3), 2014, p.8.

Photo Credit: ID 25649645 © Manaemedia | Dreamstime.com

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