A while back, I read a fascinating article called Love, Sex, and the Male Brain by Louann Brizendine. According to Louann our brains are mostly alike but there are variances when it comes to sex, relating, and territorial behaviors. Men have a larger area of the brain dedicated to defending their turf. I wonder if this makes men more prone to jealousy than women. I have also pondered whether or not jealousy is a modern cultural phenomenon. If we are programmed genetically to guard that which is ours, then is it an instinctual process?
In contrast, Louann tells us that women have a larger area of the brain dedicated to understanding and getting in sync with other people’s emotions, facial expressions, and body language.
The biggest dichotomy she found was that the male brain has a two and a half times larger area of for sexual pursuit than women. This is not at all surprising to me.
She discusses the differing levels of male hormones during diverse ages and says that testosterone puts boys/men in a ‘Man Trance’. According to the author, men cannot help themselves because they are programmed to always be on the hunt for fertile females. Checking out women’s breasts comes second nature to men and they fail to understand why their looking should upset the women they are with. I have to agree with this point. Even if you are monogamous, I don’t think wearing blinders like a horse is necessary. I’m not saying that men should have carte blanche to behave in any manner but a little self-esteem goes a really long way in my opinion.
If you’ve read my first novel, My Body-His, then you know I’m fascinated by what motivates people to behave the way they do. In the second book, My Body-His (Marcello) you will have the opportunity to be ensconced in a power struggle between Luke and Marcello over Jane. They don’t go as far as banging their chests but they are both lobbying to have sole control over the object of their desire.
Men do fall in “love” as hard as women, according to Luanne, and when a woman gets pregnant, her pheromones affect her man’s testosterone by reducing his output by 30%. This is just nature’s insurance that the man will stick around through the pregnancy.
Louann goes on to say that there is a misconception that women are more emotional than men. According to her, men have stronger emotional reactions than women do. Men, however, are much better at covering it up and far quicker at doing so. I have to speculate that this particular behavior is culturally driven because men are told they must appear strong and in control.
Here’s the article if you would like to read it for yourself: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/03/23/brizendine.male.brain/index.html?hpt=C1
What are some of the differences you have found between you and partners? Love to read your thoughts.
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