„Die neue Geschlecht-Bewertungsliste“ – ein Artikel zu Geschlechtsunterschieden

Der Artikel „The New Sex Scorecard“ stellt einige Unterschiede zwischen Männern und Frauen dar. Ich greife einfach mal ein paar heraus:

For many functions, it doesn’t matter which sex genes you have or from whom you get them. But the Y chromosome itself spurs the brain to grow extra dopamine neurons, Arnold says. These nerve cells are involved in reward and motivation, and dopamine release underlies the pleasure of addiction and novelty seeking. Dopamine neurons also affect motor skills and go awry in Parkinson’s disease, a disorder that afflicts twice as many males as females. XY makeup also boosts the density of vasopressin fibers in the brain. Vasopressin is a hormone that both abets and minimizes sex differences; in some circuits it fosters parental behavior in males; in others it may spur aggression.

Das wäre ein interessanter genetischer Effekt, insbesondere wenn er direkt durch das Y-Chromoson verursacht ist. Diese Effekte müssten, wenn sie nicht mit Testosteron zusammen hängen, auch bei CAIS-Frauen zu beobachten sein. Auch der Neues-Suchen-Effekt ist interessant.

Gur’s discovery that females have about 15 to 20 percent more gray matter than males suddenly made sense of another major sex difference: Men, overall, have larger brains than women (their heads and bodies are larger), but the sexes score equally well on tests of intelligence. Gray matter, made up of the bodies of nerve cells and their connecting dendrites, is where the brain’s heavy lifting is done. The female brain is more densely packed with neurons and dendrites, providing concentrated processing power—and more thought-linking capability. The larger male cranium is filled with more white matter and cerebrospinal fluid. “That fluid is probably helpful,” says Gur, director of the Brain Behavior Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania. “It cushions the brain, and men are more likely to get their heads banged about.” White matter, made of the long arms of neurons encased in a protective film of fat, helps distribute processing throughout the brain. It gives males superiority at spatial reasoning. White matter also carries fibers that inhibit “information spread” in the cortex. That allows a single-mindedness that spatial problems require, especially difficult ones. The harder a spatial task, Gur finds, the more circumscribed the right-sided brain activation in males, but not in females. The white matter advantage of males, he believes, suppresses activation of areas that could interfere with work

Es wäre also das alte „Männer konzentrieren sich eher auf ein bestimmtes Problem als Frauen“.  Interessant auch der Bezug zum räumlichen Denken. Hier soll also gerade die Konzentrierung den wesentlichen Vorteil bringen.

Women’s perceptual skills are oriented to quick—call it intuitive—people reading. Females are gifted at detecting the feelings and thoughts of others, inferring intentions, absorbing contextual clues and responding in emotionally appropriate ways. They empathize. Tuned to others, they more readily see alternate sides of an argument. Such empathy fosters communication and primes females for attachment. Women, in other words, seem to be hard-wired for a topdown, big-picture take.

Men might be programmed to look at things from the bottom up (no surprise there). Men focus first on minute detail, and operate most easily with a certain detachment. They construct rules-based analyses of the natural world, inanimate objects and events. In the coinage of Cambridge University psychologist Simon BaronCohen, Ph.D., they systemize. The superiority of males at spatial cognition and females’ talent for language probably subserve the more basic difference of systemizing versus empathizing. The two mental styles manifest in the toys kids prefer (humanlike dolls versus mechanical trucks); verbal impatience in males (ordering rather than negotiating); and navigation (women personalize space by finding landmarks; men see a geometric system, taking directional cues in the layout of routes)

Also die Einteilung in das „empathische Gehirn“ und das „analytische Gehirn“. Zu den Spielpräferenzen gibt es dort auch noch die folgenden Angaben:

99% of girls play with dolls at age  6, versus 17% of boys

Also ein recht deutlicher Anteil der Frauen, aber immer noch auch eine recht deutliche Minderheit der Jungs.

Autism overwhelmingly strikes males; the ratio is ten to one for Asperger. In his new book, The Essential Difference: The Truth About the Male and Female Brain, Baron-Cohen argues that autism is a magnifying mirror of maleness. The brain basis of empathizing and systemizing is not well understood, although there seems to be a “social brain,” nerve circuitry dedicated to person perception. Its key components lie on the left side of the brain, along with language centers generally more developed in females.

Was Autismus angeht scheint mir die Theorie von Baron-Cohen sehr überzeugend. Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, dass Autismus eine starker Übersteigerung dieses Vorgangs ist, und Empathie und Systematisches Denken in dieser Hinsicht ein biologischer Gegensatz ist, eine bessere Theorie für Autismus, die nicht auf unterschiedlicher Biologie beruht ist mir jedenfalls nicht bekannt. Überhaupt scheinen mir auch die bei den Geschlechtern unterschiedlich auftretenden Krankheiten nur über solche Unterschiede erklärbar zu sein.

Adding injury to insult, women’s bodies respond to stress differently than do men’s. They pour out higher levels of stress hormones and fail to shut off production readily. The female sex hormone progesterone blocks the normal ability of the stress hormone system to turn itself off. Sustained exposure to stress hormones kills brain cells, especially in the hippocampus, which is crucial to memory. It’s bad enough that females are set up biologically to internally amplify their negative life experiences. They are prone to it psychologically as well, finds University of Michigan psychologist Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, Ph.D. Women ruminate over upsetting situations, going over and over negative thoughts and feelings, especially if they have to do with relationships. Too often they get caught in downward spirals of hopelessness and despair.

Zu den Unterschieden zwischen den Geschlechtern beim Stress hatte ich schon etwas geschrieben. Die allgemeine höhere Gefühlsbezogenheit werden sicherlich auch viele aus eigener Erfahrung bestätigen. Zu der Betrachtung von Beziehungen heißt es in dem Artikel weiter:

It’s entirely possible that women are biologically primed to be highly sensitive to relationships. Eons ago it might have helped alert them to the possibility of abandonment while they were busy raising the children. Today, however, there’s a clear downside. Ruminators are unpleasant to be around, with their oversize need for reassurance. Of course, men have their own ways of inadvertently fending off people. As pronounced as the female tilt to depression is the male excess of alcoholism, drug abuse and antisocial behaviors.

Das Frauen eher einen hohen Selektionsdruck hatten, Beziehungen genau zu analysieren und ihre Zukunftsperspektive zu betrachten kann ich mir auch gut vorstellen. Vielleicht auch der Grund, warum Frauen eher fragen, wohin sich eine Beziehung denn entwickelt und eine solche Langzeitperspektive benötigen.

Twenty-five percent of wives and 44 percent of husbands have had extramarital intercourse, reports Baltimore psychologist Shirley Glass, Ph.D. Traditionally for men, love is one thing and sex is . . . well, sex. 90% of males and females agree that infidelity is always wrong, 20–25% of all marital fights are about jealousy In what may be a shift of epic proportions, sexual infidelity is mutating before our very eyes. Increasingly, men as well as women are forming deep emotional attachments before they even slip into an extramarital bed together. It often happens as they work long hours together in the office. “The sex differences in infidelity are disappearing,” says Glass, the doyenne of infidelity research. “In my original 1980 study, there was a high proportion of men who had intercourse with almost no emotional involvement at all—nonrelational sex. Today, more men are getting emotionally involved.” One consequence of the growing parity in affairs is greater devastation of the betrayed spouse. The old-style strictly sexual affair never impacted men’s marital satisfaction. “You could be in a good marriage and still cheat,” reports Glass

Also eine gewandelte Einstellung zu Sex. Ich denke zwar, dass die Geschlechter in diesem Bereich noch immer weit auseinander liegen, was das Verhältnis zu Sex einfach so angeht, aber es wird andererseits allgemein immer normaler. Es ist nicht mehr unbedingt der Umstand, dass Frauen etwas gegen Sex einfach so haben, sie wollen ihn meist nur wesentlich seltener als Männer und zumindest mit einer gewissen Verbundenheit.

Was sagt ihr zu den (angeblichen) Unterschieden?