The sex of the brain

The sex of the brain

The sex of the brain

Last update: 15 September, 2022

Experience shows us that without a doubt women can become astronauts or artists, aspire to the Nobel Prize or even rule a nation with or without the consent of its citizens. And in relation to the intelligence coefficient, the average of men and women is more or less the same, there are no differences.

However, nature's skillful and tenacious hands have not only endowed them with a different physical appearance as people, but have also given them some brain differences that force us to ask ourselves "Does the brain have a sex?"

1 - Feminine origins

Let's do a simple review of genetics: women have the genetic chromosome XX, while men undergo a small variation to this code, being XY. However, this was not always the case during development, as from the time we are born up to 8 weeks, we all have a female-type brain circuit.

Reached this moment, the testicles of the male fetus start a revolutionary process that will change their development: they will release large quantities of testosterone that will attack their brain circuit transforming the female fetus into a male fetus. It is an amazing process by which we all come into the world alike, sharing the same nature, a fleeting moment in the wonderful human biological life of which we have no recollection.

2 - Female brain, male brain

The adventure of cerebral sexualization does not end with birth, hormones continue their intent to involve us in an interesting process that scientists have called "infantile puberty" and in this way, children experience an increase in testosterone levels from the first day they come into the world up to seven or nine months, and then slow down again, while in girls the secretion of estrogen to the brain continues until the age of 2.

Little by little the brains are forming in the structural and behavioral differences that cannot always be observed through an MRI. To begin with, we could say that men and women have different "hardware" when I have to process information: the male brain, for example, being larger than that of women, solves problems using the temporal system. parietal located in the cerebral cortex, which allows him to find solutions more quickly and practically.

Women, on the other hand, tend to develop better emotional intelligence thanks to their hippocampus, structure where the more emotional aspects are recorded and saved, which is slightly larger. Added to this is a greater number of mirror neurons for empathy, which results in a more efficient empathic process and more effective communication.

3 - Slave to hormones?

What we are, what we express, does not necessarily derive from our circuit of neurons or from this capricious biological variety that dictates and grants a female or male brain. We know for sure that hormones mark and predispose us, but we are thinking and reflective creatures, who learn every day by developing more and more the limbic system, whether determined or not; we are free to think, feel or choose one course over another. 

add a comment of The sex of the brain
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.