8 myths about the female body and brain, which is time to stop believing

WOMEN ARE SAYING MORE EMOTIONAL AND COMMONABLE, but more prone to depression. And also – that women are not very well versed in space, but they can do several things at once. They react worse, but see the disorder better. And in general the weaker sex. On the eve of the day of equality, the most tenacious of myths are debunked .

Myth 1

Women are more emotional and explosive 

He tells her that he wo n’t be able to go to his parents for the weekend , and she starts yelling at him. He gives her a necklace – and she jumps around the room like a child. He says that he no longer loves her, and she runs crying down the street. All these are scenes from conventional Hollywood films, which, as many believe, could take place in real life. Only here is the story of extreme female emotionality, perhaps exaggerated.

It is true that women smile more often than men . And just as there is evidence that women exaggerate their positive emotions. Scientists think this is due to stereotypical social attitudes: girls should smile, and boys should be stern. That is, the reasons for women’s “smiling” are purely social.

But on the other hand, this is only part of the big picture. Because emotions, as you know, we have not only positive, but also negative . Not to mention the fact that somewhere in between there is a whole spectrum of emotional states and reactions that are difficult to attribute to one of the categories.

In one study on the topic, scientists found that women appear to be no more emotional than men. To do this, they invited 2,000 people from five different countries to assess their facial behavior in response to different stimuli using an automated facial coding system . During the experiment, not only the frequency, but also the duration of the expressions was measured . So it was possible to establish that although women really smiled more often and did it for longer, men showed anger much more often and much brighter.

Myth 2

Women are significantly more likely to suffer from depression

This myth follows from the previous one and says that, since women are more emotional / nervous / hysterical (underline as appropriate), they are more likely to have various kinds of mental illness . Is it true? Studies show that women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression. And it is not only biological but also psychological and social factors that contribute to this inequality, as has been shown in other studies .

On the one hand, women did not take part in clinical trials for quite a long time and they had less chance of a full examination : doctors often attributed their poor health to excessive anxiety. On the other – the scientists say that while women who tend to experience more vivid and intense positive emotions, thus balance available in their risks. And in the same way, they are much more willing than men to seek help from specialists, which helps them recover faster .

Myth 3

Women are not guided in space and worse in reactions    

There is an opinion that it is no coincidence that men “get hooked” on computer games. Allegedly, they do it well, so it is more interesting for them to play and the craving is ultimately stronger. Only there is one problem – it looks like women can do it just as well. While men seem , and really surpass women in solving spatial problems, ceteris paribus, there is evidence that both gender are equally well trained to do so.

Scientists have found that the difference between men and women is almost erased after just 10 hours of training. And this is not to mention the fact that in chess, which are directly related to spatial problems (and, by the way, a bunch of other logical operations – a comment especially for those who still believe in the existence of “female logic”), the powers of the sexes are almost equal . Anya Taylor-Joy approves .

The same , science adds, applies to reaction speed. Yes, men can act faster, but women are more consistent in their decisions, which allows them to achieve the same success.

Myth 4

The female brain is not designed for science and other serious things.  

A little more about thinking. For a long time, it was male brains that were considered best suited for complex scientific research. This is if we consider only biology, of course, without capturing the cultural context and women’s access to education. But more and more – what irony – research now suggests that women are not only not worse than men, but even surpass them in many fields of science. For example, a Scottish study of high school students found that girls perform better in physics, math, and computing. But these professional fields are less often chosen because they are traditionally considered “masculine.”

That is, the myth of the legibility of the female brain continues to mix a fly in the ointment into these results. A prime example is Google engineer James Daymore’s criticism of the company’s course on gender diversity. In his statements, Daymore emphasized precisely the fact that gender equality in the technological sphere is impossible due to the tendency of women to prefer people to things. And although the specialist from Google was fired, the residue in the form of his manifesto remained.

Scientists, by the way, also challenged the idea of ​​selectivity . The fact that women are more likely to work as consultants in stores, and men drive trains on the subway, does not mean that women do not want to be typists . Society simply invites men and women to choose different professions from an early age .

Finally, one cannot ignore the fact that our brain is plastic and can change under the influence of a variety of factors, including such a strong one as emotions. It is known that when a person of either gender thinks that he is doing a task poorly or does not deserve it at all, he tends to avoid it and get worse results. At the same time, women’s scientific articles are less frequently cited and collect more rejections when trying to publish.

Myth 5

Women can perform multiple tasks at the same time.

Do women multitask ? And here and there. While the ability to do multiple things at the same time has traditionally been perceived as a female superpower , research shows that women do not do it better than men. Multitasking requires fast and frequent switching from one task to another without losing the efficiency of their execution. And the truth is that the human brain is simply not capable of it , because if the tasks are similar, they are competing for the use of one part of the brain, so it’s good not to be made any one of them.

Myth 6

Women are better at seeing mess.

Another misconception, with the help of which some people are trying to shift cleaning responsibilities to women. But scientists have proven that men and women actually evaluate the space as dirty in the same way. The study authors say the reason women tend to clean more often may be because women have higher standards of cleanliness. Here it is quite appropriate to return to social attitudes – what are the stereotypes “home keeper” and “toilet bowl – the face of the hostess” are worth .

Myth 7

Women invented PMS themselves, in fact it does not exist 

Menses, despite the naturalness of the process and the desire of brands to correspond to the spirit of the times , continue to be a stigmatized topic (and a reason for irreconcilable discussions in the comments at the same time). Perhaps that is why many men still do not believe that they are associated with real and rather strong discomfort. And not only menstruation itself, but also the time before it, known as the great and terrible premenstrual syndrome.

Some people think that PMS is when a woman cries for no reason, gets angry and hysterical . As in those jokes where it is suggested to throw a wallet around the corner at the wife and move away, here they advise to “treat” her with ice cream, chocolate and all the same “I will go away from sin.”

The manifestations of PMS are really very different, which makes even some scientists consider the syndrome not so much a medical as a cultural phenomenon . The point is that society constantly reproduces stereotypes about PMS, so that a woman ends up experiencing something similar, even if she has no real symptoms . Fortunately, this idea is not supported by the global scientific community . And it is also not supported by evolutionary theories of biology, stating that PMS can scare off low-quality males , for example, or be a signal of a female ‘s inability to conceive .

It’s even stranger to say that PMS doesn’t exist when you consider that 75% of women of reproductive age regularly experience PMS symptoms . At the same time, in 3–8% of women, manifestations are so strong that they interfere with their usual activities and normal life.

Myth 8

Women – the weaker sex 

Despite the fact that medicine is constantly evolving, and our way of life is changing towards more comfortable and safe, women, as before, are ahead of men in life expectancy. Men are more likely to die from accidents , suffer more serious work injuries, and tend to go to the doctor when there is no choice . All this, of course, affects the fact that on average they live five years less. But there is another version: scientists suggest that the matter may be in the X- and Y-chromosomes. As you know, men have only one X chromosome, so any malfunction in it can lead to a fatal disease. At the same time in a woman’s body a second chromosome may able to balance those or other genetic disorders, and not to prevent the dangerous consequences.



local_offerevent_note March 6, 2021

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