Episode 14: Boys and Girls

Click here for a transcript of this week’s episode: Boys and Girls TranscriptNote: Conversational pieces of transcripts may deviate slightly from the spoken podcast, but all facts and science are preserved. 

Today on Brainstorms is the long-awaited “brain battle of the sexes.” We discuss how men and women differ cognitively, emotionally, and sexually, especially during the adolescent years. How different are we, really? Fun facts include the number of words spoken per minute by each gender, statistics about hook-up culture, and the reason why so many more boys are diagnosed with autism.

Further reading on this topic is infinite, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Some fascinating myth-busting work about men vs. women in STEM fields can be found in this article from PBS Newshour. Turns out, there might be some biological reasoning for the discrepancy after all.
  • Here’s a short and sweet piece on the “empathy gap” between men and women from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Program. Why is it that women seem to feel more of another’s pain? Find out right here.
  • I spoke about how humans are not very sexually dimorphic compared to other species- that is, male and female humans are pretty similar. Here’s a fun, picture-filled article that shows some exampled of dramatic sexual dimorphism in different animal species, from the peafowl (peacocks are only the males!) and a variety of other species.

Here are the sources for this episode:

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

Jay Giedd Interview on the Teenage Brain

Comparison of Cognitive Functions in Males and Females (Research Paper)

Menstrual Cycle Phases

Female Sex Hormones and Cognitive Performance

Male Brain Structure and Spatial Reasoning

Overall Brain Structure Discrepancies in Men and Women

Girl Brain and Boy Brain in Social Cognition

X-Linked Genes and Cognition (Research Paper)

Evolutionary Theory of Sexually Dimorphic Spatial Abilities (Research Abstract)

Cognitive Difference and Culture

Cognitive Performance by Sex

Autism Prevalence and Gender

Learning Disorders Facts

Gender Ratios of Dyslexia (Research Paper)

Gender in Special Education

Genetic Link for Boys and Autism

Female Protective Model for Autism

Oxytocin and Male Monogamy

Oxytocin in Women

Women’s Brains More Sensitive to Negative Stimuli

Gonadal Steroid Regulation and PMD/PMS (Research Paper)

Gender Differences and Similarities in Sexuality

Puberty and Adolescent Sexuality

Brain Maturity and Gender

How Men and Women Process Emotions Differently

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual Syndrome

Girls’ Brains Mature Faster than Boys


Image: http://i.ndtvimg.com/i/2015-10/brain_650x400_81446188063.jpg

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