“Women are more sensitive than men.” What’s your reaction to that statement? Many today find it offensive because it’s a stereotype.
But as with many gender “stereotypes,” there’s a lot in science that backs it up. Men and women are VERY different, and that difference goes right down to the way we sense and process the world around us.
In an age where gender is supposedly fluid, it’s good to reinforce just how biologically different men and women are. Let’s look at a few surprising features unique to each.
(Note that many of these differences are generalizations. While it’s true that they predominantly apply to one sex over the other, they don’t apply to every member of that sex.)
Both men and women excel in some aspects of hearing. For example, both men and women have microscopic hairs in their inner ears. But a woman’s vibrate at a far greater intensity than a man’s. This makes women more capable of hearing nuances and inflections in the human voice.
Women are also able to multitask more than men. They can listen to several conversations simultaneously. On the other hand, many men become functionally deaf when engaged in another activity, such as reading. Men only use one hemisphere of the brain when listening. Women use both.
Men exceed in pinpointing the origin of a sound in three-dimensional space. Of course, this came in use through much of human history, as men were predominantly the hunters.
Women have 7 million more cells in their olfactory bulb than men. They can discern between scents with much greater accuracy than men can. For mothers with sons, that’s why they walk into their sons’ rooms and plug their noses while their sons protest that they don’t smell anything.
Women discern colors better than men can. That’s why they can much more accurately pick out colors like fuchsia — a color many men simply call “pink” or “purple.”
Women tend to have more empathy than men (again, we’re talking about generalizations here). There was a funny experiment that highlighted this. Scientists took a room full of boys and girls, put up a wall, and made a baby start crying on the other side of the wall.
The scientists put an intercom system in so that the boys and girls could hear the baby crying. You could click a button to talk to the baby or press the mute button to “silence” it.
The girls all chose to talk to the baby to comfort it. The boys? Easy, they just hit the mute button to be done with all that crying!
There are real neurological differences between men and women. No matter how often society tries to convince us that these differences don’t matter, they do. Maybe instead of running away from the identity God gave us, we should fully embrace it and discover how to best use it to serve His kingdom!