Louann Brizendine walks her readers through the science behind the male brain in hopes that she helps her audience understand the male brain "as the fine-tuned and complex instrument that it actually is," as she writes in her book. Check out an excerpt of the book below, then head to the "GMA" Library for other great reads. And click here to read Dr. You could say that my whole career prepared me to write my first book, The Female Brain. As a medical student I had been shocked to discover that major scientific research frequently excluded women because it was believed that their menstrual cycles would ruin the data. That meant that large areas of science and medicine used the male as the "default" model for understanding human biology and behavior, and only in the past few years has that really begun to change.
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And this is especially true now that we know that the male and female brains have some profound differences. Our brains are mostly alike. We are the same species, after all. But the differences can sometimes make it seem like we are worlds apart. The "defend your turf" area -- dorsal premammillary nucleus -- is larger in the male brain and contains special circuits to detect territorial challenges by other males.
And his amygdala, the alarm system for threats, fear and danger is also larger in men. These brain differences make men more alert than women to potential turf threats.
Meanwhile, the "I feel what you feel" part of the brain -- mirror-neuron system -- is larger and more active in the female brain. Not only that, but beginning in their teens, they produce 20 to fold more testosterone than they did during pre-adolescence. If testosterone were beer, a 9-year-old boy would be getting the equivalent of a cup a day. But a year-old would be getting the equivalent of nearly two gallons a day.
This fuels their sexual engines and makes it impossible for them to stop thinking about female body parts and sex. As a woman who was among the ranks of the early feminists, I wish I could say that men can stop themselves from entering this trance. Their visual brain circuits are always on the lookout for fertile mates. Whether or not they intend to pursue a visual enticement, they have to check out the goods. Men look at attractive women the way we look at pretty butterflies.
Men look at attractive women the way women look at pretty butterflies. The female brain is driven to seek security and reliability in a potential mate before she has sex. But a male brain is fueled to mate and mate again. Until, that is, he mates for life. Despite stereotypes to the contrary, the male brain can fall in love just as hard and fast as the female brain, and maybe more so.
When he meets and sets his sights on capturing "the one," mating with her becomes his prime directive. And when he succeeds, his brain makes an indelible imprint of her. Her pheromones will also cause his testosterone production to drop by 30 percent. These hormonal changes make him more likely to help with the baby. And a word to the wise for all the young mothers who are reluctant to let your husbands hold and care for your newborn.
The more hands-on care a father gives his infant, the more his brain aligns with the role of fatherhood. So, hand over the baby. His emotions run deep Although men have earned the reputation for being more stoic than women, they actually have stronger emotional reactions than we do. The male brain can fall in love just as hard and fast as the female brain, and maybe more so.
But within 2. The repeated practice of hiding his emotions gives men the classic poker face. With practice and because of the way their brains are wired, men use their analytical brain structures, not their emotional ones, to find a solution. They enjoy this advantage, but women often take affront to it. The king of male hormones -- testosterone -- goes down and the queen of female hormones -- estrogen -- goes up. For example, if his testosterone levels drop to an abnormally low level, he can feel tired, irritable and even depressed.
Some men in this condition seek hormone replacement therapy and others find relief in exercise, more frequent sex, and spending more time with other people.
Love, sex and the male brain
And this is especially true now that we know that the male and female brains have some profound differences. Our brains are mostly alike. We are the same species, after all. But the differences can sometimes make it seem like we are worlds apart.
Louann Brizendine: 'The Male Brain'