Why two women equal to the witness of one man
"... so that if one of them errs, the other can remind her
..." (Quran 2:282)
Jill Goldstein, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School says:
"When I was growing up, to say there were sex differences in the brain, you weren't even supposed to talk about it," said Goldstein. "I think we're living in a time now when we can look at what some of these differences are without saying they are necessarily deterministic
Dr Richard Restak, American neurologist:
"It seems unrealistic to deny any longer the existence of male and female brain differences. Just as there are physical dissimilarities between male and females . . . there are equally dramatic differences in brain functioning".
Let us just concentrate on the differences in recalling ability between man and woman. Sex differences have been noted in the comparative memory of men and women. Women can store, for short periods at least, more irrelevant and random information but men will organised the information in some coherent form, or has specific relevance to them. This male advantage in seeing patterns and abstract relationships - what could be called general strategic rather than detailed tactical thinking - perhaps explains the male dominance of chess, even in a country like the U.S.S.R, where the game is a national sport played by both sexes.
Harvard University President Lawrence H. Summers created a maelstrom when he suggested recently that innate differences in sex may explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers. He has since apologized for any misunderstanding his remarks may have caused. But is there any truth to the idea that men's and women's brains are, in fact, different?
On average, men perform better than women at certain spatial tasks. In particular, men seem to have an advantage in tests that require the subject to imagine rotating an object or manipulating it in some other way. They also outperform women in mathematical reasoning tests and in navigating their way through a route. So, man is more likely to be more confident in his testimony than the woman so she needs another woman to boost morale.
A study of male and female students (aged 18-25) has found that men's brain cells can transmit nerve impulses 4% faster than women's, probably due to the faster increase of white matter in the male brain during adolescence. It has, of course, long been suggested that women are intellectually inferior because their brains are smaller. A study involving the intelligence testing of 100 neurologically normal, terminally ill volunteers found that a bigger brain size is indeed correlated with higher intelligence and in this case perhaps memory.
An imaging study of 48 men and women between 18 and 84 years old found that, compared with women, men had more than six times the amount of intelligence-related gray matter. On the other hand, women had about nine times more white matter involved in intelligence than men did. Women also had a large proportion of their IQ-related brain matter (86% of white and 84% of gray) concentrated in the frontal lobes, while men had 90% of their IQ-related gray matter distributed equally between the frontal lobes and the parietal lobes, and 82% of their IQ-related white matter in the temporal lobes.
Depression appears to be twice as common in women as in men while women with schizophrenia seem to suffer less cognitive difficulties than men with the condition. "Nearly all neurodevelopmental diseases are either more common in one gender or more severe among one gender", says Nancy Forger of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. And her claimed is supported by Forger, "Clearly, if we can understand what's different about male and female brains, then we can understand why one sex is more susceptible to a disease." How does the disease (emotion since we are talking about depression) has effect on memory?
Yes, it does affect the memory. Two main aspects to this. One is that stress hormones, such as cortisol, interact with the amygdala. The other is that the amygdala can alter the activity of other brain regions. One of the ways in which it does this is by acting on consolidation processes (principally in the hippocampus).
Emotions might affect memory encoding is through working memory. It has been suggested that, in the case of anxiety, part of working memory may be taken up with our awareness of fears and worries, leaving less capacity available for processing.
Women are better at remembering emotional memories. They also seem to be more likely to forget information presented immediately before emotionally charged information. This suggests that women are more affected by emotional content - a suggestion compatible with the finding that women and men tend to encode emotional experiences in different parts of the brain.
Read more about it here:
1. "BRAIN SEX: The real difference between men and women"; Anne Moir, Ph.D. and David Jessel.
Dell Publishing (paperback), New York, 1992.http://www.theabsolute.net/misogyny/brainsx.html
2. "Sex differences in the brain", By Doreen Kimura
3. "Scientists Find Sex Differences in Brain: Controversial Research Revealing Differences Between Men and Women"; Amanda Onion
4. "Gender differences in cognition."; McPherson, F. 2006
5. "The role of emotion in memory"; McPherson, F. 2004
to be continued