Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Owen Marcus - Guess what? Turns out, Men Are More Sensitive than Women, Part 1

Excellent post from Owen Marcus - in this two-part series, Owen looks at some research on the sensitivity of men. We are not big dumb brutes.

Guess what? Turns out, Men Are More Sensitive than Women, Part 1

You don’t believe me? I have science backing me up. The Huffington Post’s article by Peggy Drexler explains how scientists discovered that men are hardwired to be more emotionally sensitive than women.
University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Dr. Ruben Gur says that the same way men and women have different bodies, they have different brains — with eons of evolution creating distinct wiring. It goes well beyond the formative impact of testosterone and estrogen. Other studies elaborate on the biological link to male-female communication styles. Men are wired to act during times of high emotion, since emotion can lead to violence; there is a shut-off mechanism. He stops talking — just when women, wired entirely differently, want to talk.
The article goes on to say:
… boys reacted to the crying with a higher release of stress hormones. Boys are more fragile than girls medically and emotionally. Boys are more susceptible to birth defects and developmental disabilities; they are more vulnerable in the womb, with more fetuses lost in miscarriage. As children, they are more easily stressed, which means they cry more when they are upset and have a harder time calming down. And they are more emotionally vulnerable to the ill effects of extreme lack of affection.

Men avoid confrontations with emotional women

I know I am not alone in saying that I have avoided confrontations with a partner when she is upset. Obviously, I do it less now that I understand what’s going on. Yet, I still find myself recoiling when a partner is upset. I can taste the sharpness of my cortisol and norepinephrine rushing through my blood. I want to run, but if that doesn’t work, than the urge to fight arises.

At the same time I feel the love and concern for my partner. I am overwhelmed between my reptilian-brain needs and my love. Then my head jumps in to tell me what I should do. I feel trapped in a no-win, triple bind. All this is going on while my partner is getting more upset.

Does this feel familiar?

Read the whole article, and see also Guess What? Men Are More Sensitive (emotional) than Women, Part 2

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