Men want sex & women want love. Women chat more while men like to brood. So how do these creatures from Mars and Venus overcome their differences, to become Earthlings. Experts and some new studies tell us how…
MEN are from Mars and women are from Venus but the twain shall always meet. They meet on Earth of course.
It’s another thing that there’s a lot of struggle that preludes this much-anticipated meeting — there are bottlenecks, traffic jams and speed breakers in this journey. And the main culprit seems to be the ‘wiring’ of their brains.
A recent Swedish research for instance says that women are moodier than men and are prone to depression – once again restating the fact that the two genders have a different brain wiring. Researches time and again have said that men and women are wired differently. But there’s something more than just the wiring.
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Behavioural experts say it is not just the wiring that causes the ‘differences’ (pun intended). "More than genetic make-up, it's their social conditioning that is responsible for the way they behave,” says psychologist Anu Goel.
Genetic make-up ensures their brains function differently and their hormones seem to pull them in separate ways. And social conditioning makes the differences starker.
LOVE VS SEX
THE LOVE versus sex debate has been going on since time immemorial. Scientists have blamed a larger hypothalamus (the sex centre of brain) in men that forces them to think about sex 25 hours a day. And we women believe them readily. We take pride in the fact that we are more emotional and sensitive.
It all goes back to the caveman era. “Over the years women developed more caring abilities. They learnt from their mothers to be more nurturing, emotional and sensitive. That’s why they look for love to get intimate with any man,” says Dr Gitanjali Sharma, Delhi-based family and marriage counsellor.
And traditionally... after all that hunting, the only thing man learned to get intimate was through sex.
“The idea of intimacy in both the genders has been different. While women look for a long term commitment, men are quite happy with a fling,” says psychologist Dr Nisha Khanna.
But the traditional gender roles have been changing over a period of time. “There are women who are predatory too now. Otherwise it has always been the man who believes in first getting into a woman’s pants and then into her head,” says adman Prahlad Kakkar.
And now, there’s in fact new research that challenges the caveman theory. Scientists at Oxford University studied 19 pre-historic humans and found that only one in ten males moved out of the cave to look for food. It was the woman of the cave, who moved out to hunt for the family.
Maybe this particular group of pre-historic humans had men who were particularly lazy, but that just proves one thing — women might have been great multi-taskers even in the Neanderthal era.
MEN AND women approach a problem in different ways. “So when they have a fight, a woman picks up her phone and calls her gal pals to vent her emotions, while the man sits in front of the TV and switches channels,” says Pooja Bedi. "Women are more communicative, and men love to brood,” she adds.
A study published by the New Scientist magazine found that female macaques (the next best thing to humans, the scientists could find for their experiments) were more chatty and friendly. They made more friendly noises than the males, who preferred to play the angry young man.
They also found that men liked to gossip while playing football or while sitting in a bar. But women just liked to be together.
They are more emotionally literate and have a higher EQ.
"Men are conditioned in a way that they should be less communicative. But through communication, woman forms emotional bonds,” says Sharma.
In the book, The Female Brain, by Louann Brizendine, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, the author says that women talk three times more than men.
The book claims that the brains of a man and a woman function differently. On an average, a woman blurts out about 20,000 words a day ascompared with 7,000 for theaverage man.
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WORKING WITH TEN ARMS VERY MUCH LIKE ACKNOWLEDGED IN INDIAN MYTHOLOGY
CONTRARY to most theories, Kakkar speaks in defence of his tribe and says that it’s not true that men cannot multi-task. "They just have the privilege of not to multi-task,” he says. He adds that it is the woman who has been multi-tasking for ages. A woman has the ability to bring in some amount if sophistication to whatever she does,” he says.
Last year a University of Hertfordshire study found that women were capable of performing a number of simple tasks like searching for a key and solving easy maths problems simultaneously.
Psychologists agree with the study. They say that men think in compartments.
“Their brain has different compartments for different tasks and when a man exits one compartment, he’s completely out it. For example, if he is at home playing with his kids, and he gets a call from office, he will leave whatever he is doing and attend the call. He can’t carry out both the things simultaneously,” says Sharma.
Women, on the other hand transform into the ten-armed goddess while balancing home and work – something that men will hopefully learn slowly.
WOMEN talk more, so does that mean that men will always have to put up with the taunts women throw at them when they get moody?
The Swedish study mentioned above says that women are prone to mood swings, anxiety and depression due to low levels of serotonin or ‘happy hormones’.
"There are other social factors too, that make women more susceptible to depression. It again stems from the fact that women are more emotional. Also a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle plays a major role in a woman’s behaviour,” says Sharma.
Sudden emotional outbursts can leave some unsuspecting men flummoxed. Filmmaker Zoya Akhtar was heard saying once: “If I am the director, it’s my party. I will cry if I want to. I will be in all my hormonal glory. I’m not going to be embarrassed by it. As a man, you have chosen to be part of my set, so you handle it, boy.”
Men have somehow learnt the art of handling a moody woman. But he still has a long way to go especially while dealing with a moody female boss. “If it is a male boss, you can argue and set things right. But with a female boss you really have think before you open your mouth,” says IT professional Sumit Verma.
It is difficult to win an argument with a woman because she is a better communicator.
BLURRING THE LINE
But aren’t these little differences responsible for running the world? Dr Kamal Khurana, relationship counsellor at Purple Alley sums it up: “Men and women were made differently so that they could learn from each other. This is the essence of life.
A woman can learn to be more practical and logical from a man. And a man learns to be more emotional and sensitive from a woman.” And that’s how both can evolve together.
Reproduced From Mail Today. Copyright 2011. MTNPL. All rights reserved.