Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Biggest Sex Organ

Just a little instant info on male/female brain differences. A subject of interest to me.

Male brains have a smaller hippocampus, which forms initial memories. We don't sweat the small stuff. We hardly notice it. Some piece of jewelry, her eye-color ... um, what? It's not personal. An area in the limbic cortex, involved with emotional responses, is also smaller in men, and the region of the temporal lobe that processes language has a smaller density of neurons. So not only do we feel less, but we can't talk about it. I guess.

The male cortex -- the outer layer of the brain -- is thinner in many places, affecting comprehension and processing of language cues. Specifically, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex has 23% less volume in men, and there's 13% less volume in the superior temporal cortex. Females seem to devote these thicker cortex areas to noticing and calculating the meaning of meaningless behavior in males -- what does it mean, his failure to remember that this is the 15th week anniversary of when we bought the sofa?!

Females prioritize memories according to emotional strength, relying on the left side of the amygdala, which determines affective responses to events. Men organize their memories using the right-brain amygdala, which focuses on the central action and meaning of an event, rather than its finer details. This makes it sound like men might be less emotional. But the ratio between the amygdala and the, ahem, orbitofrontal cortex is much larger in women. The orbitofrontal cortex modulates the emotions the amygdala creates. So women may be more emotional to events, but they control those emotions better, in terms of determinative responses. They are calmer in the face of barroom boorishness.

On the up side, male brains produce 52% more serotonin, a mood-influencing neurotransmitter, enabling men to deal more calmly with stress -- on average. And the preoptic region of the hypothalmus is larger by all measures in men than women. Twice as large. This is the part of the brain, one of them, that deals with mating behaviour. Yeah! It hooks up -- yeah! -- to the pituitary, which releases sex hormones. Yeah! Go, that long preop hypo word! Yeah!

Coincidentally, on the telly I've got TLC on, with a show called Supersize She. Female bodybuilders. Focus, too closely, on a chick named ... well, I didn't notice her name. Joanna something. Pretty big boobs. Manish doesn't quite describe her. Drag queen face and voice, only not so lovely. Skin like desert leather, body brown as a beetle over a creped face pale as disease. Star of a sport identical in spirit to competitive eating. Excess and perversion. It would not exist without Big Pharma.

But I'd do her.

And that bodybuilder chick from Napoleon Dynamite? The sensi's wife or whatever? She really was a chick. I did not know that. So now I'd do her.

It's not at all disgusting. I'm just so glad though that there are gender differences.


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