Differences in brain structure between men and women were only weakly related to behavioral differences, according to new research that analyzed two large independent brain imaging data. His findings were published in the Cypost, citing psychological sciences.
The results suggest that the presence of sex differences in human behavior is well documented, but there is no evidence to conclusively prove whether these behavioral differences are related to differences in male and female brain structure. Previous research has suggested that gender differences in brain structure are actually linked to behavioral differences between the sexes, but new findings provide evidence that this link is often related to brain size.
Researcher Lisa Van Ike, a psychology lecturer at James Cook University, explained that in her “Neurology and Neuroimaging” expertise, she focused on scientifically verifying that “gender differences in the brain are related to behavioral differences.”
Female empathy skills
“It has been confirmed that there are differences between the sexes regarding behavior, for example, men have better visual-spatial abilities than women on average, and on average, women have better empathy skills than men. There are also gender differences. Diagnosis for diseases and disorders.” Mental health problems such as having a higher autism spectrum disorder against men, and vice versa, are more likely to cause depression in men than in women.
The male brain is large
There are many gender differences in the brain, which means that the male brain is on average 10-15% larger than the female brain. The question that remains is whether gender differences in behavior are related to gender differences in the brain, and if so, whether this relationship can provide insight into disorders that show gender differences. “
Physical, nervous and behavioral
The researchers used data from the Connectom human project and the Queensland Twin Imaging Study to study individual differences in the brain structure of males and females scanned using a high-quality imaging technique to measure brain structure.
The studies also collected various physical, neurological and behavioral data from 2,153 adult participants, including BMI, intelligence, work memory performance, personality traits, and psychological symptoms.
To rule out sociocultural factors that may affect gender differences in behavior, Van Ike and his colleagues studied brain differences between homosexuals, in other words, women were compared individually with other women and this also applies to men.
Genetic and hormonal predictions
“Depending on the differences in genetic predisposition and expression and sensitivity to sex hormones, some men will develop a female brain similar to that of a female, while other males will develop a brain similar to that of a male, and vice versa,” Van Ike told PsyPost. Subsequently, behavioral differences (such as personality and cognition) with the male and female dimension were examined. Next, we looked at how these brain and behavioral differences in the male and female dimension are related. “
The researchers found a significant relationship between brain differences and behavioral differences, but the association disappeared after calculating brain size differences. Von Ike explained, “We (only) found a weak relationship between behavioral differences between the brain and the sexes, which suggests that differences in the structure of the brains of men and women are not closely related to behavioral differences and that many factors may play a role in this. Brain size is explained by differences, which suggests that future research into the relationship between brain and behavior should carefully consider brain size differences. “
The study had several strengths, including a relatively large sample size. But, like all research, there are some caveats in the findings.
“This is a correlational study, so we can not conclude anything about the direction of the effect,” Van Ick said. “Further research is needed to determine whether gender (but not gender) differences in brain and behavior are caused by a common cause. Whether gender differences in factor (e.g., early brain masculinity in pregnancy) and / or brain affect behavior, and / or vice versa, how these behavioral differences affect the brain Affect, moreover, the relationship between the sexes of the brain is not clear.
It is important not to ignore gender differences in research, even if it is small, and studying these differences can provide new clues that show gender differences in behavior and disease in their spread or manifestation of symptoms, ”Van Ike added. There is no evidence that gender differences are greater than the observed gender differences and that existing gender differences (in brain or behavior) are much higher. “
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