From HIS BRAIN-HER BRAIN-by Dr Walt & Barb Larimore
1-Corpus Callosum-largest structure connecting RT/LFT sides of brain
His Brain-smaller callosum Her Brain-larger corpus callosum
In utero-gush of testosterone decreases For unborn females-estrogen increases growth
the growth of nerves-that’s why men can connections between right/left brain
process with LFT OR RT side of brains women process with both sides of brain
“Waffle Brain”-1 side or other “Spaghetti Brain”
*Stronger Front to back Stronger side-to-side connection-intuitive connection-ACTION thinking
Single minded, determined, steadfast Different modes of perceiving & relating to world,
2-LIMBIC SYSTEM- is designed to respond to sensory responses from outside world. When a stimulus is associated with an emotion for the first time an “emotional memory” imprinted on limbic system. Also part of brain involved in behavioral & emotional responses for survival - feeding/reproduction, caring for young & fight or flight response.
4 MAJOR PORTIONS OF LIMBIC SYSTEM ARE DIFFERENT:
-HYPOTHALAMUS-Brain’s sex center
His Brain-larger & more sensitive-why Her Brain-smaller
most men have higher sex drive
-HIPPOCAMPUS & AMYGDALA -receive process & store emotional memory. Amygdala amplifies memories that are pleasant or frightening. It communicates to hippocampus which memories need to be locked in place.
His Brain-smaller & less active Her Brain-larger more active to verb/emot ctrs
Men less likely to remember their Women connect words & feelings to emotional experiences. memories more than men.
More connected to spinal cord
--CINGULATE GYRUS-key emotion center that oversees the process
His Brain-smaller & less active Her Brain-larger, more active, more neural Connections, natural tendency to "tend & befriend talk about experiences.
His Brain-higher level-aggressiveness Her Brain-Surges 40 hours during ovulation
competitiveness & assertiveness increasing sex drive
Testosterone level stays same
*Helps a man focus on a project, competition,
mission or venture. Less liable to fatigue,
more single minded. Fosters independence.
*More fight or Flight Response
OXYTOCIN- “cuddle bonding” hormone. Increases sensitivity to touch & bonding
His Brain-lower Her Brain-higher “tend & Befriend”
*Same level as female during & Increases a woman’s sexual receptivity & partly
Immediately following an orgasm responsible for feelings of satisfaction after sex
This level increases the longer he is with or without an orgasm.
with his partner-increasing bonding & Increases letdown reflex breast feeding
Loyalty. Looking into infant’s eyes-higher level than men
VASOPRESSIN-originates in hypothalamus, along with testosterone regulates sexual
persistence, aggression, hierarchical displays & territorial markings.
His Brain Her Brain
Higher & fosters parental behavior Lower
During sexual foreplay-secreted in males
SEROTONIN-helps us to calm down
His Brain-less Her Brain-more willing to sit calmly & which is one reasons why men tend to act engage in conversation or childcare.
impulsively & physically
The lower-level serotonin & oxytocin &
Higher level of testosterone & vasopressin
biologically wires men action first, talk
For women ESTROGEN creates feelings of well-being, contentment & aids memory.
First half of menstrual cycle-estrogen increases=Higher self-esteem, enthusiasm, pleasure,
sexual arousal, more alert & sensitive to stimuli. *Menopausal women-lower estrogen, same amount of testosterone=more aggressive.
PROGESTERONE-feel parental, nurturing, content, sense of well-being, calm & aids memory. Progesterone is a relaxant (decreases before women’s period & after giving birth) causing woman to feel more restless & difficulty sleeping. *In contrast higher levels of progesterone causes decrease libido, more sluggish & increased depression (2nd half of menstrual cycle)
His Brain Her Brain
Men see better at night, quicker to notice Women can see more color, better
oncoming traffic. Better with bright lights peripheral vision (less girls hit by cars)
but less peripheral vision
Men listen to 1 side of their brain Women listen with both sides of brain-
better designed to receive & process
multiple sounds at the same time.
Girls can hear 2-4X’s better & softer
sounds than boys. 1 wk old can hear mo's
TOUCH & PAIN
Higher pain tolerance than women React quicker to pain & touch
*Adult woman’s skin is 10x’s more
Better discerning salty & sour More taste buds (bitter & complex), can also smell our partner’s unique musk
HOW WE PROCESS INPUT FROM THE WORLD
Stronger drive to systemize Strong drive to empathize
How a system works-analyzing, exploring & recognizing what another person may be
constructing feeling, thinking & responding to that person.
*12-month-old girls respond more empathically distress of other people
Males order others Females negotiate with others
Males compete in play Females cooperate in play
Men specific & highly efficient area of the Females-not as good as men-only 10% of
RT hemisphere of brain females equal to average male in spatial skills
Better at reading maps can make 2
dimensional map into 3-dimensional view
DIFFERENT RESPONSES TO STRESS
His Brain Her Brain
Propensity to react with anger originates Woman’s brain process emotional
from brain connections that transport his responses upward to brain’s verbal,
emotional responses downward to body relational & contemplative centers
& physical responses. Men get surges of portion of brain larger that control
testosterone & vasopressin & Serotonin aggression & anger
competing, fighting & taking risks *Women see this as a problem
*Under stress, men see aggression &
risk taking functional
When a man is dealing with a project,
problem, stress or emotion, typically
he becomes quiet
DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL RESPONSES
Male has larger amygdala=more aggression Woman’s connection from amygdala to
more likely to act frontal lobe is larger so more likely to
Men need time to discern what they are control physical response to emotion
thinking & feeling. Lengthy emotional talks Women want to talk & process & get
can have the opposite effect for men oxytocin to reduce stress & tension
Men can process emotion with 1 side or the
other that means a man can use logic or words
with LFT Women process emotions with both
Brain OR can solve spatial problems with hemispheres
*But in either case, he can avoid activating In women, the area of brain that deals
the emotional side of the brain! with emotions & emotional memories
*Studies show-men can take up to 7 hours to process thoughts & emotions
process thoughts & emotions almost always operate at the same time
as other brain functions!
*Functional brains scans show that when a man
wants to talk, his LFT hemisphere becomes active
as though he is searching for a verbal center but
can’t find one. The cortical processing areas men
use for probs/puzzles tend to be same regions women use for emotional processing
*While using RT brain to solve problems or deal
with emotions, hard for a man to use his LFT
brain to listen or speak.
DIFFERENCES IN MULTITASKING
Can compartmentalize well, can “zone out” Can’t turn brain off
and think of “nothing” Better at multi-tasking
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? DIFFERENT LANGUAGE
1-HER BRAIN-When it comes to talking, women are naturally good at it, they enjoy it & do a lot of it. Their emotions care connected to the verbal center of their brains. The neural
connections between a woman’s emotional processing & memory centers are larger, far more active & are more strongly connected to the verbal center than men’s brains. Researchers have found not only are women built to listen more acutely than men, but a woman can use up to 6 listening expressions on her face in a 10 second period!
The oxytocin compels women to find others who can “talk it out” b/c this relieves stress & tension. Conversations with her partner magnifies the feelings of bonding & intimacy. She is designed to connect memories, words & feeling to her conversations so her conversations are laden with emotion & meaning, thus it appears that like they remember things better than men.
*If women have deep conversations with their partners, they tend to feel more romantic love for him.
*However, if a woman’s expectation is that her partner is the sole provider of oxytocin-rich
relationships & conversations, she will be disappointed, it’s not how men are built!
2-HIS BRAIN-with a smaller hippocampus, men remember fewer emotional experiences than women. The biologic design of men causes them to be less likely to identify & communicate their emotions, so they tend to recall the facts & events, with less feelings at the time. Furthermore, the portions of his brain that process emotion are much smaller & much less connected. So, though a man can feel things quite deeply, a man’s capacity to feel emotions is physically separated from his ability to verbally express them. His brain is built to see conversation as a means to an end In conversation, men are much less likely (or even able) to talk about emotions & generally express much less emotional content than the average woman.
*Guys tend to listen with almost no facial expressions. If a man can learn to reflect his partner’s feeling in his facial expressions, it will create very strong bonds with his partner.
*This is why male conversations are usually filled with facts devoid of most emotions.
Men speak the language of action. A man’s high levels of testosterone & vasopressin lead him to problem-solving responses to stressors by either doing or fixing something. They lead with aggression & action, dominance & decision making.
*Important to note that a man’s vocabulary of action-doing things, sharing activities, gifts,
favors & physical courtesies are the masculine for “I care for you.”
*When women talk about a problem for a long period of time, this causes stress for a man b/c they are not built to listen but built to do something about it.
PRACTICAL COMMUNICATION INTERVENTIONS
1-Tell your male partner what you want when you are sharing
Men are more direct, concrete & factual – “men say what they mean and mean
what you say.” If a woman wants to talk, she needs to be clear if she wants her
partner to listen or give advice.
Let women talk it out within reason.
2-Let a man have space.
When a man is dealing with a project, problem stress or an emotion, he will
typically become very quiet. While a man is using his RT brain to solve problems
or deal with emotions, it is hard for him to use his LEFT brain to listen or speak.
Men use 1 side of the brain at a time!
3-Limit the time-Remember men do not find talking stress reducing so honor how
long your partner is required to listen. Talking for long periods of time stresses men.
4-Schedule a time to talk & be specific what it is about
5-Do not have additional noise distractions (tv, music, etc.) when you have the
conversation with your male partner
6-Make sure you don’t interrupt each other
7-Don’t expect your male partner to be your girlfriend-while your partner can be
your best friend, recognize that women need additional female relationships
that “speak the same language”.
SEX ON THE BRAIN
The most important human sex organ is the brain! Men have a larger hypothalamus & 15-20 times more testosterone to stimulate desire for sex, women smaller & less testosterone-less sex drive.
His Brain Her Brain
Men oriented physically Women oriented emotionally & relationally
Men stimulated by images & sight Women stimulated by feelings, smell touch
naked woman, lights on, eyes open and words not usually a naked man
Prefer lights off, eyes closed (b/c of her
Men can initiate sex anytime anywhere Women initiate sex less often
Men quick to respond sexually Women slower to respond, easier distract
Men need orgasm for sexual satisfaction Women do not
Man’s orgasm is short (3-10 seconds) Women’s orgasm longer-18-35 seconds,
More intense, emotionally oriented
Man always “ready to go” for sex Women want soft words, slow hands &
sexy scent to release sex hormones
B/C of this design, a woman’s desire for sex can be dramatically affected by NOT only the
events of her day but HIS actions & attitudes towards her during the previous hours, days, weeks or months. She needs romance, trust, protection & affirmations in a partner’s love.
Men do not want to talk during sex-uses Rt Women can multitask sex & speech
Brain-so intent he’s virtually deaf Can process many sounds from
to talk=like slamming a race car in reverse) environment-thin walls, etc, must feel
safe or problems warming up to sex
Men can make love or have sex (stress reducer)
Prefer “making love” & feel resentful if
sex to reduce stress but it can be helpful
Men think of sex every day, multiple times a day
Women think about sex half that amount
Pursuing Women often think of being pursued
Oxytocin high after sex Oxytocin need before sex
Men care how mate looks/visual variety Women who provides variety
HAPPY IN THE BEDROOM?
To spark a discussion about your sexual relationship, her are some questions to
get things rolling:
1. What do you really enjoy about our sex life? What pleases you? What feels best
& most comfortable for you?
2. What would make it better for you? What would make you feel more
3. What’s your idea of a “perfect” romantic sexual encounter? What can I do to be
more romantic with you?
4. How can I be a better lover? How can I be a better sex partner?
5. When we are together sexually, do you feel like a sex object? What makes you
feel that way? How can I change that?
6. How do you feel about the frequency of our lovemaking? How can we meet
each other’s sexual needs, even when our sexual appetites are different?
7. What barriers will we need to overcome for both of us to be satisfied with our
sex life? What aspects of our relationship are affecting our sex life? How can we
get started in breaking down those barriers?
From “His Brain, Her Brain-How divinely designed differences can strengthen your marriage” by Larimore & Larimore