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HIS BRAIN-HER BRAIN - BATTLE OF THE BRAINS

From HIS BRAIN-HER BRAIN-by Dr Walt & Barb Larimore


BRAIN STRUCTURE

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,

Can multi-task


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

Respond physically-ACTION


--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.


BRAIN CHEMISTRY

Testosterone-sex hormone


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

second


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)


SENSES


His Brain Her Brain

SIGHT

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


HEARING

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

sensitive touch

TASTE

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


SPATIAL SKILLS

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

RT brain

*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

attuned senses)


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

before sex


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

comfortable?


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

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