My brain is bigger than yours! – happychemistry and the peace of the sexes

The male brain is about 4% larger. But... as with everything, size doesn't mean anything

PRIOR NOTE: this text must be read without prejudice or stereotypes. Some statements refer to what can be considered the most frequent, without any neglect for the rarest or for the exceptions.

This text is based on a fundamental principle for happiness: it does not meet the principle of equality, because we are all different, but it bases the right and respect for difference!

And it is on this assumption that we will achieve equity, which is still so necessary because it is so lacking in today's society. When we manage to reach this goal, every day will be Humanity's days, not men's or women's.

The ambition to be happy is inherent to the Human Being's survival. If we think about the two fundamental basic stimuli to perpetuate the species, we better understand this intrinsic need: feeding and reproduction.

If it didn't give us pleasure, we would certainly extinguish ourselves… And over the thousands of years of existence we have been shaping these stimuli, in ways to obtain well-being beyond the simple need to exist. And that is how happiness is understood allied to the pleasure of a meal or the love that is made. From this encounter, the possibility arises of perpetuating the genetic material, through reproduction.

The differences that determine our diversity come from genetic inheritance, influenced by the environment, which includes education, culture and knowledge, being decisive for our characteristics and abilities, including personality, sex and sexual behavior. This diversity includes the functioning of the brain.

Brains are not all the same! At a time when so much is said about equality, the question arises: are there differences in the male brain vs. feminine?

Over the years, in different contexts, I heard the mythical phrase that swarmed in the female universe: “men don't listen to anything we say!”.

I was recording observations; I highlight a few, typically on the basis of the “war of the sexes”. The male is assigned the focus on a task, running the risk of “not listening”; better sense of direction; less pain tolerance. From the female, the “multitasking” ability stands out; greater impulsiveness; greater ability to memorize dates and events.

Does science help us to understand the differences, to build bridges of knowledge that lead to greater understanding and harmony? Of course!

It was possible to assess that the male brain is about 4% larger. But… as with everything else, size doesn't mean anything.

In the female brain, the limbic region (emotions) and the corpus callosum (maturity) are larger, with more activity; it is also more sensitive to facial expression and has greater fluency and verbal memory.

The male brain has greater ability to acquire motor skills, better spatial orientation and mathematical reasoning.

There are sociocultural, biological (eg genetic, hormonal) and environmental factors that contribute to the difference.

Society is changing and it is foreseeable that science will show us new data in the future. But it is urgent and essential to respect individuality, in the male-female universe, guaranteeing the right to be different, to live in freedom of choice, mutual respect, equal opportunities and equivalence in rights and in the difference of being and being, pillars of creativity and progress.

Every day must be of men and women, who, in sharing, can equal the contribution to common well-being and happiness!

Nobody is born to like themselves. We are going to know who we are through the affections and humanity with which we are educated, instructed, treated.

We will be better if they make us feel important, valued, especially for what we are doing, which determines who we are, preferably in the peace of the sexes!

“Be happy with what you have at hand”©.


Author: Manuela Grazina is a professor and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine & Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the University of Coimbra;
Manuela Grazina is specialized in Biochemical Genetics, Human Genetics, Neurosciences, Pharmacogenomics and Bigenomics.
She holds a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, in the area of ​​Biochemical Genetics, with a postgraduate degree in Biomedicine, a Master in Cell Biology (specialization in Neurogenetics) and a degree in Biochemistry (pre-Bologna, 5 years), from the University of Coimbra.
She is an Assistant Professor with permanent appointment at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra (FMUC), with affiliation since 1997 (Curricular Units Biochemistry, Image Biochemistry, Neurosciences and Pharmacogenomics).
He taught Human Genetics at the Universities of the Algarve (2008-2015) and Évora (2010-2015), under the cooperation regime between Universities, also collaborating with other Universities/Faculties (eg Faculties of Pharmacy of Coimbra and de Lisbon, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, New University of Lisbon – Medicine; Institute of Biomedical Sciences of Abel Salazar – Porto, ITQB, University of Aveiro).
She has been a researcher at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra (CNC), in close liaison with the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, since 1992, being leader of the Research Group, since 2007 “Reverse Translational Research in Bigenomic and Diseases Personalized Medicine", under the Inter-Institutional Biomedical Research Program, focusing on the study of a group of rare diseases, mitochondrial cytopathies (“cell energy factory malfunctions”) and on neuropsychiatric diseases, particularly pain and drug addiction.
She is the head of the Laboratory of Mitochondrial and Theranostic Biomedicine (at CNC / FMUC), which she founded, since March 1995, where she established a work team and developed biochemical and genetic tests as tools for translational and diagnostic research, with a strong component Services to the Community, having several international collaborations, in which stands out the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, USA), University of Newcastle upon Type (UK), Mitochondrial Biology Unit – Medical Research Council (Cambridge, UK) and CICAB Clinical Research Center Extremadura University Hospital and Medical School, (Badajoz, Spain).
The Centro Clássica Orchestra, honoring “women in Science”, dedicated its first Prestige Concert to her in 2019, highlighting the work it has been developing at the Laboratory of Mitochondrial and Therapeutic Biomedicine.




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