Neuroscience and Cognition
There has been plenty of tongue-in-cheek speculation about men and women speaking “different languages”, but scientific studies indicate that there are actual sex-related disparities in speaking styles and cognition. Imaging studies of the living brain indicate that women use both sides of their brains while listening, while men only use one side. Similar brain activity patterns occur in studies on the ways that men and women interpret sentence structure. To many scientists, these and similar findings mean that there may be biology-based reasons why men and women have different speaking styles, and women on average have better verbal skills than men. (Men, on the other hand, are typically more adept at spatial tasks, such as map reading.) These findings may also offer insight into why women are significantly more likely to recover language use after brain traumas such as stroke than their male counterparts.
Scientists are also studying the effects of sex hormones on the brain, with numerous researchers concluding that these hormones have direct effects on brScientists are also studying the effects of sex hormones on the brain, with numerous researchers concluding that these hormones have direct effects on brain development in men and women. Studies have shown that women are superior to men at remembering new words, and that this ability is likely related to estrogen. In utero animal studies have also indicated that testosterone may trigger cell death in some regions of the brain while fostering cell growth in others, thus shaping the way that the brain develops.