Men and women are different. Whether this is obvious or controversial depends on your point of view, but it’s just true. Most of us can accept this based on personal observations. One of my favorites is the Cocktail Party Test. When two women meet at a party, the first question will nearly always be “Do you have any kids?” For men, it will be something like “Did you see the Broncos game last night?” There are plenty of other ways to separate men and women, but this one is bulletproof.
By the time my wife and I passed our tenth wedding anniversary, I was starting to grasp some of those other ways. This was around the time that John Gray’s bestseller, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus started its run to becoming a bestseller. The national conversation turned to differences in thinking and communications styles that divide the sexes. Many will be familiar. Take personal care for example; women search for a hair product with protein, aloe extract, volumizers, vitamins, minerals and liquid keratin. Men look for a bottle that says “shampoo.”
For some reason, scientists weren’t willing to settle for cocktail parties and shampoo. SPECT (Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography) is one of their many brain imaging technologies that can monitor blood flow and activity under various stimuli. A recent study using this approach looked at 46,000 images of healthy men and women as well as some folks with an assortment of psychiatric conditions. The researchers were surprised to find that men and women really are different. <more>