How much does a woman’s brain weigh?

People have been researching sex differences in the human brain since at least the 19th century when scientists Samuel George Morton poured seeds and lead into human skulls to measure their volumes. Gustave Le Bon found that men’s brains are generally larger than women’s.

In this brief guide, we’re going to answer the question “How much does a woman’s brain weigh?’’ , we will analyze the brain size between men and women and the main differences between them.

How much does a woman’s brain weigh?

The human brain is an amazing organ, it’s the most advanced tool that humans possess, susceptible to damage and yet remarkably adaptable to change.

The human brain has a structure similar to that of other mammals, what makes it so different is its size in relation to the size of the body. Humans have much larger brains than many other mammals.

Brain weight can vary depending on male and female patients in relation to age, body weight, and body height, as well as the index of body mass.

Without brain diseases the normal brain weight of adult men was 1336 g; for the adult female 1198 gr. 

With increasing age, the weight of the brain decreases by 2.7 grams in males and 2.2 grams in females per year.

The weight of the brain per centimeter of body height increases regardless of gender by an average of approximately 3.7 grams. Body mass index is of minor importance and is only relevant in men.

It’s a fact that jokes have always been made about the brain differences between men and women. What if some think more about sex and others about headaches, sports or clothes, the remote control or gossip, and so on.

And also, that some have little ability to concentrate and others to handle computers, the poor aim when pissing or understanding jokes, etc. In short, they not only seem different but antagonistic. The truth is that there is a lot of legends and some reality.

Men and Women are from different worlds?

John Gray is a well-known writer for his books on relationships and personal growth, in his novel “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”, he makes a parallel between men and women as if they were from different planets. Leaving planets aside, they and they have many points in common and some important differences. A little reflection on the matter does not hurt.

For example, men and women use their brains differently to appreciate the humor. The explanation appears very clear in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 

There are things that they perceive in common, such as a drawn joke, in this case, they activate the same areas. There are also no differences between what they find funny and what they don’t. But there is something different: your external response. 

Women are much more receptive to emotion, while men have little influence, knowledge is enough for them. 

This difference is the same that is perceived when one asks them: where do you go to the supermarket X? The woman usually answers: “Go down the street, to the store on the corner, turn left, and you will see a house with a green facade, there it is.”

Man, on the other hand, will do it “by measuring the distance in meters or in kilometers, pointing east or west, until finally reaching the chosen site.” Is there a difference? Yes.

Women usually use the two hemispheres of the brain for almost everything, while men almost always use one: the left for language and the right for visual ability. That is why in Gray’s book it is said that in order to get to Venus, a man needs spatial planes, while a woman with simple emotional details will be able to go and return without further ado. 

A bit exaggerated but also realistic about the different ways of perceiving, something that has always aroused great interest. Sometimes it can be a source of conflict, but we must not forget that “equality must be compatible with a difference”. It’s very common to hear: “Men think first and then speak, and women first speak and then think.” It seems excessive.

In Gray’s novel, we’re very different because we are from different planets. The men of Mars do not know how to give but they want to; the women of Venus do nothing but give and want to receive. When men see the Venusians they prepare to give, and they realize it, they’re very clear that they are different, but once they arrive…. 

Gray raises the metaphor of the Martians and the Venusians, how they met, fell in love, and were happy because they respected and accepted their differences. Later, when they came to Earth, they became amnesia and conflicts arose. An interesting book that explains in a humorous way the ways of seeing the world of men and women.

Another difference, for example, is their way of perceiving beauty. In another article published in the aforementioned journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it’s stated that in order to decide whether something is beautiful, men and women do not activate the same brain regions. 

A group of Spanish researchers was the one who carried out the first study on the brain’s reaction to a beautiful image. They analyzed 10 men and 10 women in their 25s as they gazed at various paintings and photographs. 

They had to decide which one was beautiful and which wasn’t. During the tests, they found that men only activated the right side, while in women the two halves were equally distributed. This, which was already known, has just been confirmed scientifically. What made no difference was in their response, very quick, to decide if an image they liked or not. 

They took between 300 and 900 milliseconds to react, a very short delay. It was also observed that, due to their tendency to verbalize situations, the mental strategy of women was more focused on the left hemisphere, while men once again resorted to spaces.

Many have been the studies that have tried to look for the differences; many have been found, but not all have been able to be objectified. It’s a puzzle with many pieces yet to fit, the debate is still far from closed. In a recent work by Hannah Hoag in New Scientist magazine, she shed some light on an issue that is more than just a “war of the sexes.” 

It’s not a secret that men and women think very differently, but until now I believed that it was due to hormonal factors or social pressures that forced them to maintain a certain role.

Now it’s already suggested, and in many cases, it’s confirmed, that they don’t have the same genetic structures. However, there are theories that try to disprove this hypothesis such as the mosaic theory

Mosaic Theory

In the last 50 years, more than 50,000 pieces of research have been published proving that men and women are equal in areas ranging from intellectual and emotional abilities to personality characteristics and interests.

The study was published in the prestigious scientific journal PNAS and in 2015 it once again confirmed this idea.

The hypothesis was that, if there really is a male brain and a female brain, then when analyzing the MRI images of 1,400 human brains they should find two things:

A series of “highly dimorphic” brain characteristics, that is, they almost do not overlap between men and women. An internal coherence, that is, that a brain only has masculine characteristics or only feminine ones.

Some characteristics are more common in men and some in women, but there is no male brain or female brain, just as there are male genitalia and female genitalia.

You can talk about the differences between male and female genitalia, but this concept has no meaning when you talk about the brain because just by knowing the sexual category of two people, you can’t infer in advance in what way their brains will be similar and in what sense, different.

Researchers leading the mosaic theory also analyzed personality traits, attitudes, interests, and behaviors of more than 5,500 individuals and came to the same conclusion: There are no two separate categories of brains.

So, the female and male brains are different?

The common experience reflects important gender differences in daily life, considered by some to be adaptive and complementary: men have better motor and spatial skills and women have better memory and emotional skills and better social cognition. These and other less prominent differences have for centuries been the breeding ground for a weakly founded neurosexism.

One of the most relevant papers on brain gender differences was published in January 2014 by a group of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, in the USA. 

They studied the brains of 949 young people between 8 and 22 years old (521 were girls or women and 428 boys or men) using a technique that allows us to know how different parts of the brain are connected to each other. 

In this way they established the so-called structural connectome of the brain, highlighting important intrinsic differences between the female and male brains in their development from childhood and throughout adolescence. 

They basically observed that men have better neural communication within each brain hemisphere and that women have better communication between one hemisphere and another.

From this, it could be deduced that female brains were better equipped for analytical and intuitive processing and male ones for the perception and coordination of actions, among other possible interpretations. It was a work of great social impact judging by the scientific importance given to it and its importance in the media.

Now, five years later, the cognitive neuroscientist Gina Rippon publishes a book entitled The gendered Brain in which she criticizes these results and is committed to ending the neurosexism resulting from believing in scientifically weak and little contrasted data. 

According to her, the female and male brains are much more equal than what has been considered. 

Starting from the observation of a surprising lack of differences between the brains of newborn girls and boys, and considering these brains as an absorbent sponge capable of assimilating the deluge of stimulation that we receive in the first years of life.

Rippon postulates that the differences that established between both types of brain are more quantitative than qualitative and respond more to the type of differential education received than to genetic inheritance of each sex. 

This leads her to consider the existence of a female brain as a new myth, as postulated by the neuroscientist Louann Brizendine in 2006 in her successful book The Female Brain.

FAQSs: How much does a woman’s brain weigh?

Does brain weight decrease with age?

As we age, the brain and nervous system go through natural changes. The brain and spinal cord lose weight and neurons (atrophy). The progressive decrease in brain weight begins between 45 and 50 years of age, the brain decreases approximately 11% in relation to the maximum brain weight reached in young adults.

What animal has 32 brains?

Leeches are hermaphrodites with 32 brains, nine pairs of testes, and a jaw with three rows of 100 teeth each.

What is the weight of Einstein’s brain?

With a mass of 1,230 grams, Albert Einstein’s brain was no larger than that of a normal adult man, but it was structured in a different way that made it unique, based on analysis of 14 photographs taken after his death.

How can I increase my brain size?

It has been shown through studies that aerobic exercise, eating healthy food, adequate sleep, memory games can have a positive effect on the brain, increasing brain volume.

Does the size of your brain make you smarter?

Having a bigger brain doesn’t guarantee more cognitive power. Yet Michael McDaniel, an industrial and organizational psychologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, according to a brain scan study of young children, bigger brains are smarter, but not by much.

In this brief guide, we’re going to answer the question “How much does a woman’s brain weigh?’’ , we analyzed the brain size between men and women and the main differences between them.

So, how much do women’s brains weigh?

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

References

NHS Choices. (2014, February 14). Men’s and women’s brains found to be different sizes – NHS. Retrieved October 10, 2020, from https://www.nhs.uk/news/mental-health/mens-and-womens-brains-found-to-be-different-sizes/

Xin, J., Zhang, Y., Tang, Y., & Yang, Y. (2019). Brain Differences Between Men and Women: Evidence From Deep Learning. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00185

Zeenat Zaidi. (2010, April 14). Gender Differences in Human Brain: A Review. Retrieved October 10, 2020, from ResearchGate website: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228549134_Gender_Differences_in_Human_Brain_A_Review

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