My name is Ron White. I am a two-time USA Memory Champion and I found an interesting article which shows that men are wired a little differently than women, and could explain a lot about why men hog the channel changer.

In the late 1990s the book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, by John Gray, became the most popular self-help book of all time. Gray pointed out the reasons why men and woman think and act they way they do, and showed ways they could come together to understand the reactions they receive, or don’t receive from members of the opposite sex.

Women are constantly heard complaining that their spouse never listens to them, remembers what they tell him, or – why do they need to hang on to that remote control as if it was the crown jewels?

According to family therapist Michael Gurian, author of the new book What Could He Be Thinking? brains are wired differently for each gender. Although each sex gets a certain amount of the same hormones (testosterone for men and estrogen for women) the neuroconnections in our brains, prior to birth, develop quite differently.

According to Gurian, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) scans show how and where the different brains function during activities. For example: Typical “male” brains devote much more brain area to spatial skills – like manipulation of physical objects, mechanical design, and abstraction, leaving less area for language and verbal skills. On the other hand, woman use MORE of their brain to get the answer to a math or science problem. “The male brain tends to be more efficient to lateralize and compartmentalize, which has the advantage of making him more task-focused. The female brain has more [nerve] connections and constantly cross-signals and takes in more, so it tends to see and feel more than the male brain,” Gurian says.

In addition, there are chemical differences. Two powerful chemicals, serotonin (calming) and oxytocin (bonding), are produced more in the female brains than the male brains. From the PET scans, Gurian says, “There’s less involvement of the emotive centers and less going on in the hippocampus, where memory storage is.”

A UCLA study seems to find that gene expression is formed even before hormones are entered into the development stage in the uterus. “This provides evidence that there are differences in gene expression in male and female brains, before any influence of hormones,” says Eric Vilain, MD, assistant professor of human genetics and urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a pediatrician at UCLA’s Mattel Children’s Hospital. “It’s possible that these genetic differences may influence the development of differences in male and female brain structures, independently of hormonal action.”

Men are not hard-wired to listen, according to the experts. This would account for the forgetfulness and inability to listen to an entire conversation. He may not be deliberately ignoring you ladies; he is simply in need of a brain recharge. “To build brain cells and restore himself, a man needs to ‘zone out,’ that’s why he channel-surfs or stares at the computer,” Gurian says.

Females, on the other hand, due to the increase of oxytocin in the blood, want to bond at the end of the day in order to recharge. “She wants to talk, using all those verbal centers, and she wants to get close to him,”” Gurian says. He suggests that the woman turn to a friend to get things off her back first, allowing her to vent and him to take his ‘zone out time’ to rejuvenate. “ It’s all about timing,” he says.

Nothing is written in stone, and these are just generalities. There are some men who are better at communication, and some women who are great ball players. According to Gurian, some people have brain wiring that crosses the sex barrier and fits in as much with the predicted behavior of the opposite sex as with their own. “Nature has always liked the exception as much as the rule,” he says.

Now gentlemen, this is not an excuse to tell your wife or girlfriend to bug off because it’s in your DNA. You do need to take more time to listen (and it definitely will help with your memory). Women also need to understand that nature made men different for a reason. Cooperation of the sexes will do well to improve your personal as well as professional relationships.


WebMD – The Mind of a Man: