Baby girls just a few hours old are more sensitive to touch than boys, so much so that some studies indicate the most sensitive baby boy is not as sensitive as the least sensitive baby girl. Girls seem to hear better, too: it may be that they experience sound as being as much as twice as loud as boys do.
One study, involving babies 2-4 days old, showed that baby girls maintained eye contact with silent adults nearly twice as long as boys did. When the adult spoke, the same held true. Baby girls seemed more interested in communicating than were the boys. Girls gurgle more, go to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. Girls are also better at recognizing the emotional content of speech, they are more easily soothed and comforted by speech and singing, and they are more likely to request change when anxious or irritated by pain or noise or other forms of discomfort.
Through centuries past, women have been devalued by men. The United Nations in 1980 said, “Women, who comprise half the world’s population, do two thirds of the world’s work, earn one tenth of the world’s income and own one hundredth of the world’s property (Gender and Society).” In eastern and Asian countries, rulers added wives whenever they wanted. Women had few rights: they were allowed to keep the house, do the cooking, laundry and instruments of eating, prepare feasts, raise the children, welcome and entertain guests and obey the whims of their masters. They were not encouraged to leave the house even to visit relatives.
Even in Biblical times it was this way. The Bible makes no bones about it: men are superior to women as well as more valuable (30 shekels as opposed to 50 shekels); they are the leaders, she was made from his rib, etc. Oddly, to this day the ratio remains the same in regard to salaries, for doing the same work!
Women’s brains are different from those of men. The male brain is on average 10% larger than woman’s, but her brain contains more nerve cells. As for the “grey matter,” the part of the brain that thinks, women have 55.4% grey matter, while men have 50.8%. Other estimates vary. Some studies have indicated that the volume of “grey matter” can increase through learning – what other factors might come into play?
Melanie Smith of Spokane, Washington, on coming upon her husband sitting idly staring into space, asked him, “What are you thinking?”
He looked surprised. “Nothing. Why?”
Melanie shook her head. “You must be thinking about something.”
He denied it; insisting that he had not been thinking of anything.
Melanie later asked me, “How can a person be thinking of nothing? Is that even possible?”
It may be, for men. Women use both sides of their brains when listening, while men listen only with one side, according to the 86th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
THE ROLE OF HORMONES
The hormones estrogen and testosterone play an important part in the development and function of the brain by changing the way certain brain structures develop during puberty. These changes prevail through adulthood. Testosterone influencing the fetus causes the right side of the brain to develop more extensively. Hormone levels fluctuate in both men and women and may influence how the sexes perform on intelligence tests.
The bodies of males and females (aside for gender differences) are similar up until puberty. They tend to have similar body-mass averages until about 13. Then the hormones come into play. In the female, pituitary hormones stimulate the ovaries to begin producing estrogen. The body begins to store fat in preparation for pregnancy. The male body begins to produce testosterone, adding bulk, changing the voice, etc.
According to BBC News, a study conducted on male academics at Bath University, found high levels of estrogen, which researchers believe aids in analytical skills. They also “tended to have longer index fingers than other men, indicating high oestrogen levels.”
Apparently estrogen stimulates right-brain growth and the development of spatial and analytical skills. Dr. Mark Brosnan, a psychology lecturer at Bath, studied 100 academics, both male and female and said:
“In the general population, men typically have higher levels of testosterone than women, but the male scientists at the University of Bath have lower testosterone levels than is usual for men. This research now suggests that lower than average testosterone levels in men lead to spatial skills that can give a man the ability to succeed in science. Other research in the past also suggested that an unusually high level of testosterone can do the same thing by encouraging the development of the right hemisphere.”
Women have not, in the past, been encouraged to participate in sports, especially endurance sports – they were thought “not to be up to it,” or put off by vague warnings that it could be “bad” for them. Were men afraid of the competition? Women were barred from running in races longer than 800 meters, until the 1960s. And until the 1970s, they were prohibited from participating in marathons – not until 1984 did the first woman run in the Olympic Marathon. Joan Benoit’s time of 2:24 beat the men’s time in 11 of the last 20 Olympic Marathon races.
Although women can clearly perform equally, or perhaps better, than their male counterparts, few women even today participate in endurance sports. What’s holding them back? Biology? Social mores? Or as has been suggested, menstrual problems, osteoporosis, or eating disorders? What if they’re pregnant and don’t know it?
With proper training, women can improve their strength and endurance, but experts say they will not build that much muscle, although their neurological functioning might improve.
But heavy muscle is not a requirement in endurance training. Women reach their peak of endurance in their early teens, while men reach theirs at around age 20-21.
An important factor in endurance is “submaximal oxygen consumption,” how efficiently the body uses oxygen. In this ability, men and women score alike.
In other types of racing, women are catching up. In the 1924 Olympics, 400-meter freestyle, the winning time for women was 16% slower than the men’s time. It had lowered to 11.6% in the 1948 games, and by 1984 it sank to 6.9%. The world record time for men in the 800-meter freestyle in 1972 was shot down in just seven years by a woman.
Women have swam the English Channel faster than men – in 7 hours:40 minutes as opposed to men’s record of 8 hours:12 minutes. Everybody knows who Babe Ruth was, but does anyone remember Babe Didrikson Zaharias? Wilma Rudolph?
If you’re still inclined to argue, consider this:
Joseph didn’t make it to the Annunciation. They didn’t even tell him what happened until Mary was already pregnant.
Jesus Himself was betrayed by a male, and all his favorite disciples took off for the high country. Women escorted him to the cross.
After He rose, Jesus appeared first to a woman – Mary Magdalene.
And, we’re gaining on you! Our future indeed looks bright:
By 2010, women are expected to control $1 trillion, or 60 percent, of the
country’s wealth (USA), according to research conducted by Business Week and Gallup.
Women purchase or influence the purchase of 80 percent of all consumer goods, including stocks, computers, and automobiles.
More than half (55 percent) of all new Web users are women,
according to Jupiter Media Metrix.
The solo woman’s market-defined as never-married women ages 25 to 44 will approach $200 billion by 2006, according to Packaged Facts.
A few more proofs that we’re superior:
1. We can cry in public without feeling stupid.
2. We can wear trousers without other females making fun of us.
3. We don’t have to (a) drive like maniacs, (b) jump off tall buildings or (c) have sex with every man we see to prove we’re women.
4. We don’t fret all the time over the size of our genitals.
5. We don’t have to lie every other sentence to get what we want.
6. We can load the dishwasher without carrying on as though we’ve been asked to consume camel dung.
7. We don’t have a hissy fit because our spouse makes more money than we do.
8. We find humor in many situations, especially those involving men.
9. We don’t spend our childhoods in competition with one another.
10. If it wasn’t for us, you wouldn’t be here.