Gender and the Intelligence Factor

Medical evidence shows that the female brain has four times as many connections between hemispheres of the brain as that of a male.  A woman not only processes information four times as fast, she also utilizes both sides of the brain, tapping deeply into the right brain of emotion, experience, and reward behavior.  Where a man’s gifts lie in the ability to focus on one thing at a time and analyze it using the left, logic-based side of the brain, a woman filters a tsunami of incoming signals and processes them through both sides of the brain. The essential difference is that a man’s operating system seeks out gaps, and discrepancies in order to analyze and make a decision; a woman’s operating system searches not for differences, but similarities – her brain is wired to raise a flag at pattern recognition and the possible connections those patterns represent. 

Does having four times as many connections between hemispheres of the brain make a woman smarter than a man?  Of course not – it simply means that a woman processes information using a different operating system, and has a unique global perspective.  Science has always told us that intelligence is just that, no matter what the gender, because of where you find it – in the gray matter area of the brain.  Men and women, scientists say, are equally intelligent because of gray matter.

Well, it looks like they’re half right, anyway.  Men and women are equally intelligent.  Where that intelligence comes from, however, is one of the biggest surprises of the 21st century.

Not long ago, the University of California-Irvine and the University of New Mexico released the results of a major medical study on human intelligence.  Gathering a group of forty men and forty women, all with equivalent IQs, researchers used neuro-imaging technology to study the intellectual process in the brain. 

They found that the intelligence level of genders may be the same, but the intellectual process is very, very different.  As Professor Richard Haier of UCI said,

“These finding suggest that human evolution has created two different types of brains designed for equally intelligent behavior.” 

The difference, Professor Haier went on to explain, lies in the type of matter used for processing – and in the case of women, it’s not just gray matter.

It seems that in general, men have approximately 6.5 times the amount of gray matter than women in relation to general intelligence. 

But women have nearly 10 times the amount of white matter in relation to general intelligence. 

We know that gray matter is the information processing center of the brain. But what is white matter?  According to medical textbooks, “white matter represents the networking of or connections between these processing centers.” 

Well, what do you know – new validation that the female brain functions through the recognition of patterns, networks, and connections, filtered through the processing center of gray matter in order to make a decision!  Women are using gray matter, but only toward the end of the processing phase; they are much more reliant on white matter to seek out and find connections between incoming signals in order to come up with a solution.

Here’s your first clue that reaching out and connecting with women requires a different angle of approach – she’s not really interested in you until you can show how and where you fit into the patterns and connections that are most important to her.  It means that if you really understand how much connection means to her, can make it through the rigorous filtering system in her brain, and can start speaking her language, you’re well on your way to success.

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3 Responses to “Gender and the Intelligence Factor”

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  1. Jane Sanders says:

    So happy to see another esteemed professional who agrees with me that our biological differences are huge and generate the majority of communication differences between men and women. We are different from conception, and equal at the same time. Our job is to be aware of those differences and learn how to work with them more effectively.

  2. Great and very interesting post Michele.
    I didn’t realize about the difference between how men and women receive information. That can explain quite a bit.
    And I agree with Jane, our job is to be aware of the differences and learn how to work WITH them more effectively.
    And some of the companies wonder why women don’t respond the way they think we should to certain ads or promotions?

  3. I always have a hunch that women are more intelligent than men..

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