6 Weird & Fascinating Things About The Male Brain That You Never Knew
When taking a peek inside the male brain, you might be surprised with what you see. In the age old debate of biological gender differences, some experts will suggest that when it comes to men's brains versus women's brains, certain cognitive functions are different. That being said, it's important to note that observations are not universal to all identifying males. Additionally, the gender roles ingrained in us through socialization might come into play when it comes to analyzing psychology and behavior. But even taking this into account, brain chemistry is still interesting to look at.
As a certified health coach, I work with clients on learning how to effectively express their thoughts and emotions, as well as understand where other people are coming from and what makes them tick. When you can get inside someone's head, you can get a grasp on how they are feeling or what a certain stance might be on an issue at hand, which makes it easier to figure out how best to interact and maintain a positive relationship. By figuring out how someone potentially thinks, you can improve your interactions with them and chances of connecting. Here are six things that are super interesting things that science and experts say about some male brains.
1. They May Be Very Visual
Some men can be very visual, so their interests are often piqued by imagery. This can be related to sex drive and sexual interest Nicole Prause, Ph.D, a neuroscientist studying sexual functioning, tells Bustle. However, when it comes to images spurning sexual interest, women can be just as susceptible, Prause says. It really depends on sex drive. "[T]he myth continues that it is 'men,' [who have these desires for porn] when it is really just sex drive that causes the brain to respond more ... to sexy images," Prause says. Of course this isn't the case for everyone. How sexual response is triggered by the brain doesn't always depend on gender.
2. They May Not Be Able To Have Multiple Orgasms
Dr. Michael Reitano, physician in residence at men's health service Roman, tells Bustle that when looking at functional MRI and PET scans, male and female brains will react very similarly to orgasm until the very end. "Immediately after an orgasm the male brain becomes less reactive to sexual stimulation while the female brain remains responsive," he says. This may be the reason why some — but certainly not all — identifying women can have multiple orgasms. But, this isn't always the case. Some experts suggest men are capable of having non-ejaculatory orgasms while orgasms can also happen from prostate stimulation.
3. They May Feel Less Pain When In Love
Don't go trying this at home, but it turns out that when in love, the brain's response to pain changes, And you may have a higher tolerance to physical pain. According to Dr. Jarred Younger, an associate professor at University of Alabama, Birmingham, when someone is in love, pain messages may be blocked from traveling through their spinal chord and reaching their brain.
4. They May Not Need As Much Sleep
According to a study by Duke University, some women need more sleep than some men. The reason? The study found that it it's because some men use less of their brains than some women do. "During REM sleep, your brain goes into recovery mode. The more you use your brain during the day, the more crucial that recovery time is. Researchers surmise that women tend to multi-task more, which leads to using more of their actual brains than men. As a result, women can require a bit more sleep than men," Chris Brantner, founder of SleepZoo.com tells Bustle. Of course, this does depend on the individual, though.
5. They Can Compartmentalize Emotions
One case of how socialized gender stereotypes affect psychology and behavior can be seen in how some men deal with emotions. "Men are more emotionally compartmentalized — women's brains seem to have more overall connectivity, which means emotions from one experience or task spill into other experiences and tasks," relationship counselor David Bennett tells Bustle. When the brain might be more holistically integrated, it is more difficult to not let a "bad day" spill over into activities and relationships outside of work
Because identifying males are often taught not to bring emotions with them, many have developed habits of separating them out from other parts of their daily lives.
6. They Might Really Be Thinking Nothing
Because of these stereotypes that affect how some men process emotion, experts have found that compartmentalizing emotions sometimes means thinking of nothing at all. "Since men compartmentalize more, a man can literally be 'thinking about nothing' at any given time," says Bennett. Of course if someone is staring off into space, don't assume there's something negative (or anything at all) on the brain. It could really just be blank.
While experts have found fascinating patterns for male brains, these patterns aren't the case for all identifying males. They can, however, give us clues into overall brain chemistry and improve the way we interact with each other.