Tuesday, 19 September 2017

But are you a mouse or a man?

A recent article in New Scientist suggests that in male mouse brains there is a link between aggression and sexual behaviour - these behaviours are controlled by the same section of the hypothalamus - while for females there is no such link. While it's a big jump to extrapolate from this research to humans, these parts of the brain are often quite conserved.

From an observed social perspective, humans seem to often behave as though sex and violence are connected in the male as frequently portrayed in films and books, while traditionally sex has had a passive approach from females. Of course there are many exceptions to this, and it's hard to image a marriage being long and happy where violence and sex were irrevocably linked: one would hope that people were not completely at the mercy of their basic lusts and desires. Likewise one occasionally comes across stories of women where these behaviours seem linked, but much more rarely.

Why bother to comment at all?

There has been scholarly work done to demonstrate that male and female brains are no different, yet here is something that suggests otherwise, subject to further investigation. This obviously has overlap into sexual preference and gender too, but that's another blog post. To me, it seems that the differences between men and women, are many and various, and much more than 'just' about the controlling brain. While there's a feminist approach to women in society that seems to suggest they are really the superior side of homo sapiens, repressed by stronger but inferior males, it seems far more likely that the 2 halves of the species are complementary.

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