In 2010, I accepted a position as a medical educator at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. As a woman, I wanted to help other women gain proper knowledge and understanding about health issues, particularly those affecting women.
In 2011, a book was published to help women understand health issues that affect women differently, such as how estrogen can boost the immune system, or why women are naturally more inclined to weight gain when their partner is around. Unfortunately, the book was published by the University of Wisconsin Press, and the University of Wisconsin has a dismal reputation when it comes to publishing gender-specific medicine.
The study of women’s memories has grown in the last decade, with clear evidence showing the sexual and emotional experiences of women in the past are being recalled, stored, and recovered.. Read more about is gender biological and let us know what you think.
“Men and women think, approach problems, emphasize the importance of things, and experience the world around us through entirely different lenses,” says Marianne J. Legato, M.D., founder of the Foundation for Gender Specific Medicine and author of numerous books on men and women, including Why Men Never Forget and Women Never Forget.
Gender-specific medicine is a very new discipline, having only been around for around 25 years. Dr. Legato wrote The Female Heart: The Truth About Women and Coronary Artery Disease in 1992, revealing that women’s heart disease symptoms are taken less seriously than men’s–and that women are less likely than men to survive cardiac surgery.
Her research also discovered that men and women have distinct symptoms when it comes to heart disease. Men are more likely to suffer a crashing ache in their chest, while women are more likely to feel a transient discomfort in their upper abdomen, shortness of breath, and perspiration.
Prior to Dr. Legato’s study, it was assumed that men and women were basically the same, with the exception of problems pertaining to our reproductive processes. Gender medicine has grown in popularity since Dr. Legato’s study in the 1990s. In Austria, Germany, Israel, Italy, Sweden, and the United States, there is currently an International Society for Gender Medicine (IGM) as well as national organizations.
Every cell in our bodies differs between men and females.
According to David C. Page, M.D., professor of biology at MIT and director of the Whitehead Institute, where he researches mammalian sex chromosomes and their functions in cell formation. “There are 10 trillion cells in the human body, and each one is sex specific,” he adds.
Our genes are believed to be 99 percent similar from one individual to the next. “It turns out that this claim is true as long as the two people being compared are both men,” Dr. Page adds. If the two people being compared are both women, it’s also accurate. When you compare a man’s genome to a woman’s genome, you’ll discover that they’re only 98.5 percent identical.”
“The genetic difference between a man and a woman is 15 times larger than the genetic difference between two men or two women,” Dr. Page explains.
Let’s have a look at my wife, Carlin, and myself. In terms of genetics, I’m as similar to my wife as a male chimp is to a female chimp. My wife and I, as well as the chimp, share 98.5 percent of our DNA. This may explain why men and women often have trouble interacting with one another.
Our gender-specific brains influence how we think and act.
Louann Brizendine, M.D. is a clinical psychiatry professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and the co-director of the UCSF Sexual Medicine Program. Dr. Brizendine has degrees in Neurobiology from UC Berkeley, Medicine from Yale University, and Psychiatry from Harvard Medical School. She’s authored two books on the topic, named The Female Brain and The Male Brain, respectively.
Here are some of the major variations in brain anatomy and function that she discusses in her books: The Anterior Cingulate Cortex is responsible for weighing alternatives and making decisions. It’s the worry-wort center, and women have more of it than males.
- The region for sexual pursuit is the Medial Preoptic Area. In the male, it is 2.5 times bigger.
- The Prefrontal Cortex is in charge of emotions and maintains them in check. It is bigger in women and develops one to two years quicker in women than in males.
- The solution seeker is the Temporal Parietal Junction. It’s more active in the male brain, comes online faster, and rushes to a “fix-it-now” answer.
- Gut emotions are centered in the Insula. In women, it is bigger and more active.
- The Hippocampus is the emotional memory center. It’s the elephant who will never forget a quarrel, a romantic meeting, or a sensitive moment—and will make sure you don’t either. In women, it is bigger and more active.
Why Do Men Forget and Women Never Forget? There Are Good, Gender-Specific Reasons
Women have a greater rate of blood flow to memory-related areas of the brain. “This is one of the explanations experts offer for the overwhelming evidence that women have superior immediate and delayed memory of the spoken word,” says Dr. Marianne Legato, M.D. The greater amounts of estrogen in women aid memory. Dr. Legato believes that higher levels of it are linked to greater learning and memory, which may explain why women are better at these activities.
The main discovery that women recall stressful experiences better than males is due to estrogen. This is why. During a stressful event, estrogen not only stimulates a wider field of neurons in women, meaning they feel the stress more strongly, but it also extends the time the adrenal gland secretes the stress hormone cortisol, which is also a natural memory enhancer.
Learning to Hear the Sound Our Cells Make Can Help Us All Live Happier Lives
Understanding ourselves can only help us avoid illness and recover faster. Boys should spend time with elder males in the tribe, according to poet Robert Bly, in order to “hear the music that male cells sing.” He clearly grasped the significance of being aware of one’s own identity, whether male or female. Consider what it means to have each of our cells “singing” a male or female tune, depending on whether we’re men or women.
Dr. Page explains, “So all your cells know whether they are XX or XY on a biochemical level.” “It is true that most of today’s illness research, which aims to understand the causes and cures of disease, fails to account for this most basic difference between men and women.”
“Rather than our present gender neutral approach, we need to create a better tool kit for academics that is XX and XY informed,” Page says. We need a toolkit that identifies the underlying differences between XY and XX at the cellular, organ, system, and human levels. I think we will arrive at a completely different paradigm for understanding and treating human illness if we accomplish this.”
What are your thoughts? In the comments area below, please share your views, questions, and experiences.