According to Dr. Louann Brizendine in The Female Brain, little girls are born with 11 percent more brain tissue that is dedicated to speaking and listening than little boys. Little boys are born with two and a half times more brain tissue dedicated to sex drive, plus larger areas of the brain are connected to action and aggression. That’s one more reason for a pillow fight before you try to talk! If you don’t turn part of your learning process into action up front, your boys will turn it into aggression later on. Take your pick.
The Bad News
According to Dr. Brizendine, the average female speaks approximately 20,000 words each day. In a 16-hour waking day, that equals about 10 minutes per hour. The average male speaks about three and a half minutes per hour, or just 7,000 words in a day. This news is neither good nor bad; it’s just the way it is. Expect your son to share—just don’t expect him to share as much.
Most nights in the Melheim home, Kathryn Elizabeth would share her highs and lows for 5-10 minutes once we got her started. Joseph Martin would generally “get it over with” in three seconds using three or four syllables: “school sucks” and “almost Friday.” According to the Woman’s Passion website most girls actually enjoy talking more than most boys. It’s a matter of chemistry. The simple speech act causes emission of hormones in a woman’s brain, giving her the same sensations which a drug addict feels after he receives a long-awaited dose.
The female brain flushes pleasure drugs into the system during a good conversation. Not so with the male brain. Too much talking—if forced—has just the opposite effect on the male brain. Rather than producing pleasure hormones, forcing a lot of talk out of a boy who isn’t in the mood actually produces stress hormones.
Differences between male and female brains are already formed in a mother’s womb, when testosterone kicks in and begins affecting formation of the developing male brain. As a result of this influence, zones controlling speech, emotions and memory in a man’s brain decrease. Thus, boys, and later men, speak less than women and often try to hide their emotions because they are not as in touch with them, and have a harder time trying to verbalize what they do not understand.
They don't want to look or sound stupid. Who does?
Tomorrow - the Good News when it comes to Highs and Lows for Belles and Beaus, and a look at the book "The Male Brain" by Dr. Brizendine.