In fact, human brains are more similar than different and there are better ways of thinking about how best to facilitate communication between people. Though there may be some trends like a more male-type brain is linked to autism, in fact those male-type brains may be housed in a female body.
Is there Any Truth to the Idea Men and Women are Like Chalk and Cheese?
While it is true that men are, on average, more likely to develop certain psychological or psychiatric conditions (e.g. psychopathy), that doesn’t mean there are no female psychopaths. Nor does it mean that all men have psychopathic tendencies. But there are a few trends and tendencies that are more likely to be associated with men than with women.
Men tend to be better able to rotate objects through space in their minds and can be more prone to aggressive behaviour. They are slightly less prone to developing depression and also likely to have a shorter life span.
What’s at the Root of Differences Between Men and Women?
Some studies suggest that women have an advantage when it comes to verbal abilities and men are slightly better at visuospatial processing. To date, studies relating to memory and gender are mixed and inconsistent.
Though aggressive behaviour is more likely to be seen in men than women, it is very difficult to say whether this is because of social conditioning or innate biological causes like males having higher testosterone levels (though a direct link between testosterone levels and aggression has not been definitively proven). Though some studies suggest that women are better than men at interpreting emotional cues and are more empathetic, again it’s hard to say whether this is because girls receive more early training in this area than boys.
Sex-linked behavioural differences are murky and far from the straightforward cause and effect relationship suggested by Gray’s book.
Can Men Learn to Change Behaviour and Better Understand their Partners?
Though the book’s title suggests that men will reap the primary benefit, by providing clear, specific strategies for communication, Chapman’s ideas cross gender boundaries and look at communication strategies used by both men and women (read our post about the five love languages here).
At Couples Clinic we understand that relationships between men and women can be complicated and it can be hard to navigate the waters of communication between partners. The same can be said of other types of relationships as well. Whether you are looking for support and guidance in your work, family, or other relationships, get in touch with our office to schedule a consultation.