"Men and women are different: Not better or worse – different. Just about the only thing they have in common is that they belong to the same set of species. They live in different worlds, with different values and different set of rules. Women criticise men for being insensitive, uncaring, not listening, not being warm and compassionate, not talking while men think they are the most sensible sex. Men and women have evolved differently because they had to. Men hunted, women gathered. Men protected, women nurtured. As a result, their bodies and brains evolved completely different ways. Over millions of years, the brain structures of men and women continued to change in different ways.
"Now, we know, the sexes process information differently. They think differently. They believe different things. They have different perceptions, priorities and behaviours. Men and women should be equal in terms of their opportunities to exercise their full potential, but they are not identical in their innate abilities. Whether men and women are equal is a political or moral question, but whether they are identical is a scientific one."
Due to these differences, highlighted by Pease and Pease, the following conclusions are made:
Left, right and centre of human brain
In the last three decades, a lot of progress has been made in neuroscience-based understanding of human brain. With the new and sensitive brain scanning equipment and devices, neuroscientists have found, which part and region of the brain, handles which task. The functions of the two hemispheres of the brain are summarised in the following table.
Left hemisphere of brain’s functions are: Facts, information, quantification, verbal skills, logic liner analytical thinking, words of a poem and a song, detailing, right side of the body, analysis and linking of competition.
Right hemisphere’s functions are: Cretaivity, artistic ability, visual – spacial ability, ideas, intuition – imagination, tune of a poem or a song, holistic – big picture – synthesis, multi-processing, left side of the body and linking for cooperation.
Gorski (1987) has found that a woman’s brain has a thicker corpus callosum as compared to that of man. The research shows that women have 30 per cent more connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Further the research also indicates that the female hormone estrogens promote nerve cells to grow more connections within the brain and between its hemispheres. This implies that women have the following advantages:
Currently, the brain-scanning instrument can show the activities of the brain on a television or computer screen using the techniques of Positron Emission Topography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Using these techniques, Shaywit and Bennett (1995) have found that there are different centre in the brain for seeing, hearing, generating and speaking words. And, men use mainly their left brain for these language tasks while women use both left and right. Thus, the brains of men and women operate differently.
Implications for teaching – Learning process
The emotionally charged and non-competitive learning environment alongwith use of cooperative learning (Slavin, 1980) and multiple–intelligences (Gardner, 1999) techniques of learning can be helpful for teaching subjects like mathematics and science so that both the brains get connected to appeal to women for learning these subjects well. It has been rightly said that what is good for women is also good in for men but reverse may not be equally true.