The Sexual Brain

In this video the purpose was to explore through various studies if biology or culture effected behavior. He does this by going through various actual videos to support arguments as well he makes use of statistical fact to collaborate. Because most of his evidence was spoken I will present his words in paragraph form. To start he says that initially men and women should have different ways of thought and behavior because the most basic element of life, reproduction, is different for both men and women.

By this he means because men have relatively little to loss in reproduction they do not have to be as careful as women do, because of this difference men and women demonstrate different behavior. To follow if behavior is different perhaps this is reflective of a difference biologically. To support this he tells how brains in female rats are different then those of male rats. Specifically he mentions the hypothalamus, which controls what hormones are produced in the body.

He then showed by changing the hormones in rats that you could cause them to exhibit different behavioral tendencies. In birds, rats as well as monkeys by switching the hormones of males and females experimenters could cause their behaviors to reverse as well. This behavior effectively shows how behavior is indeed somewhat genetic. As well because our bodies develop because of our environment perhaps our ancestral roots have something to do with our current differences in certain activities.

As humans were developing in Africa it was women who would stay in a centralized area and men who would hunt. Because women had to stay together more often perhaps that is why they have developed various verbal skills over men, and men intern developed higher aggression do to the constant need to be active and hunt. More recently studies of females who received male hormones during a birth defect tend to demonstrate physical behavior that is typical of a boy at that age.

As hormones are a biological aspect, it would follow that behavior is seemingly effected greatly by nature and not so much by nurture. To further help this point of view he shows that women have a larger corpus callosum responsible for communication, and men have a thicker right cortex responsible for more physical activities. Even with all this supportive information he still points out that ninety percent of violent crime is committed by men, this demonstrating further how perhaps we are closer to our genetic self’s then we think.

Research Project (Henke, 1997) The purpose of this experiment was to repeat some of the “pure” experiments done by Coltheart, Hull and Slater. As well to evaluate there their tasks and discuss possible reasons for sex related differences in the performance of cognitive tasks. The procedures chosen to be tested in this experiment was the verbal test where subjects had mentally go threw the numbers a-z and state how many had the ‘ee’ sound.

As well he tested the visual task which required subjects to mentally go threw numbers 1-9 and state which had a curve in them. Through both of these experiments the subjects had a partner to tell how much time the responses took and record how many mistakes were made. It also may be important to note the subjects were given a sample test like the rated test before each experiment. In this study the results were as follows. In the verbal test females where found to have fewer errors in a smaller amount of time, but these differences were small at best.

As well there were only half as many men tested as females. These results closely coincide with the results of the Coltheart experiment. On the visual test males had significantly less errors then females, as well they did the experiment in a much smaller amount of time. As above it is important to note that there was about half as many men in the experiment as women. Like the verbal experiment these results are very similar to what Coltheart found in his visual tests.

Leave a Comment