We’ve all heard the saying “Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus.” But is the male brain really light years away from women’s?
On November 4, Maria Shriver reported for the TODAY special series Brain Power Today on men’s brains and what sets them apart from their female counterparts.
“Small differences in male and female brains can have the two sexes acting quite differently,” neuroscientist Dr. Louann Brizendine told TODAY. “The male brain reads emotions very quickly and then shuts it down very quickly behind the mask of masculinity.”
Shriver spoke with men from “The ManKind Project,” a national support group for men that helps them learn how to share their feelings.
“I never really learned until I joined this group of men that it was safe enough to let that armor go and in doing that, could somehow become more of a man myself,” a member of the group told Shriver.
Rather than getting comfortable and showing their emotions, studies show men are often wired to be “emotional fixers” in relationships.
“It’s very much men wanting to fix it when he’s feeling an uncomfortable emotion,” Dr. Brizendine explained. “So these things can really cause conflicts in relationships because she feels not heard by him and thinks he’s just running over her.”
Studies also show that men are suffering from mood swings later in life due to fluctuations in hormones and drops in testosterone. In response to the “State of Men” 2016 survey, nearly half of men say they feel more depressed than they admit.
Shriver noted that recognizing the similarities and differences between the two genders’ brains could foster more communication between the sexes.
Watch Shriver’s full report for TODAY: