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Scientific Proof: Men Have A Hard Time Understanding Women

April 18, 2013

Someone, somewhere said enough with the bullshit and measured men’s responses to women’s emotive facial expressions, and guess what they found?  They found men who struggled to understand women’s emotions by the women’s facial expressions. According to a Huff Post article, calling this out, “one of the most pervasive clichés — that men are incapable of understanding women — now has some scientific evidence to back it up

A fMRI scan showing regions of activation in o...

A fMRI scan showing regions of activation in orange, including the primary visual cortex (V1, BA17). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A German study published online April 10th in the journal PLOS found that men do indeed have difficulty understanding how women feel — at least from looking their eyes. The researchers, led by Boris Schiffer of the LWL-University Hospital in Bochum, Germany, put 22 men between the ages of 21 and 52 in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner (fMRI), which uses blood flow as a measure of brain activity. The men were shown images of 36 pairs of eyes — half belonging to men and half belonging to women — and asked to choose which of two given emotions the person was feeling. An interpretation of a person’s emotions based only on a closeup of their eyes is called a “Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test.”

The researchers found that it was twice as difficult for the men to accurately guess what the women were feeling as it was for them to guess what the men were feeling. They also took longer attempting to interpret the women’s eyes.

Who is surprised by this? While the photo shown above isn’t representative of the study’s data, it does show how an fMRI scan could be interpreted, by looking at the dots of color that light up when the brain begins to process information.  Since the basis of the study, that it took twice as long to interpret results, was based on timing not the brain Lite-Brite machine, it’s difficult to determine why an fMRI scanner was used, but perhaps this adds validity when people can see pictures of the brain.  Might be a little short on the science here to use an fMRI when timing seems the goal, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

While I am perfectly fine with gleaning information from a timed test, that it took men twice as long to perform a task that women do more efficiently, say, reading emotions, the “science” such as it were, takes a marvelously weird and un-called for turn into caveman style shortly after the initial spot of brilliance.  Here is where the fMRI bit mucks things up, because not knowing what to do with visual representations of brain functioning, the “researchers” start making assumptions.  You know what assumptions do with the ass out of u and me bit, and here go the researchers ass-forward in grand style, because now that they have an image, they must comment, regardless of how stupid they sound, no edit here.

The fMRI showed that the amygdala — a part of the brain that helps process emotions — was activated more intensely when the men looked at the eyes of other men than when they looked at the eyes of women.

The cause of this discrepancy is unclear, [MY NOTE HERE: When the cause is unclear, “scientists” shouldn’t speculate, because here comes a whopper of a tall tale….]though the researchers write in the paper that perhaps evolutionary imperatives made it more important for men to understand other men than to understand women. “As men were more involved in hunting and territory fights, it would have been important for them to be able to predict and foresee the intentions and actions of their male rivals.”

Cavemen are responsible for men’s problems with women, it seems, because now cavemen supposedly didn’t think women were important either.  How weird is that?  We can now determine what cavemen thought of women by looking at men who took twice as long to examine women’s eyes. Rational, just and valid sort of scientific finding, don’t you think, with sophisticated brain imaging techniques.  There you go, put a brain in a scanner with technological advances and blame everything on cavemen anyway.  The only  thing that seems true now is that men sure can’t escape their pasts.



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