Not Brain Surgery

Everyone agrees that male and female brains are different. Everyone except Paulo, but his opinion is best ignored now that he regularly hooks himself up to the do-it-yourself electroshock therapy kit he bought on e-Bay.

It is difficult to tell just from looking how different our brains really are. First, one must get past the hurdle of trying to find someone willing to show your theirs if you show them yours. If you can, youíll note that the male and female brain are usually of approximately equal size and shape, although the female brain does tend to hold in its stomach while being inspected and the male brain is frequently smeared with pizza sauce, usually sausage and green pepper.

But scientists have found many gender-related brain differences that are interesting even to those of us who are not prone to spending our Saturday nights slicing gray matter with an Exacto knife and staring at it through a microscope because we donít date much. For example, the sexes differ in the way we estimate time.Women estimate it fatter than it really is, while men estimate it much longer, especially when in the room with other men.

There are also differences in the ability to visualize objects in three dimensions. Menís brains are better at this task, probably because women are too busy picking up said objects from the floor to have enough time to visualize them. Womenís brains process language better, while menís process mechanical details, math, science, and the music of bodily functions. These differences explain why men are better at piloting aircraft, building bridges, and performing prop comedy while women are better at poetry and writing ransom notes to their ex-husbands when the child-support payments are not on time. One exception to the language rule is Paulo, who, with the right electrical voltage, can speak monosyllabically in thirteen languages, including the African clicking language.But he avoids the last one because his dog recently attended clicker-training and will sit/stay for hours at a time.

One of the most recent findings has been the discovery that womenís brains can easily handle multiple simultaneous tasks, while menís brains, when faced with having to remember the names of their children and shop from a list, often curl up and roll around inside the skull softly whimpering ďMommy!Ē We know this from recent CAT scans of the brains of five hundred men who thought they were volunteering to taste-test a new full-bodied beer.

Knowing how the brain differs according to gender may someday help educators teach more effectively, advertisers target their markets better, and visiting aliens choose whom to abduct depending upon whether the laser thrusters are malfunctioning or the extraterrestrials need their closets reorganized, their wardrobe made-over, and a new constitution written. We assume the aliens already know how to burp the alphabet.