Emotional Differences across the Genders

Door Bettybilton gepubliceerd in Persoonlijke ervaringen

Emotional Differences across the Genders

Women and men quite often have different points of view on the same subjects. They think and see things from a different perspective. This fact might cause many problems in relationships between them. Biopsychology helps to understand the emotional difference across the genders from a brain structure. This research paper will compare the women’s and men’s brain structure and function. Using this difference, it will demonstrate the emotional diversity between males and females from a biopsychological perspective. The research paper will describe and show the difference in the development of depression in both genders.


From a biopsychological point, emotions are an interconnected complex of processes. They might affect and cause changes at the neural and conscious levels. The expression of an emotion is a dynamically changing set of responses triggered by any stimulus, such as an event, situation, and body state. An emotion causes the central nervous system to manage the chain of reactions that includes an emotional response. It causes the physiological affection, behavioral and cognitive changes. Emotions play an essential role in everybody’s life. Depending on their type, they can cure or destroy a person. Each emotion causes a complicated chain of biochemical reactions in the brain structure.

The Structure of the Brain Responsible for Emotions

The brain is the most compounded part of the human body. Different parts of it control various emotions. A failure of any these parts can lead to serious emotional problems. The limbic system is one of the most significant parts of the brain that is involved in human emotions. It is located in the central area of the brain, under the cortex and seats on the top of the brainstem. This system is a set of different cortical structures and can be divided into two categories: subcortical structures and cerebral cortex. Initial ones include the hypothalamus, septal nuclei, and some thalamic nuclei, olfactory bulb, amygdala, and the anterior nucleus. Cortical regions include the hippocampus, the insular cortex, orbital frontal cortex, cingulate gyrus, subcallosal gyrus, and parahippocampal gyrus.

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) lies in the front half of the brain, responsible for the impulse and emotions such as empathy, insight, and judgment. The anterior cingulate gyrus (ACG) is located in a medial area and goes across the frontal lobes. It plays an important role in the ability of perceiving options in the life. The insular cortex is located between the temporal and parietal lobes. It takes part in the development of negative emotions such as disgust. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure that is connected with many brain regions, such as hypothalamus, thalamus, orbital frontal cortex, hippocampus, septal nuclei, parahippocampal gyrus, cingulate gyrus, and brain stem. It is situated in the anterior temporal lobe within the uncus. The amygdala is involved into such emotions as fear and anxiety. The thalamus is located between the cerebral cortex and the midbrain. It is involved in changes in emotional reactivity due to the connection with the limbic system. The hypothalamus also plays a role in emotions. It is situated below the thalamus. The hypothalamus is in charge of pleasure and rage.

The Brain Difference

The argument about who is being smarter men or women has been going for a long time. However, there is no evidence to support any claim. Both genders are similar in some aspects when it comes to the cognitive performance. Nevertheless, there is a big difference in the brain structure between males and females. In average, the brain of an adult male is larger in volume. It has the thicker cortex and bigger cortical volume. The preoptic region in the hypothalamus and its nuclei (INAH 1-4), which control sexual behavior, are larger in men than in women. There are about 4 percent more brain cells in the male brain than in female. It weighs about 100 grams more of brain tissue.

According to Oxford Journals, it has higher white matter (WM) volumes and the higher percentage of cerebrospinal fluid in men than females (Gur, Gunning-Dixon, Bilker, & Gur, 2002). Women have a higher percentage of gray matter (GM) regional concentration. A prophetic region in the hypothalamus and its nuclei (INAH 1-4), which control sexual behavior, are larger in men than in women. However, according to a meta-analysis of sex differences of the human brain structure made by a Cambridge University’s team, there is a difference at a regional level in the men’s brain.

It is reported that the density of tissue in such parts of the brain as left amygdala, hippocampus, insular cortex, putamen is much higher in men. In addition to that, the volumes of tissues in these parts are larger. On the contrary, women have a higher density of tissue in the left frontal pole, while the volumes are larger in the right one, being inferior and middle frontal gyri, pars triangularis, planum temporale/parietal operculum, anterior cingulate gyrus, insular cortex, and Heschl's gyrus. Other parts of the female brain, including bilateral thalami, lateral occipital cortex, and some others, are also characterized by larger volumes of tissue.

As a result, it is possible to say the following fact. Larger volumes are most pronounced in the areas of the left hemisphere of the male’s brain and the right hemisphere of the woman’s brain. The female limbic system, in general, is larger than male’s. It has been shown, there are some differences in its parts.

The Emotional Difference between Men and Women

The bigger size of the limbic system makes women being more capable of expression their feelings than men. They show more sympathy and care. Females, as a rule, are more sensitive and emotional than men. Women are able to bond and connect with others much better than males. It is difficult for the latter ones to understand emotions, which are not clearly verbalized because they think more logically. Females, on the contrary, have a more comprehensive way of thinking and understanding. However, sometimes their emotions can affect decisions. The majority of women are more tend to criticism and a feeling of disgust, comparing to men. Women are also more disposed towards such emotion as fear and anxiety. The larger size of the limbic system makes females more vulnerable to depression. They tend to commit a suicide three times more often than men. Males, on the other hand, because of the larger volumes in the areas of the left hemisphere use more logic than emotions in their way of thinking. Due to the difference in the hippocampus males are more aggressive and express rage more often than women.

The Development of Depression

Depression is a mental illness that causes a constant feeling of unhappiness, sadness, lack of interests in daily activities, loss of energy, insomnia or hypersomnia. It may lead to suicide. Depression is typical for depressed people to experience depressive episodes. Even though some patients show some signs of remittance they still might experience persistent neurobiological anomalies. Such ones might become worse over time and turn into a chronic depression. A periodical or prolonged disorder and lack of antidepressant treatment may cause volume reductions of the hippocampus, which can explain memory problems and some other issues of patients. Depression may also cause disorders of other parts of subcortical brain regions, such as amygdala, ventral striatum, orbitofrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex, and prefrontal cortex.

The changes in the brain caused by depression are predicable to the disorder of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis function. People who suffer from depression might have a low level of glutamate and some proteins in the prefrontal cortex. In the review Neurobiological Mechanisms in Major Depressive Disorder, it is indicated that chronic hypercortisolemia leads to the inconsistencies and problems. It occurs in the way glucocorticoid receptors are regulated in hippocampus. If there is a gradual reduction in the way brain-derived neurotrophic factor as well as other genes are transcribed, such condition as hippocampal atrophy might develop. These changes are stated to have a negative impact on the way of “the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis” functions. These compromising effects lead to structural alterations in such regions of the brain as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and others.

The development of depression in women depends on many factors. One of the reasons is the difference in the structures of some parts of the limbic system. According to the experiment of the group of scientists, women, comparing to men, activate a much bigger part of the limbic system during experiencing sadness. The bigger activity has been observed in the prefrontal cortex, which is hyperactive in people who are suffering from depression.

The prefrontal cortex function takes an enormous part in the development of mood disorders. An increased activity in parts of the frontal lobe, such as the subgenual portion of the anterior cingulate cortex. The reduced activity in the posterior cingulate gyrus often signifies the development of depression.

The other reason of women’s vulnerability to depression is a hormonal difference. The limbic system is rich in estrogen receptors ER - alpha and ER – beta. Both these receptors play a critical role in physical and psychological functions of the entire organism. ER - alpha regulates in the brain reproductive and neuroendocrine function. It affects learning and memory and participates in the development of anxiety and mood. This hormonal difference emerges during sexual maturity and lasts until a menopause. Different periods of woman’s reproductive life have an impact on the gender difference. For that reason, many scientists refer to the gender difference of emotional disorders to a cyclic release of sex hormones, such as estrogen. Estrogen of high or low levels does not cause depression, but some sudden changes.

Another hormone that is involved in the depression development is serotonin. It is produced in the brain and the intestines. The serotonergic system springs from the raphe nuclei of the brainstem. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which takes part in the transmission of nerve impulses. The low level of serotonin is believed to be the reason of development of such disorders like depression and anxiety. It has been discovered that the average rate of serotonin synthesis in men is fifty-two percent higher than in women.

Women experience depression in a diverse way in comparison to men. It is common for females while they are under the stress to be more social and share their problems with others. Men, on the contrary, respond to the stress by showing antisocial behavior and sometimes alcohol abuse.

The brain of men and women is similar in many respects. However, there is a significant difference between males and females in the certain parts of the brain structure and its functions. Understanding this difference from a neurological perspective helps to appreciate each gender instead of judging and criticizing. Women are usually more emotional than men; but males are more logical. This difference makes males and females perfectly supplement each other. Taking into account the emotional difference between genders and the difference in depression as well as anxiety development can help men and women to understand each other better. Thus, happier and stronger families are being created.

The essay was prepared by a professional writer from papers-land.com - Betty Bilton.


01/10/2019 18:20

Reacties (1) 

01/10/2019 21:25
About half of this looks like plain bull shit.

"Although there appear to be gender differences in laterality of amygdala responding as it relates to subsequent memory (Cahill et al., 2001; Cahill, Uncapher, Kilpatrick, Alkire, & Turner, 2004) the literature is unclear as to gender differences in overall responding. There have been reports of greater amygdala activity in men than women (Hamann, Herman, Nolan, & Wallen, 2004; Schienle, Schafer, Stark, Walter, & Vaitl, 2005) but some meta-analytic data show no gender differences in emotional reactivity in the amygdala (...
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