For Men

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We left off in my last post on this series discussing attributes of boys during the pre-pubescent years, when their hormones (particularly testosterone and MIS: Müllerian inhibiting substance) are making neural pathways in their brain which “hardwire” male specific behavior and tendencies.

While it is certainly true that the surge of testosterone during puberty – equal to two gallons per day (Brizendine, p. 32) – takes the pubescent boy to new heights of masculinity.

The years between the ages of five and twelve are just as significant, in terms of male hormones defining and shaping the mind and body of a man. Fighting imaginary foes, building and destroying, thrill seeking, and establishing hierarchical dominance are all part of the innate, hormonally driven behaviors of young boys.

Testing their strength, pushing their physical limits, and wrestling and pummeling one another with gusto are not indicative of boys misbehaving.  Rather they are all behaviors of boys literally behaving like boys, and testosterone is the fuel.

In fact, researchers and scientists believe that the physical twisting and turning young boys are continually engaged in, actually aids them in spatial manipulation and problem solving.

???????????????????One study noted that when students in a grade-school math class were given a conceptual math problem, that boys solved the problem faster than girls.

However, it was in the explanation the boys gave as to how they arrived at the answer which the researchers found so telling.

Rather than using their words to explain how solved the problem, the young boys squirmed, twisted, turned, and gave gestures with their hands and arms to explain how they got the answer.

Their body movements were the explanation, and words, in this case, were a hindrance (Brizendine, p. 27). That is not to say that girls are not able to solve the same math problem.  They are. Both men and women, boys and girls, have access to the same neurological circuitry which allows for spatial problem solving.  We just access them differently.

For young boys, it is the physical movement of their bodies which allows for easier access to that part of the brain.

In fact, researchers further noted in the same study, that when the girls stopped using their words and began twisting and turning their bodies, that they too were able to solve the problems as quickly as the boys.

Once boys pass from childhood into puberty, it’s game-on in terms of the roar of testosterone through their bodies.

“Every trait,” says Dr. Brizendine, and every tendency set up in the male brain during childhood – action, strength, desire for dominance, exploring, taking risks – will be magnified” (Brizendine, p. 29).

Brain circuitry and rushing levels of testosterone will cause teenage boys to question and disobey authority, seek sexual partners, fight for male dominance,  and strike out on his own as he enters manhood.

“With testosterone driving his reality, he will soon feel strong, brave, and invincible.  Feeling cocksure, he will be blind to consequences and deaf to the warnings of authority figures”(Brizendine, p.29)

And I don’t think there is a better place to stop……we will begin again with “The Teen Brain”

******

Brizendine, L., (2010). The Male BrainNew York, NY: Three Rivers Press

 

 

 

 

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Menopause, Marriage & The Male Brain: The Boy Brain

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For the sake of those who might just now be joining this series or reading this blog, let me state again the purpose and reason for this series. I receive a fair amount of traffic and communication from men who are looking for help in understanding perimenopause, how it affects their spouse/partner, and the impact [...]

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I said in my first post in this series that we would begin with chapter one of The Male Brain. However, I’ve since decided to begin with the Introduction with an important note which will lay the foundation for this entire series. Dr. Brizendine, while very feminist in her point of view, is not a man-basher. In [...]

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Menopause, Marriage, & The Male Brain

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Dr. Louann Brizendine is a doctor of psychiatry and neurobiology.  She is the founder and director of the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in San Francisco, California. She is also the author of the books The Female Brain and The Male Brain.   I have referenced  The Female Brain  here many times, because in my opinion, it is one [...]

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Part II of my conversation with Andy which was originally posted in 2010.   ******** Gentlemen, I sincerely hope you are finding the conversation between Andy and me helpful. As I read back through it I couldn’t help but notice once again, a tendency men have when it comes to menopause.  It is not something [...]

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How Can I Help My Wife in Perimenopause? A Conversation With a Reader – Part I

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This post was originally written in 2010.  Given that it is a perennial topic, I thought I would repost it again while I’m on a posting hiatus for the holiday season.  I plan to launch a new series for men in 2014.  Until then, perhaps these old posts can generate some some conversation ******** A [...]

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More on “Misogynist John” and Women’s Health

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Ever since I received the comment from “John”, who I now affectionately refer to as “the raging misogynist,” I’ve spent a fair amount of time (perhaps even too much time), thinking about men like him, who believe that women’s issues, whatever they may be, constitute “feminist bull.” I’m well aware that true misogynists like John [...]

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Dear John(s)…….

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I’ve made a new decision regarding my comment policy. Going forward, raging, angry comments by men, against me or women in general, over what they have read here, will no longer be allowed.  They not only won’t even make it past the moderation process, but they will get blocked and banned with no questions asked. [...]

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Why Do Wives Hate Husbands in Perimenopause? A Wife’s Perspective Part II

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The subject of perimenopause and marriage has been a hot one here at The Perimenopause Blog. Until recently, I have given men the floor, so to speak, by posting conversations I’ve had with a couple of men in hopes the dialogue would be useful and helpful for others. A couple of weeks ago I decided [...]

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Why do women hate their husbands in perimenopause? A wife’s perspective…..

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I thought I might do something a little different in this post series, by featuring a couple of comments from a woman (with her permission) who identified herself as SAH. SAH is in her late thirties, is married with two young children, and beginning to enter perimenopause.  Her comments are a  perfect illustration of the [...]

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