Men and women have different brains, and because of this, tend to have different ways to act and react across many different situations and circumstances. To give you a crash course on this subject, I recommend Mark Gungor. He is a speaker and author who reviews and focuses on the often funny and interesting differences between male and female brains. These differences account for so much of the differences between men and women across the board. As a crash course on the subject, you can view video clips of his ideas at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KrOZe2SxoQ (short clip #1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fF9B0lukM4 (short clip #2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cafq9ipAjpU (longer video)
Also, he has written a book you may wish to check out: Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage.
For the purposes of this article, a few of these differences he talks about will be examined, along with some ideas and suggestions for trying to navigate these differences.
Male/Female Brain Differences:
*Compartmentalization vs Interconnections: Men tend to have more of a natural ability to compartmentalize information, events, and feelings, often separating such things in different compartments (which Mark calls “boxes”). We men open or close different subject boxes depending on whatever subject is the focus of the moment. Then after the subject has passed, we tend to put close the subject and end it until the subject resurfaces again in the future. Women on the other hand tend to have most notable subjects intertwined, overlapping, and interconnected. Therefore, what the focus of conversations and topics for men and women can be challenging to integrate together. Mutual confusion often results.
*Singular Vs Multi-Tasking Orientations: In accordance with our more compartmentalized nature, we men tend to focus intently and strategically on one main subject at a time. Our approach with a task is usually to begin and complete one task/subject at a time before we move on to another focus. We tend to embrace the idea that “the fastest route between two points is a straight line”, leading to a more linear nature. We may do some multi-tasking, but it is generally minimal and not preferred. Conversely, with the more interconnected nature of the female wiring, multitasking tends to be more of a comfortable, nature, even preferred state. What can seem like inefficiency to men can seem fine with women. Conversely, men just focusing on one task at a time can also seem inefficient to women. In reality, it all depends on the nature of the task(s) at hand, as well as the efficiency of the person engaged in the tasks. Either approach could be more or less effective and efficient.
*Emotionality and Memory Differences: With men, moments that occur are less likely to fire off as strong of emotions for a particular moment, depending on the subject matter. Hence, with less emotionality connected to different moments and events that occur, fewer memories tend to develop into lasting memories of consequence. Usually for us men, key moments/events will be more remembered like a physical fight, our first girlfriend, a wedding, a graduation, etc. With women, many more moments that men will be remembered across the board. These moments may describe as “not important” by men, but are more likely to be connected to a bigger emotional response and reaction for women. Hence, the idea of what “is or is not important” tends to vary dramatically for men and women.
There are many implications of this difference. However, in a couple relationship, the most common application is that women will be more likely to remember and perhaps bring up issues, challenges, offenses, and problems from the past that the man had forgotten about or held of little consequence. Again, mutual frustration with the differing reactions to this is the common result.
Rather than complain about or even pathologize the opposite sex for these differences, it is far more useful to simply understand these differences and work with them. In the same way you wouldn’t get mad at a cat for not being a dog or a dog for not being a cat, there is also no need to get upset at men and women for being different. As you better understand and work with these natural differences, you can better utilize each other’s unique strengths and abilities, depending on the circumstance. Remember that gender and gender differences are actually eternal. In the 1995 Proclamation to the World, it states that “All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
So, I recommend that you work to drop the frustration, resentment, and battles with the opposite sex regarding these kinds of common differences. Instead, look at them as complimentary differences meant to work together in unison and as a team. Neither is superior to or better than the other. Different team members have different strengths and approaches, so ideally these differences can be used in unison with mutual appreciation and acceptance. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).