– The Female Brain By Dr Louann Brizendine, ISBN 9781407039510, Transworld Publishers, London 2007
This book is a fascinating read, it introduces some of the more recent research and ideas in neurophysiology. It is a helpful book for all those who want to understand the human brain whether you are male or female. Brizendine compares the differences between the male and female brain throughout the brains development and into old age. Each chapter discusses the impact of neurological growth and hormonal impact on the female developing brain at different ages.
She explains how hormones affect the female brain and the impact they have on our behavioural tendencies. She discusses why the female incidence of depression is far greater and that the divergence begins at female puberty.
We are given interesting facts, for example, that 99% of male and female genetic coding is exactly the same and there is only a 1% variation between the sexes.
Until the 1990’s very little research was carried out on the female brain as scientists thought it was just a smaller version of the male one! In 1994 Brizendine founded the Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California. In hers and others’ continuing research we are beginning to uncover that the differences between the male and female brain are complex and widespread, albeit with only a 1% genetic difference.
It is only with the advancement of technology that these differences are now observable. Advances from the fields of genetics, molecular neuroscience, fetal and pediatric endrocrinology, cognitive neuroscience and psychoneuroendrocrinology are all gathering evidence that explain the differences that we as men and women have all been aware of for years.
Brizendine mixes scientific research and a wealth of case studies in an engaging style to explain some of the more complex scientific findings, making this book eminently readable and enjoyable. It informs men and women alike on our differences enabling and understanding of how our chemistry and neurophysiology influences our behaviour.
I have recommended this little gem of a book to many of my clients to read and the feedback is that it has been hugely helpful to both men and women alike.
Review by Maggie Chapman Director and Co-Founder of CCBH
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