Thursday, July 24, 2008

Learning Styles and Brain Gender

How does a Learning Style influence the gender of your brain? Or is it the other way round, and the gender influences your Learning Style?

Situation 1
You ask a man for directions. He’s likely to draw you a map. His directions will have the exact number of streets you cross before you turn (“second to the left then third to the right”). His Learning Style is probably analytic and he is good at special orientation.

In contrast, if you ask a woman for directions, she’s more likely to orient you according to landmarks such as the bookstore, the bank and “the big blue canopy”. Her Learning Style is most likely visual and holistic.

(What is your Learning Style? Click here to begin your adventure.)

Situation 2
Imagine a group of three boys of school-going age. One of the boys has a cool toy, much-coveted by them all. What do you think will happen? You’re right: the other two boys will ask for the toy, grab at it, or even chase the boy who has it.

Now imagine the same group, only with three girls, one of whom is holding the toy. Can you guess what the other two girls are going to do? Research reveals that the two girls will punish the holder of the toy by excluding her from their clique, whispering behind her back or even hiding from her.

Both groups are competitive, both groups are hierarchical. Boys, however, rely on physical advantages (for evolution reasons, many males have a kinesthetic Learning Style), while girls form social groups of power (for evolution reasons, many females have a peers-oriented Learning Style).

For more information on Learning Styles, please take a look here.

We all know that males and females often think very differently. The commonly accepted scientific explanation is a mixture of sociological conditioning and the action of adult sex hormones. But in a recent article, New Scientist challenged the assumption that the basic architecture of the brain and its fundamental workings are the same for both sexes:
“Research is revealing that male and female brains are built from markedly different genetic blueprints, which create numerous anatomical differences. There are also differences in the circuitry that wires them up and the chemicals that transmit messages between neurons. All this is pointing towards the conclusion that there is not just one kind of human brain, but two.”

(What is your brain’s gender? Click here to find out.)

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