Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Female Brain

Do you have a female brain? Do you know someone with a female brain? Have you always wanted to understand the female brain but you've never been able to keep up? Then I recommend you read this book by Dr Louann Brizendine. My sister Abby recommended her three older sisters read it, and I'm really glad I listened. Thanks Ab!

I felt appreciated reading this book. Not that I ordinarily feel neglected, it's just that reading it I felt recognised and understood. With chapters such as 'Teen Girl Brain', 'Sex: The Brain Below The Belt' and 'The Mature Female Brain', it felt like a map of sorts, highlighting the topography, its highs and lows, of what a life looks like when you're in possession of two X chromosomes.

I learnt a lot from the whole book, but it was 'The Mommy Brain' chapter that I was most looking forward to reading and the chapter I got the most out of. For my research on stepmothering, I was curious about the biology of the brain of women who nurture offspring they didn't birth.

Brizendine writes:

Mothers may have better spatial memory than females who haven't given birth, and they may be more flexible, adaptive, and courageous. These are all skills and talents they will need to keep track of and protect their babies... This transformation holds true even for adoptive mothers.

Our friend Clare has recently become an adoptive mother in the foster care program to two bright sparks. Here they are with Z on our deck earlier this week. We think you're just ace, Clare.


Jasmine said...

I was given this book and being the mum of two girls I think it's a ripper.

Thanks for reminding me of it. I'm going to dip in for a re-read!

toasted said...

Hear, hear! and Here, here!

I'd like to read that book.

Motherhood has rewired my brain in so many ways. The one thing I haven't really heard being talked about is the so-called 'poor memory.'Yes, my memory aint what it used to be - but it's just as effective. I can always recall what I'm after, but there's often a time-lag (as much as half a day sometimes!) I theorise that this is just an effect of multi-tasking; I throw a request to my memory, and my brain sets to work digging up the response, but realises it's usually not a task worth fussing over. My mother-brain and it's ever-efficient prioritising system just lets the answer float to the top nice-and-easy-like, leaving me free to do a bazillion other things (like stopping kamikaze 17-month-olds from tap-dancing on the kitchen table!)

Umatji said...

Sounds great! I heard from a friend that sleep deprivation causes the brain to shut down in parts - so while the person is awake, a small part of their brain switches off and has a cat nap. So part of the memory thing that toasted is talking about is partly due to this - the bit you need is just out of action! You look like a real person but you only have a part brain! (Well, that is me anyway!) Great post - would love to read it!

Anonymous said...

must read this!! sounds awesome!! Fingers crossed my library can get it in for me. thanx for the recommendation.