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The Differences Between Men's and Women's Brains

Despite the dogged instance of those who claim the only cognitive differences between men and women are what their culture makes them, a Stanford researcher says that, indeed, male and female brains are wired differently. According to Niao Shah, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, these differences are “innate rather than learned,” although he acknowledges that environment and culture still play a part. As reported by Stanford Medicine, Shah’s studies are with mice, but applicable to humans.

While the science proceeds on the cognitive differences between human men and women, we do know that environmental substances such as hormone drugs can, and do, have a huge influence on cognitive thinking. For example, a single dose of testosterone may impair a person's capacity to override incorrect intuitive judgment or, in other words, realize when they're wrong and take steps to fix it.

Then, there’s the use of growth hormones in conventional dairy farms, which contain insulin-like growth factor 1, a hormone linked to several types of cancer. Add in common pesticides and herbicides used in farming — which have been linked to impaired sexual development, some cancers, birth defects and infertility — and you have quite a list of environmental factors that can influence and change whatever innate gender differences we may start with.

Other endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as BPA have been linked to impaired brain development, lower IQs, infertility, birth defects, obesity, diabetes and endometriosis — all reasons to choose to live as organically as possible. Speaking with your pocketbook and eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide burden. Refusing the lure of pharmaceutical solutions of any sort to “help” with physical or psychiatric ailments is another protective move. And finally, avoiding products that come in plastic and Styrofoam can help.
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