Thursday, May 11, 2006

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

& I'll bet girls get the best parking spaces as well. Snark aside, this is an interesting article. Some highlights, for me, anyway:
"SOMEWHERE, in most women's conscious or unconscious minds, is the unspoken expectation that, if their marriages or relationships last, they will most likely outlive their partners. They know that their children, for whom they're primarily in charge, will grow up and leave. And they face a barrage of advertising and other societal cues that subtly but ever so steadily suggest that they're not getting older, they're getting invisible.

"But whether expected or a bolt from the blue, each loss, each change, each transition, offers a woman the chance to slightly alter course — or even try an entirely new path.
....
"Credit stamina, stoicism — or what researchers call resilience, meaning the ability to come back from serious adversity such as war, rape or the devastation of a hurricane. Regardless of the name, science is beginning to examine its source — a powerful combination of biology, social behavior and psychology, all of which conspire to give women some boosts that men don't have.
....
"But females themselves, as early as infancy, start acting in ways that could well protect them later. As babies, they send out stronger signals than males that they're open for communication. "Little girls raise their eyebrows, open their eyes wide, and give people the impression that they really want to talk," says Kraemer. Wanting to talk, and learning to speak about intimate feelings, serves women well for a lifetime, even in the most dire circumstances.
....

"The female instinct to call in the helper troops, that network of girlfriends, sets up a chemical cycle unique to women. When females feel stress, Taylor says, the hormone oxytocin is released. That encourages them to protect the kids and start the telephone tree going. Contact with children or friends releases more oxytocin, further calming them and everyone around them.
....

"The hormone works better at reducing stress for women, Taylor says, because estrogen apparently enhances the action of oxytocin, while testosterone seems to reduce its effect.
""What you see in the brain is lower activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, greater activity in prefrontal cortical regions and lesser activity in the hypothalamus among people with strong networks," says Taylor. Other researchers have connected those areas to heart rate and blood pressure regulation, as well as to emotions and empathy. Women literally carry around a network of support in their heads.

"That may be why those supportive girlfriends that women so famously cultivate don't have to be next door, down the block or even in the same city. Women just have to believe the network is there, and will rally when the SOS sounds."


1 comment:

nonheroicvet said...

and talk, and talk, and talk......