Female Brains Have This One Important Advantage, According to Science

"Told you so," say women everywhere.

Female-Brains-Have-This-One-Important-Advantage,-According-to-ScienceWangbar/ShutterstockIt’s a tough world out there for the ladies. Not only is it easier for men to lose weight than women (and here’s why!) but life in general costs more for women than men. Don’t get too bummed out, though. If you have two X chromosomes, you now have two times the reason to celebrate.

Scientists at Amen Clinics in Newport Beach, California, recently compared over 46,000 studies of brain scans, and their study could reveal some of the amazing perks of having a female brain. Spoiler alert: It’s a good thing science just confirmed that kids get their intelligence from their mom.

The research team measured blood flow to the brains of study participants, both with and without pre-existing psychiatric conditions, while they performed cognitive tasks and then again while they rested. As it turns out, they found some notable—and now science-backed—differences between male and female brains.

For one, females exhibited higher brain activity overall when compared to males. Breaking the results down even further, women tended to have more more blood flow to the prefrontal cortex, which controls decision-making, focus, and impulse control. Female brains also displayed more activity in the limbic region, an area said to influence emotions and memory. Looks like those stereotypes about women dominating skills like empathy and collaboration might not be so off after all. (By the way, women with bigger butts could live longer, too.)

But don’t count the men out just yet. Male craniums tended to exhibit greater activity in the visual regions of the brain, which process things like faces, objects, and colors.

Although research suggests male and female brains are NOT wired differently, sex often determines the likelihood of having certain neurological disorders. Previous studies have shown that men are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, while more women tend to develop Alzheimer’s and anxiety disorders. Girl power aside, this research could revolutionize the way we treat these life-threatening conditions.

And chances are, ladies everywhere are saying: “I told you so.”

Sources: Science Daily, Redbook

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.