Why Don’t Men Understand Women? It’s in the Eyes

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Men have a terrible time reading women, primarily because the male species evolved more tuned to deciphering their counterparts’ intentions than those of their mates, a new study shows.


Researchers in Germany gathered together 22 men between the ages of 21 and 52 and ran them through a magnetic resonance imaging scanner to measure their brain activity while showing them images of men’s and women’s expressions.


The study found that men have a tougher time identifying emotions from female eyes than male eyes.


The medical data showed looking at the eyes of men activated the part of the brain known as the right amygdala (which contains fear and sadness reactions, among other things) more than when gazing into the eyes of women.


“From an evolutionary point of view, accurate interpretations of other men’s rather than women’s thoughts and intentions, especially threatening cues may have been a factor contributing to survival in ancient times,” the researchers wrote in their paper published by PLOS One. “As men were more involved in hunting and territory fights, it would have been important for them to be able to predict and foresee the intentions and actions of their male rivals.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Men Really Can't Read Women's Emotions, Confirmed (by Teresa Tanoos, EmaxHealth)

Look into My Eyes (by Douglas Keene, Keene Trial Consulting)

Why Don't Men Understand Women? Altered Neural Networks for Reading the Language of Male and Female Eyes (by Boris Schiffer, Christina Pawliczek, Bernhard W. Müller, Elke R. Gizewski and Henrik Walter, PLOS One)


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