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Males and Females: Differences in the Way of Thinking Research Paper

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Updated: May 20th, 2020

Introduction

The differences between male and female have been attributed to various factors not only in terms of physical and biological features but also in cognitive development (Shaffer 78). In most cases, studies on the differences between males and females have focused on genetic and physical characteristics. The cognitive variations have not received much attention from scholars. The differences in males and females in the way they think are majorly attributed to cognitive variations resulting from brain development. In fact, the manner in which individuals think depends on the level of brain development.

In most cases, the way individuals perceive, understand, and respond to the immediate environmental stimuli is majorly determined by the manner in which the brain has been developed (Shaffer 78). In other words, the thinking capabilities of an individual majorly depend on brain capacity. What remains elusive are the reasons that explain the different patterns in the brain development of female and male individuals. Essentially, the manner in which a woman and a man think is shaped by their cognitive makeup hugely determined by the level of their intellectual development (Newman and Newman 21).

Various factors have been cited to be the cause of the differences in brain development. While some researchers argue that the physical makes up, including the brain of an individual, is shaped by genetic factors, other scholars attribute the differences to behavioral and environmental factors (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer, and Belmonte 818). In fact, behavioral scientists have argued that different behaviors determine the way an individual will perceive and process information. Besides, variations in the behaviors of males and females determine the way they think. Evolutionary scientists believe that individual behavior and way of thinking are shaped by the external environmental factors (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818).

In fact, individuals will always tend to respond to the immediate environmental pressures, which in effect determine the level of cognitive development. Further, social scientists associate individual cognitive development with cultural values and belief systems. While all these views differ in terms of their propositions, they tend to explain not only the physical variations but also cognitive differences between males and females beginning from childhood to adulthood.

Stages in human development

While an individual might be similar in the manner in which they think depending on the stage of development, the variations also exist. As indicated, the variations may be explained by the application of different theoretical approaches (Newman and Newman 211). However, most psychologists have generalized the way people tend to think in every stage in human development. Specific studies on the cognitive development of individuals have identified the differences in individual thinking capabilities, which are largely determined by gender and genetic make-up. Essentially, the differences exist in the manner male and females think in every stage of human development.

Infant and early childhood stage

Studies that have been conducted on infants and young children indicate that their mode of thinking is similar despite the gender differences (Newman and Newman 211). In other words, in the early stages of human development, the differences in the manner in which boys or girls think are far less than the similarities. Studies have found that the cognitive similarities in the perception and processing of information are caused by correspondence in the brain and other physical developments (Shaffer 78). At this stage, the brain is still undergoing huge developments, particularly on senses. The developments of the parts of the brain controlling senses explain why infants and younger children tend to develop trust, care, affection, and reliability (Shaffer 78). The modes of thinking corresponding to the attributes are the same in girls and boys.

In other words, the physical developments in an individual are similar despite the gender. Moreover, various researches report no significant statistical differences in the brain developments between boys and girls, particularly in infancy and early childhood stages of development (Shaffer 78). However, girls tend to develop faster compared with boys. The small differences in physical development also explain the small variations in the manner they perceive and process information.

In the early childhood stage of development, intelligence starts to emerge. In fact, girls have been shown to have higher intelligent quotient compared with boys (Newman and Newman 211). While researches that have been directed to test the intelligent quotient of both girls and boys at their infant stages found no significant differences in the way they think, the level of intelligent quotient tended to be higher in girls compared with boys. However, the differences in the manner in which the children think start to emerge in late childhood and become distinct when the child is reaching early adolescent (Newman and Newman 211). Furthermore, while it is critical to understand the reasons for the existence of differences in thinking between male and female, it is also important to understand from when the differences start to emerge in order to avoid situations where the boys and girls are denied the opportunity to develop their own potentials (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818).

Adolescent and teenage stage in the human development

As indicated, the differences in the manner in which the male and female sex think begin to emerge in the early stages of adolescent (Shaffer 78). At this stage, the development of the brain is geared towards enhancing emotional attachment and body physic. The parts of the brain responding to various hormonal influences are fully developed allowing the body to grow fast and the mind to be preoccupied with the changes taking place (Shaffer 78).

The adolescent stage pick from the late adulthood where both boys and girls becomes preoccupied with how to cope with social demands. Studies indicate that boys tend to become more preoccupied with how to succeed at this stage while girls becomes more preoccupied with their emotional cognitions such as affection. The reason is that girls become mature early in the same stage of human development. The boys’ state of the mind is dominated by fear of failure, which undermines the required dominance (Newman and Newman 215). Essentially, the state of the mind of both boys and girls in the adolescent and teenage stage in development is shaped by the level of brain development and the social expectations.

Adulthood stage

The differences in the way of thinking between male and female are highly distinctive at this stage in the human development. At this stage, the brain is expected to have fully developed and mature enough to make independent and appropriate decisions (Shaffer 99). However, evolutionary scientists have argued that the systematic tendencies and mechanistic thinking characterize the brain of the male gender at this stage. The systematic tendencies are the capability of analyzing, exploring and contrasting the system (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819).

In this case, the system is the normal daily activities taking place in the society. In fact, men systematic tendencies enable them to figure out how the social environment operate as well as haul out the fundamental set of laws that preside over the general behavior within the system (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). The main reason of overhauling the fundamental set of laws is to enable the male gender to understand and envisage the arrangement or to create a new one.

On the other hand, the empathizing tendencies and mentalist thinking characterize the female brain. The empathizing tendencies are the ability of the female gender to identify emotional thoughts of another person and respond appropriately (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818). The empathizing tendencies occur when the female gender feel the corresponding emotional reaction to another individual emotions. In most cases, female respond with empathizing tendencies in order to understand and envisage the behavior of another person as well as find ways through which their emotions can connect (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). On the other hand, mentalist behavior is concerned with understanding the people.

While the differences can easily be withdrawn from the analysis, the differences associated with mechanistic tendencies and mentalist tendencies is the same as the variations found in systemizing tendencies and empathizing tendencies (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818). The main argument is that brain mature differently in males and females resulting in these variations. Moreover, the variations tend to occur in early stages in life developments. However, they are subdued by other behavioral factors caused by the state of the brain maturity (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818). Further, the variation is generalized. In other words, individual exceptions to this generalization can be observed. However, the generalization is still valid. Besides these tendencies, continue to adulthood.

Factors causing the differences in thinking

As indicated, various factors have been mentioned to be the cause of the differences on how males and females think. Most studies have attributed the variations in thinking to state of brain or mental development (Newman and Newman 21). However, other researchers have attributed the differences to genetic factors that shape the physical make up of an individual. Moreover, other scholars attribute the differences to behavioral and environmental factors. In fact, behavioral scientists have argued that the variations in the behaviors of males and females determine the way they think. On the other hand, evolutionary scientists believe that individual behavior and way of thinking are shaped by the external environmental factors (Shaffer 89). Nevertheless, social scientists believe that cognitive development of an individual is shaped by cultural values and the belief systems. While all these views might differ, it is critical to understand their mechanism in order to gain an insight on the manner women and men think, behave and make decisions.

The differences in physical development of the brain

The maturity of the brain have been found to differ in males and females. Various studies indicate that female’s brain mature faster compared with that of a man (Shaffer 89). The differences in brain maturity are exhibited in the early childhood where girls tend to be more reasonable than boys. Besides, studies that have been conducted on social cognition between males and females indicate that females outperform males in the recognition of emotional relationships (Newman and Newman 111). The cognition begins in early childhood and continues to adulthood. Essentially, the differences in emotional relationships emerge early in the life and persist throughout adulthood. Further, studies indicate that in adulthood the gap in this development is wider compared with early stages in development (Newman and Newman 111). Scientists have argued that the origination of the differences in the manner in which sexes think and behave come from the evolutionary processes that innately program, fix and select the pre-natal hormonal exposure and genetic expressions (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). However, the evolutionary orientation is one of the ways of explaining the differences in which the two sexes think and behave.

The level of brain development determines the cognitive capacity of an individual. In other words, the manner in which people think depends on the brain capacity (Shaffer 89). Studies indicate that the brain capacity of male and female differ in diverse areas, which in effect influences the way individuals think and behave. Moreover, studies indicate that the level of brain development not only determine the variations in the manner in which female and male think but also the way they feel, behave and respond to the environmental stimuli (Newman and Newman 87). Moreover, the differences in the behavior of female and males correspond to the physical make up of their brains.

Further, studies have indicated that the male brains are highly specialized. In other words, specific part of the brain is specialized for particular tasks. As such, the accomplishments of certain activities are conducted by particular places in the brain. The specialization of the parts of the brain takes time. In other words, it takes longer time for the male brain to be mature. In fact, the reason explains why in early stages in human development young girls seems to be having high intelligent quotient (Newman and Newman 78). The reason also explains why female seems to be having higher intelligence than male in adolescent and early adulthood.

The specialization of the brain in males explains the capability of males to focus on smaller issues and do away with unconnected information that may cause interruptions. Essentially, males observe things in a finer and focused manner (Shaffer 89). Moreover, males can intently focus their brains towards a particular activity for longer duration without deviations. Besides, in males, most of the issues are seen and thought out by the parts of the brain.. Moreover, issues are confined and processed by individual parts of the brain. Given the fact that the male brain is more specialized explains the reason why male characteristics and behavior are determined by the hormone testosterone. The part of the brain responding to the hormone is well developed. The presence of the hormone in the body enables males to think, act and behave aggressively (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818). In addition, the response of the internal stimuli enables the males to have dominant thoughts over their female counterparts. The specialization of the brain also explains the reason why the perceptual sense of vision in males is highly developed.

On the other hand, the female brains have been observed to be diffused (Shaffer 89). The meaning is that females use a large portion of both hemispheres to accomplish several activities. The reason provides an explanation why females can think and accomplish multiple tasks. Essentially, while male brains have been found to be highly specialized, the female counterparts have diffused brains (Shaffer 89). In other words, specific part of the brain in men is specific to certain tasks while the female utilize several hemispheres of their brain to accomplish a particular task. The diffusion of the brain contrasts the manner in which the individuals think and accomplish the given tasks.

While in the accomplishments of certain activities are conducted by particular places in the male brain, in female brain, diverse parts can think simultaneously. Moreover, since several parts are capable of completing similar activity, some areas can be used while other parts are still developing. The reason provides an explanation why females are seen to be more intelligent than males. Moreover, females are seen to think faster than males. As the female brains continue to mature, the information processing takes place in large sphere of the brain making females to be mature in decision-making processes than males in adolescent and early adulthood (Newman and Newman 87).

The contrast is seen in males where various parts responsible for specialization take time to mature. In other words, it takes longer time for various parts of male brain to specialize while diffuse capabilities in the female brain continue to function normally. The reason explains why in early stages in human development young girls seems to be having high intelligent quotient. In addition, the reason explains why female seems to be having higher intelligence than male in adolescent and early adulthood.

While specialization of the brain enables males to focus on smaller issues and do away with unconnected information that may cause interruptions, female counter parts are broad-based. In other words, females have broader thought and focus on issues that affect their daily occurrences. The vantage point of view enables females to be more successful in most of the activities compared with men (Shaffer 89). Contrastingly, the male counterparts observe things in a finer and focused manner. The diffused brain also enables women to divide their attention to various tasks. Contrarily, as indicated, the male counterpart can intently focus their brains towards a particular activity for longer duration without deviations. In addition, most of the issues are seen and thought out by the parts of the brain in males compare with females (Shaffer 89).

Moreover, female processes their information and thoughts holistically using both sphere of the brain compared with males where issues are confined and processed by individual parts within the sphere of the brain. While few of the behavioral characteristics are determined by response to harmonic stimuli in females, the male characteristics and behavior are determined by the homes testosterone. The reason is that the specific part of the brain responding to the hormone is highly developed in males than females. Moreover, the presence of the hormone in the body makes males think, act and behave aggressively different from the manner in which women behave and think (Shaffer 89). In addition, the response of the internal stimuli enables the males to have dominant thoughts over their female counterparts. The specialization of the brain also explains the reason why the perceptual sense of vision in males is highly developed compare with that of the females.

The differences in terms of cognitive development

As indicated, studies have shown that variations exist in cognitive, social and personal attributes between males and females in all stages of life developments (Newman and Newman 11). Moreover, researchers have identified specific variations in cognitive skills that are attributed to either male or female gender. Some of the variations can easily be observed in early childhood developments. Besides, the variations in cognitive skills determined the manner in which boys and girls think and behave (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 818). While some of the cognitive skills appear in early childhood others emerge in late adolescents. However, several cognitive studies indicate that diversity in skills between boys and girls have diminished over the years. The shrinking of the differences has been attributed to the roles socialization and the differential experiences play in the characteristics of gender (Shaffer 289). Behavioral aspects are even evident in consistent with characteristics that cause differences in way of thinking between the opposite sexes. However, biological or physical factors play a major role and provide the explanations on the diversity in thinking between the genders.

In early development of the child, the differences in the manner they think are far less than the similarities. Studies have found that the cognitive similarities in the perception and processing of information are caused by correspondence in brain and other physical developments. In other words, the physical developments in an individual are similar despite the gender. Various research reports have found insignificant statistical differences in the physical developments between boys and girls in their early stages of life particularly in infancy (Newman and Newman 119). The small differences in physical development also explain the similarities or small variations in the manner they perceive and process information.

Studies that have been directed to test the intelligent quotient of both girls and boys at their infant stages found no significant differences in the way they think (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). However, the differences start to emerge in early adolescents and become distinct in adolescent and adulthood. While it is critical to understand the reasons for the existence of differences in thinking between male and female, it is also important to understand from when the differences start to emerge in order to avoid situations where the boys and girls are not given the opportunity to develop their own potentials.

In terms of cognitive developments, girls tend to have higher or increased rate of development than boys. Cognitive development is observed in the manner in which infants learn verbal language and other spatial skills. Verbal and language skills have been found to have direct relationship with the way infants think (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). While most studies indicate that girls have increased chances of developing verbal language in early stages in developments, some studies have indicated otherwise and have found no differences. However, the increased intelligent quotient in girls does not necessary mean that the young females have increased capacity to think. The thinking capacity between boys and girls are the same in infant stage of human development (Shaffer 289). The variations start to emerge in early adolescent and continue to widen as individuals enter adulthood. The gap in thinking continues to be distinct even in adulthood.

Evolutionary or genetic factors

Genetic and evolutionary factors have been mentioned as the major cause of the differences in the manner in which males and females think. Genetic characteristics determine the physical development of the brain as well as other parts of the body (Shaffer 289). Since the intensity of brain development determine the level of individual thinking, genetic factors that control the development of the brain is in effect determine the level of thinking. Though the logic may seem to be simple, individual variations in the level of thinking is determined by the genetic factors.

On the other hand, evolutionary scientists believe that individual behavior and way of thinking are shaped by the external environmental factors. According to the evolutionary scientists, differences in observed features determining the sexuality of an individual came about in the course of human evolution. The reason is that the male and female gender faced varied environmental selection pressures (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). Men had to acquire the both systematic and mechanistic attributes since the attributes are critical in the continuation of life. Conversely, decreased empathizing attributes are critical amidst tense competition for food and mates.

On the other hand, women have to acquire the empathizing and mentalist attributes since such attributes are critical in the mothering capabilities as well as conquering new territories through collaborations (Baron-Cohen, Knickmeyer and Belmonte 819). The attributes are also critical for procreation and continuity of the human race. In fact, these attributes were developed due to the reactions towards the environmental pressures. While the same attributes can be observed in almost all-human race, certain variations occur due to the individual genetic makeup and the environmental differences.

Critically considering how the attributes shape individual intelligence and thinking, studies in evolutionary biology have identified the relationship between systematic and mechanistic attributes and the stability as well as increased men’s brain capacity in adulthood (Newman and Newman 119). The argument has been that the attributes explain why men are good in complex areas such as mathematics and physics, which deal with coherent arrangements governed by set of laws. On the other hand, empathizing and mentalist attributes explain why women are good in cognition of languages and character judgments (Newman and Newman 119).

Behavioral factors

Conversely, most of the behavioral scientists have suggested other ways through which the differences can be explained. In fact, majority of the behavioral scientists have argued that the environment shapes the manner in which people think. The cultural differences in which boys and girls are brought up and made to believe determine their mode of thinking throughout their human development stages (Shaffer 262). Essentially, the cognitive development of an individual is not only being shaped by the physical development but also the manner in which the individual is nurtured. Studies indicate that individual experiences changes the manner in which the brain develops. In fact experiences and derived from behaviors and daily interactions with the environment.

The cultural belief system that males are dominant over females enables females to see themselves as inferior to men. Such kind of the belief system are inherited and inculcated into the girl child while still in infant stage of development (Shaffer 262). Such belief systems will always shape the manner in which the child perceive and process information as well as respond to the environmental stimuli (Shaffer 262). Essentially, cultural behaviors create the differences in which the genders think and behave.

Conclusion

From the discussion, it can be concluded that the differences between male and female in the way they think is attributed to various factors not only in terms of physical and biological features but also in cognitive development. In most cases, differences between males and females have been perceived to be caused by on genetic and physical characteristics. However, the differences in males and females in the way they think are majorly attributed to cognitive variations resulting from brain development. In fact, the manner in which individuals think depends on the level of the brain development. Moreover, the way individuals perceive, understand and respond to the immediate environmental stimuli is majorly determined by the level of brain development. In other words, the thinking capabilities of an individual majorly depend on the brain capacity.

As indicated, various factors have been cited to be the cause of the differences in brain development. While genetic factors have been majorly recognized to be the cause of the variation between males and females level of thinking, behavioral and environmental factors have also been applied to explain the differences. In fact, behavioral scientists have argued that different behaviors determine the way an individual will perceive and process information.

Evolutionary scientists believe that individual behavior and way of thinking are shaped by the external environmental factors. In fact, individuals will always tend to respond to the immediate environmental pressures, which in effect determine the level of cognitive development. Further, social scientists associate individual cognitive development with cultural values and the belief systems. While all these views differ in terms of their propositions, they tend to explain not only the physical variations but also cognitive differences between males and females beginning from childhood to adulthood.

Works Cited

Baron-Cohen, Simon, Rebecca Knickmeyer and Matthew Belmonte. “Sex Differences in the Brain: Implications for Explaining Autism.” Science, 310.5749 (2005): 818-819. Print.

Newman, Barbara and Philip Newman. Development Through Life: A Psychosocial Approach. Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.

Shaffer, David. Social and Personality Development. Stamford, Connecticut: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.

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