The Female Brain is More Pro-social Than Menís Brain

by Chrisy Ngilneii on  October 10, 2017 at 12:31 PM Mental Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Behavioral Experiments show that women are more generous than men. Research at the University of Zurich demonstrated that female and male brains process pro-social and selfish behavior differently. For women, pro-social behavior triggers a stronger reward signal, while male reward systems respond more strongly to selfish behavior.
The Female Brain is More Pro-social Than Menís Brain
The Female Brain is More Pro-social Than Menís Brain

Behavioral experiments have shown that when women share a sum of money more generously than men. To gain a more in-depth understanding of this behavior, neuroscientists from the Department of Economics looked at the areas of the brain that are active when decisions of this kind are made. They are the first to demonstrate that the brains of men and women respond differently to pro-social and selfish behavior.

Show Full Article


Selfish behavior activates reward system more strongly in men.
The striatum, located in the middle of the brain, is responsible for the assessment of reward and is active whenever a decision is made. The findings show: The striatum was more strongly activated in female brains during pro-social decisions than during selfish decisions. By contrast, selfish decisions led to a stronger activation of the reward system in male brains.

Disrupted reward system leads to more selfish behavior in women.
In the second experiment, the reward system was disrupted by administering medication to the participants. Under these conditions, women behaved more selfishly, while men became more pro-social. The latter result surprised the researchers. As Soutschek explains, "these results demonstrate that the brains of women and men also process generosity differently at the pharmacological level". The results also have consequences for further brain research, with Soutschek stating that "future studies need to take into account gender differences more seriously".

Culturally conditioned behavior patterns are decisive.
Even if these differences are evident at the biological level, Soutschek warns against assuming that they must be innate or of evolutionary origin. "The reward and learning systems in our brains work in close cooperation. Empirical studies show that girls are rewarded with praise for pro-social behavior, implying that their reward systems learn to expect a reward for helping behavior instead of selfish behavior. With this in mind, the gender differences that we observed in our studies could best be attributed to the different cultural expectations placed on men and women." This learning account is also supported by findings that indicate significant differences in the sensitivity of the reward system to pro-social and selfish behavior across cultures.

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Premium Membership Benefits

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive