Why do women gossip with each other?
Good question. I’m also going to acknowledge that men gossip ferociously among themselves, as well. But I digress. When I opened a recent edition of the New York Times magazine, an article about a book written by neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine called “The Female Brain” caught my eye. In the article, Dr. Brizendine contends that women are indeed wired for gossip, use about three times as many words as men do to express themselves and have been subservient to men in almost all societies because of childbirth! Brizendine, a professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, contends that women gossip because it feeds our need for a chemical called oxytocin, the hormone of intimacy. Who knew there was a chemical that caused women to gather in packs to discuss the latest “he said, she said” around town!
Brizendine also suggests that women use about 20,000 words a day while men use only 7,000 and it’s not because women are smarter. Women simply have more brain cells in the area of the brain called the planum temporale, which allows us to perceive and process language. Again, ladies, who knew?
When Brizendine cites pregnancy as the reason women have been subservient to men for centuries, she made her point loud and clear. “Before birth control,” Brizendine said, “in the 1700s and 1800s, middle-class women were pregnant between 17 and 22 times in their lifetimes. All these eons upon eons, while Socrates and all the guys were sitting around thinking up solutions to problems, women were feeding hungry mouths and wiping smelly behinds.”
And here’s the kicker, ladies! Did you know that all brains start out as female? It’s only when “the tiny testicles start to pump out adult-male levels of testosterone that travel in the bloodstream up to the brain.”
So if all brains are female until the testicles kick in, does that make women the superior sex? After all, we’ve got more brain cells, superior verbal skills and lots of oxytocin! I’ll give Dr. Brizendine a ring and see what she has to say.