We will start from the scientifically proven premise that there are differences conditioned by the anatomy of the brain and by the exposure to different hormones that determine that in some way the cognitive (perceptive and information processing), emotional and perhaps pulsional models are different between female and male sexes.
It is known that prenatal exposure of the fetal brain to androgens (male hormone) at a critical gestational age can irreversibly masculinize the individual’s postnatal behavior. The highest concentration of receptors for this hormone is found in the hypothalamus, the nucleus of the brain that controls reproduction and sexual behavior.
Behavior can be classified into four broad categories, according to gender:
Nuclear sexual identity: fundamental identification of the I as man or woman.
Gender behaviour: that implies the participation in stereotypical activities of masculine or feminine type.
Sexual orientation of gender: which refers to the choice of a partner of either sex.
Cognitive differences: diversity in cognitive skills.
Women have greater connections between the left cerebral hemisphere (predominant in the right-handed) and the right cerebral hemisphere, through an intermediate structure called the corpus callosum, constituted by neuronal axons. This allows for greater interaction between the two hemispheres and gives women greater verbal ability, auditory acuity and intuition.
In men, the cerebral hemispheres are more separated, which means that they have greater ability for abstract thinking and spatial visualization, they solve technical problems better in general terms, but on the other hand they are incapable of attending to several tasks simultaneously.
Although the amygdala’s nerve nucleus, in the limbic system is larger in men, in this case also the connections are different (more numerous in women) and give them a better emotional response and empathy. This nucleus also has a relationship with aggressiveness, although this impulse is also influenced by testosterone (the most powerful androgen, after dihydrotestosterone). In any case, the amygdala coordinates the actions of the endocrine and autonomic nervous systems involved in emotions.
We can establish the following psychological differences between the sexes, biologically and socially determined:
The man tends to think globally, the woman stops more in details and nuances.
The woman selects the most valuable knowledge, the man tends to be more creative and constructive.
The man thinks and acts more independently and the woman wants to count on the suggestions of others.
Women are more self-critical of themselves and men tend to be more satisfied with their own performance.
The man pursues status and prosperity more and the woman puts the family before it.
Women value interpersonal relationships more, and men need to achieve concrete goals.
The man endures worse pain and monotonous work, women get sick less but worry more about their state of health.
It is evident that this different way of processing information and responding to stimulus can sometimes hinder or not facilitate communication, consequently following William of Occam (14th century philosopher) what cannot be done with few means, will hardly be done with many, which means that we should look for the simplest explanations that are appropriate, what is known as Occam’s knife, in a figurative sense.
As a result, we should possibly seek to qualify the theory of human communication after Paul Watzlawick (an Austrian psychoanalyst of the 20th century, who formulated it in the mid-1960s), depending on whether he is our interlocutor, interacting person or couple, in order to optimise good communication in human relations and avoid the confusions we might incur, which, although paradoxical, are not infrequent.
All of the above is even more difficult if we consider that between 15 and 20 percent of men have a “female type” brain and nearly 10 percent of women have a “male type” brain, so a first contact can be misleading to “understand” the keys of the model to follow to facilitate in this way depending on who we have in front of us to facilitate communication.
Depending on who we are addressing in our effort to transmit a message or who we are receivers of should prevail depending on the circumstance for example: independence versus understanding (in the sense of feeling understood), giving advice or before assuming a commitment, and so on.
As a conclusion, it is important to point out that biology is not immune to social stimuli. For the same reason men and women will communicate better if they have the culture, without social conditioning factors, that enhance their capabilities regardless of which sex they belong to.
What in the same way seems fundamental to us is to take into account the psychobiological determinants of each gender that will derive in different styles of communication and behavior whose knowledge will facilitate us a greater understanding of the other and a better cooperation with the other.
If we ignore that in the primordial we are equal or in other aspects we are similar, but that there is also something innate, be it genetic or hormonal, that makes us different from both genders psychologically, we think that this should not be ignored. Advertisers take it into account, why not take it into consideration on a daily basis either at work or at home.
There is a crisis in communication in general, as a result of the anomie (the loss of social links, according to Durkheim) of the big city and the avalanche of information on post modernity and the relativization of truth, after Derrida or the hierachies after Foucault. However, we can make an effort at the level of group, family or couple, avoiding the numerous misunderstandings and misunderstandings that often occur, at least in part because we do not take into account the constitutional biopsychic differences of both sexes.
Is it the crisis of the real couple, is it an inevitable evil of our time, or is it generally due to a problem of communication with a cascading effect, in whose relationship the grievances accumulate, until each component has its own list, when both members are confronted (which happens not infrequently), it is appreciated that what has happened is a defect in communication, each one has interpreted the verbal or corporal information in his own way and generally erroneously.
All animal species communicate, in the human case language makes it more complicated and sometimes it can be as subtle as using metaphors and each meaning has its signifier and we are not always sure what we want, so at least it is important that there is good communication, bearing in mind that there is dimorphism, whether we like it or not.
Finally, our recommendation is to always avoid a symmetrical type of discussion, which would lead us to an endless spiral escalation, since both are going to use similar arguments. We must opt for a complementary model that facilitates rapprochement and personal growth, in which empathy predominates.