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The Female Brain

February 10, 2014

The Female Brain by LouAnn Brizendine

I stumbled upon this book by accident and I’m happy to have read it. It’s a short read with only 7 chapters that mostly cover the different phases in a woman’s life and why and how she responds to them. Chapter 1 starts from early childhood and describes how hormonal differences between girls and boys change the development of physical structures in the brain. Chapter 2 moves into the next major hormonal change in girls during puberty and teenage years. Chapter 3 dives into early adulthood for women and how they treat relationships at that stage versus teenage years. Chapter 4 is titled “Sex: The Brain Below the Belt” and describes a lot of the interactions between hormones and emotional state to enjoyment of sex. Chapter 5 goes into the mommy brain and how hormones drastically change priorities and perceptions of woman that are programmed by millions of years of evolution. Chapter 6 is a chance for the book to tie up many threads about emotions and how hormonal changes cause intense feelings of those emotions. Finally, Chapter 7 is the “mature brain” which means perimenopause into menopause.

Although many men “sort of know” many of the things described in this book, it was very interesting to read about it with supporting medical and scientific information. The other great source of information in the book was from anecdotal evidence from the author’s family counseling practice. Finally, the author’s attempts to tie medical observation with family counseling and evolutionary reasons to make all 3 sources of information converge was well done and effective.

The book was targeted at women, so they could better understand objectively the stages of a woman’s life and how it’s drastically effected by hormones, but I believe it’s also a good read for men. If gives you a better understanding of why men and women think, act and perceive differently than a lifetime collection of cliches and relationship quotes. I do believe every woman should read this book, because it helps women to understand what options are available for their health from youthful hormonal imbalances to post-menopause hormone replacement which can improve health and quality of life as well as longevity.

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