The Female Brain - Making Sense of Hormones & Neurobiology

As a Sociologist, I was trained to put a lot of emphasis on the social construction of beliefs, gender differences, and sexual behavior. For this reason, I have been slow to embrace and explore the role of hormones and brain physiology in women and men. I recognize that it is difficult to separate nature from nurture, biological differences from socialized behavior.

Nonetheless, I have been THRILLED to read Louann Brizendine's book The Female Brain. I feel like so much of what I have learned about my personal emotional, hormonal, and intellectual patterns are validated through reading this book. I make so much more sense to myself now! As an emotionally intuitive person, I've learned how my hormones and brain structure are relevant to this. I am always speaking to my clients about the differences between women and men and how this is important to recognize and respect -- this book gave me the depth of terminology and understanding I was craving to offer a more well-rounded analysis of gender differences. As well, I have greater compassion now for the men in my life, and the inherent differences in our empathy, emotional expression, and sexual focus.

While I still continue to believe that to understand and honor human sexuality we need to take a multidisciplinary approach that includes biology, psychology, sociology, and mind/body/spirit perspectives, I think The Female Brain and this research is invaluable to understanding, through wit and compassion, the female brain.

Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D.

Sex Therapy & Relationship Counseling in San Diego