Brain Gender:  Different, Yet Equal?

Brain Gender: Different, Yet Equal?

Is there really such a thing as brain gender? In March 2019, researchers attempted to answer this question based on an MRI database of 490 men and 575 women. What they reported was relative to the structural differences between men and women: “By using the designed 3D PCNN algorithm, we confirmed that the gender-related differences exist in the whole-brain FA images as well as in each specific brain regions. These gender-related brain structural differences might be related to gender differences in cognition, emotional control as well as neurological disorders.” Their summary supports the theory that there are differences between a male and female brain, and that these differences determine our thinking, feeling, behavior, and psychological health. But, notice the keyword they used: “might.” Unfortunately, they are not alone. For decades scientists have been pointing to similar findings and analysis, commonly accepted as fact. Consider the differences molecular biologist Dr. John Media describes in Brain Rules (Pear Press, 2008): Men have a bigger amygdala, a structure that processes emotions. The male brain produces serotonin (a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, learning and memory, among other functions) more rapidly than the female brain. Women have larger connectors in the corpus callosum, which links the brain’s right and left hemispheres. (The left hemisphere is thought to be the primary source of neural information for routine tasks. The right deals with novelty and innovation, including experiences and data that are less structured. The right hemisphere is more image-based and operates in the realm of metaphors.) Research is important: it influences the way we teach, work, and relate to one another. But there are big...
The Workplace Bully

The Workplace Bully

Despite what we have learned over the past two decades, the workplace bully remains a key problem for leaders and managers. The experts¾academics, management consultants, industrial psychologists¾all report an increase in bullying. And it’s not limited by demographics, tax brackets, or titles: bullying is increasing in cubicles, manufacturing plants, and even executive suites. According to a 2017 National Survey, 61% of Americans are aware of abusive conduct in the workplace. This includes 19% of Americans who are bullied and another 19% who witness it, totaling an estimated 60.4 million Americans. Examples of the bullying are much more apparent via news outlets, social media, and the like. For organizations and individuals, the costs are staggering. Some estimates exceed $150,000/bully/year. This costs employers and insurers $250 billion annually for direct employee health care expenses, turnover and re-training expenses, accidents related to stress-induced fatigue, litigation and settlements, and resistance to top-down change initiatives. Traditionally, experts recommend that those bullied document the events, calculate the costs, and present these to the employer with a request to remove the bully. Unfortunately, the reported success rate for this approach is only 22.3%. The best approach for individuals and organizations is prevention: protect your employees with policies that enforce zero tolerance for workplace bullying and model the behavior. Recognize Bullying, Harassment, and Aggression In today’s culture, workplace bullying is defined as unwelcome behavior that occurs over a period of time and is meant to harm someone who feels powerless to respond. According to the official website of the U.S. government, stopbullying.gov: “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior…that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is...