"The Female Brain" by Louann Brizendine

Book Summary:

“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine serves as a scientific guide to better understanding the nature and experience of the female brain as it guides women through the different stages of life.

Dr. Brizendine distills all her findings and the latest information from the scientific community into this highly accessible book that educates readers and helps them better understand the differences between male and female brains. A few lessons readers will learn:

  • Why are women more verbal than men

  • Why women go to the bathroom together

  • Why women remember details of fights that men can’t remember at all

  • Why women tend to form deeper bonds with their female friends than men do with their male counterparts

And more.

Book Lessons:

More than 99% of male and female genetic coding is exactly the same. Out of 30,000 genes in the human genome, the less than 1% of variation between the sexes is small, but that percentage accounts for countless differences:


  • The part of the brain that weighs options and makes decisions is larger in women than men.

  • The prefrontal cortex (which rules emotions) is larger in women.

  • The insula (center that processes gut feelings) is larger and more active in women.

  • The hippocampus (part of the brain that is responsible for memory) is larger and more active in women. 

    • Women are, on average, better at expressing emotions and remembering the details of emotional events.

  • Girls are better at reading faces and hearing emotional vocal tones than boys.

    • By being able to read faces, women can predict what bigger, more aggressive males are going to do and plan ahead to stay safe.

  • Girl’s social, verbal, and relationship skills develop years earlier than boys’.

  • On average, girls speak two to three times more words per day than boys.

  • Why do girls go to the bathroom to talk?

    • They’re trading secrets and gossiping to create connection and intimacy with their female peers.

  • When females are competing with other females, they often use more subtle tools, such as spreading rumors to undermine a rival.

  • Women are less concerned with a potential husband’s visual appeal and more interested in his material resources and social status.

  • Some research shows that women, on average, look for mates who are at least 4 inches taller and 3.5 years older. 

  • Women do reach the same or higher romantic end point, but they’re often slower to confess to being in love and more careful than males in the beginning weeks and months of a relationship.

  • The state of romantic love can be reignited by the threat of fear of losing one’s partner–of being dumped.

    • Being dumped heightens the phenomenon of passionate love in the brain circuits of both men and women.

  • Women have evolved to cry four times more easily than men–displaying an unmistakable sign of sadness and suffering that men can’t ignore.

  • Research shows that women typically remember emotional events–such as first dates, vacations and big arguments–more vividly and retain them longer than men.


  • Men have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive as well as larger brain centers for action and aggression.

  • Men’s self-esteem derives more from their ability to maintain independence from others, while women’s self-esteem is maintained, in part, by the ability to sustain intimate relationships with others. 

  • Abandoned men are 3-4 times more likely to commit suicide, while women, by constant, sink into depression.

  • Foreplay for men is usually minutes before the act while foreplay for women is usually hours in advance.

    • Women must get into the mood by first relaxing and reconnecting positively with her partner.

  • When stress levels are high, men will bond quickly and sexually with the first willing female while women, by contrast, will rebuff advances or expressions of affection and desire when under stress. 

  • Men have evolved over millions of years to scan women for quick visual clues to their fertility:

    • Age and health are the two main factors, along with symmetrical physical features, smooth skin, and curvy, hourglass figure. 

Book Review:

“The Female Brain” by Louann Brizendine gives both men and women an interesting look into understanding how males and females, although 99% genetically alike, have evolved different brains and see the world through a unique lens.

The book is less than 200 pages long, is easy to read (even with a lot of scientific terms) and covers the development of women’s brains from birth through teen years, to dating, pregnancy, childbirth and beyond.

If you’re interested in learning about neuroscience or want to better understand how women think, this is a great book for you.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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