|Today's theme: Relationships|
1. "Is there a difference in dopamine level between men and women?"
Great question. In my post "Neurosexism and Delusions of Gender", I present a graph from Di Liberto et al., 2012 showing that female and male (mice) brains show no difference in the amount of dopamine transporter (DAT) in the striatum.
|No Difference in Male and Female Dopamine Transporter|
This question is particularly interesting in light of the recent reactions to Naomi Wolf's new book: "Vagina: a New Biography" (See also Here and Here) In "Vagina", Naomi Wolf explains that "Dopamine is the ultimate feminist chemical in the female brain." ... Which is a a pretty ridiculous simplification of what dopamine is... in that it is completely untrue. First of all, men have dopamine too. And while their may be some differences in dopamine positive cells in the hypothalamus (Lansing and Lonstein 2006), the hypothalamus is not the brain's main source of dopamine. Basically, the death of the Substantia Nigra (which feeds tons of dopamine into the striatum), results in Parkinson's Disease for men just like it does for women.
Second of all, dopamine doesn't have anything to do with your worldview (except maybe to help color it rosy). Misogynists have dopamine just like feminists do, and there is no reason to think that the amounts differ between them.
|Dopamine: the Love molecule... a grossly simplified necklace (source)|
However, having not read the book, I am guessing that Naomi Wolf claims dopamine is a feminist chemical because it is released during sex. But guess what, it's released during sex for both males and females, and it's not ONLY released during sex, it is also released when you eat food, do cocaine, or talk about yourself. It is a very complex molecule, with many receptors (at least 5 different kinds). And dopamine literally does OPPOSITE things depending on whether it binds to the D1 type receptors or the D2 type receptors.
2. "Why are all women bitches?"
Look, you sound like a "Nice Guy", so I'll give you a tip: Some women do bitchy things sometimes, just like some guys do bitchy things sometimes, but your attitude that all women are bitches is probably one of the main reasons that most women are bitches to you. For a couple of reasons:
1. Self-fulfilling prophecy: If you expect to be screwed over by every woman you meet, you will see 'bitchiness' in their actions no matter what, and will probably act preemptively defensive. This will result in women acting on average more bitchy to you.
2. You are an asshole.
3. "Do guys like cerebral women?"
Yes, guys like cerebral women. Do all guys like cerebral women? probably not, some might be threatened by a woman who is smart. But that's their loss. Those guys probably end up asking the Internet questions like "why are all women bitches?" But really, most guys I've met do not want vapid self-absorbed or shallow ladies in their lives.
One of my favorite fantasy authors, Robert Jordan has a moderately related quote:
"When I was a boy, just old enough to be starting to date in a fumbling way, I complained something about girls. And my father said to me, “Would you rather hunt leopards or would you rather hunt rabbits? Which is going to be more fun?” And I decided I’d rather hunt leopards." -Robert Jordan
Guys don't want wide eyed rabbit easy to get simple women, they want a challenge. If you are a cerebral woman, I am sure that you are smart enough to know that acting stupid to get a guy is basically the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. You don't want a guy who would fall for that crap.
But the real advice I want to give you is to stop caring what guys like. Do what you like, find yourself an awesome cause and fight for it, or an awesome project and do it. Check out cool things like Girls Who Code and play some Mass Effect. If you are really worried about 'having a partner' doing the things that you love to do will put you near other people who like doing those same things. In my opinion that is the best way to start a deep relationship anyway.
For more on gender et cetera, see the XX tab.
Lansing SW, & Lonstein JS (2006). Tyrosine hydroxylase-synthesizing cells in the hypothalamus of prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster): sex differences in the anteroventral periventricular preoptic area and effects of adult gonadectomy or neonatal gonadal hormones. Journal of neurobiology, 66 (3), 197-204 PMID: 16329116
Di Liberto V, Mäkelä J, Korhonen L, Olivieri M, Tselykh T, Mälkiä A, Do Thi H, Belluardo N, Lindholm D, & Mudò G (2012). Involvement of estrogen receptors in the resveratrol-mediated increase in dopamine transporter in human dopaminergic neurons and in striatum of female mice. Neuropharmacology, 62 (2), 1011-8 PMID: 22041555