Growing up, I was constantly told that men and women are fundamentally different – not just in more emotional ways (like how we act, what we want, how we date, etc.), but also in legitimate biological ways. As it is 2016 and gender rules are starting – very, very slowly – to fade away, it’s easy to start thinking there actually aren’t that many legit differences between men and women. This may be true in certain cases when it comes to how both sexes act or what we want out of life, but it isn’t true when it comes to our bodies. There are many, many ways men and women are different biologically, and some of them are actually super interesting.
I found myself fascinated by this Ask Reddit thread on the lesser known ways men and women are physically different. It explains so much! We already know about the big, obvious differences: men have penises and women have vaginas (generally speaking, as I know there are many people out there who identify as a different gender than their body parts), men think differently than women, and our bodies are not the same. But what about the little things we don’t really think about that affect us all a lot more than we know? Here are 12 biological differences between men and women you probably didn’t know about. Read, remember, and impress everyone later on. You’re welcome!
Disclaimer: These quotes were taken off of a Reddit thread. Some includes sources, others do not.
Fat Is Deposited In Different Parts Of Their BodiesAPagz: Fat is deposited differently in men and women. In men, fat tends to surround and coat the organs, so everything in the abdomen basically gets further away from everything else as the person get larger. In women, fat is largely deposited like a ring around the abdomen, with little fat deposition between the organs. Because of this, you can tell a person's gender by looking at a abdominal CT or MRI if you know what you're looking for. It is also why liposuction is easier in females. Interesting. Here's a scientific source to explain that a little bit more. Basically, women and men store fat differently, which is why our bodies look so different. Source: iStock
Girls Produce Tears More Easilymeminallday: I really wish this was common knowledge: Prolactin is a hormone that causes the body to produce breast milk, and also to produce tears. Naturally, women have more of it than men. As a result, a woman's body will produce tears (i.e. she will cry) at a much lower level of sadness than a man's body. Some women have very high levels of this hormone, especially in certain stages of their menstrual cycle or when pregnant, so they can start crying at the slightest tinge of melancholy. This causes so many misconceptions. Since women cry more often, many men assume they get sad more easily or that they feel sadness much more strongly. Nope, their bodies just need less stimulation to induce this physiological response. So when a woman cries, don't freak out! She may not be as sad as you think she is. Since men cry much less, many women assume that men hardly experience even the smallest amount of sadness. Nope, they're still feeling it but their body isn't responding. I think this is my favorite thing I have ever read on the Internet. It explains so much! It's awesome. Source: iStock
Men Get Depressed About Smaller EventsSqiiii: Depression hits men and women differently as well. Some of the causes of depression vary between men and women, for example, major traumatic events are more likely to cause depression in women whereas men are vulnerable to depression from a series of possibly small events that strike at their self-perception as a person who is capable (i.e. social traits commonly assigned to men: proficiency, capability, stability, etc.). Women are twice as likely to become depressed in general, but men are more likely to be depressed but never be diagnosed. Some studies cite this as a reason as to why suicide is twice as likely for men that are depressed. Certainly, there are social values involved in this. But there are gender-based biological influences as well. quick sources: Source One and Source Two This makes a lot of sense. Men are conditioned to believe that they shouldn't show sadness or vulnerability, and so all of that works together. Source: iStock
Alcohol Makes Women More Turned OnCupcakeValkyrie: Alcohol consumption causes a drop in testosterone levels for men, but an increase in testosterone for women. Testosterone is responsible for sexual arousal in both sexes. That's why men get "whiskey dick" if they drink too much, while women become more easily sexually aroused. This explains SO MUCH. Source: iStock
Women Are More Likely To Have Colder Hands and FeetKoobah: Blood flow in a man's body is more even than a woman's body. In females, blood flows more around the core & the baby making zones, which explains why women's hands and feet get colder than men. Again, this explains SO MUCH. I'm bringing this piece of information to my boyfriend ASAP. Source: iStock
Guys Have A Straight Stream Of Urine, Girls Don'tDrLeah: Guys have a bulge of the urethra at the tip of the penis, called the navicular fossa, that causes the urine to spin and make a straight stream while girls don't and end up with a less organized stream of pee. Okay, can I just say "this explains so much" to every single fact here? Because, really, it does. Source: iStock
Men Process Alcohol and Drugs Slower Than Women Doranting_swede: There are ~1,000 differentially-expressed genes between male and female liver. This means that many of the drugs and chemicals that we put into our bodies are processed very differently between the sexes. I think most people remember from college that males and females process alcohol at different rates, but it also effects things like tylenol, antibiotics, and other more serious drugs. Here's a study on this subject if you want a little more info and context. But yes, it's true: women are generally more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, drugs like marijuana or something more serious, and over-the-counter medications. This is why guys tend to drink a lot more than women. Source: iStock
Guys Are Much Less Likely To Develop CelluliteNovah11: Collagen fibers under the skin of men are more criss-crossy than in women, which both explains why women are more prone to cellulite and also why men have an easier time opening jars. I've tried to do some searching today for a good source on this beyond what I was told in gross anatomy class in med school (I am not a doctor), but I can't find anything that's not a site on treating cellulite. I have no idea if it's genetic or hormonal, but one FTM transgender person said he noticed his skin getting tougher after transition. But keep in mind men's skin is also thicker than women's, so no idea if he has fiber differences as well. 3. I don't know the evolutionary reason for it, but if I had to guess I'd say it's to aid in extra fat storage, as women do carry more fat close to the skin than men do (probably to aid in pregnancy), or as another poster guessed, maybe to help the skin stretch during pregnancy. I wish I knew! Here's a source for those of you asking for more info. I've heard this before, and it does make a lot of sense. Source: iStock
Girls Are Better At Writing NeatlyEddie_Hitler: The classic stereotypical "female handwriting" appears to have a scientific basis. Girls develop fine motor skills earlier than boys and also have a tendency to grip pens and writing implements differently (apparently due to nails) which effects their motor skills when writing. Hmmm, very interesting. Source: iStock
Women Are Better At Seeing Colorstea_and_biology: Women are better at discerning colours than men. (Source) This is taken advantage of in a number of industries, including pearl grading. To paraphrase /u/deimodos' post on the subject from here: Pearls are graded by various properties, including colour on a spectrum going from a dark pink to a brilliant snow white. All men, and indeed most women, don't have the visual acuity or colour sensitivity to accurately pick apart pearls belonging to the different higher-end grades. In fact, only girls between about 18-22 years old can. Seems insane. This online test can estimate your colour sensitivity score, and women will far outperform men on average. Going back to the pearls, if you get 100% in under four minutes, you'd be a Tier 4 grader. Apparently there are 3 tiers above that. Woah. This makes a lot of sense. I am constantly seeing colors differently than my boyfriend or my dad, and although they won't admit it, there is a scientific reason behind it. I knew it! Source: iStock
Men Have Longer EyelashesCylon_Toast: Males have longer eyelashes than females do. So technically using mascara isn't making you look more feminine it's making you look more masculine. Well, this is both funny and pretty disappointing. Source: iStock
Women Have Better Peripheral VisionMGsubbie: Our view is different. Women have a wider peripheral vision, making them able to spot something more quickly. Men have tunnel vision, giving them better depth perception. Interesting. This is something I never knew! Source: iStock
Which of these biological differences surprised you the most? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.