Thursday, May 10, 2007

Just the facts ma'am, just the facts

So a while back I wrote about some ERP work a friend of mine was doing... (and his reluctance to follow the line of research. see below post.

Well I bumped into more evidence for this sex difference. I wrote a paper about the emotional representation of music in the brain for a perception class and there it was staring me in the face again. One way of examining the emotional quality of music is by looking at the vigorous reaction of chills to music. Found extremely pleasurable this reaction has been studied as a window on music for a while. Well when men and women are asked to bring in music that gives them the chills, what sorts of music do they bring in? Well women bring in sad music, and men happy music. Surprise folks.

Like the study I mentioned before this doesn't control for depressive level (women are far more likely to be depressed), but the question in my mind is becoming a chicken or the egg. Is there something inherent in women that makes them susceptible to depression? I'm not ever going to claim that the way our society treats women doesn't contribute to the problem of over representation of women in depression, but if there is something there neurologically do we not have an obligation to examine the issue? Many people could be saved quite some misery, regardless of how many feminists it pisses off, cause they don't like the answers being provided. Because there are differences between men and women (duh) beyond the physical does not mean in any way shape or form that men or women are inferior... we are just different (more similar than different but different nonetheless... sometimes even down to brain structure).

The stuff I've talked about is tangential to the problem of depression in women, but as a whole depression studies should be done using more female than male subjects (not sure if this is already being done). And a search for a neurological indicator of why women get depressed more than men is clearly does not stand on weak scientific ground.

enough babbling.


Post a Comment

<< Home