Joe Garofoli in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Untangling the brain’s biological instincts from the influences of everyday life has been the driving passion of Brizendine’s life — and forms the core of her book. “The Female Brain” weaves together more than 1,000 scientific studies from the fields of genetics, molecular neuroscience, fetal and pediatric endocrinology, and neurohormonal development. It is also significantly based on her own clinical work at the Women’s and Teen Girls’ Mood and Hormone Clinic, which she founded at UCSF 12 years ago. It is the only psychiatric facility in the country with such a comprehensive focus.
A man’s brain may be bigger overall, she writes, but the main hub for emotion and memory formation is larger in a woman’s brain, as is the wiring for language and “observing emotion in others.” Also, a woman’s “neurological reality” is much more deeply affected by hormonal surges that fluctuate throughout her life.
Brizendine uses those differences to explain everything from why teenage girls feverishly swap text messages during class, to why women fake orgasms to why menopausal women leave their husbands.