Sunday, September 2, 2018

the Pill changes women's brains

From MSNLifestyle via Instapundit:

In men, the androgens released at puberty are known to remodel the brain. This is also true in women, where relatively small quantities of testosterone can cause certain areas to shrink and others to grow.
so did anyone bother to check it out?
...One of the first such studies was conducted only eight years ago - after the pill had already been in use for 50 years. Dr Pletzer recruited a mixture of men and women on and off hormonal contraception, then scanned their brains. What she found was striking. The scans revealed that several brain areas were larger in the women on the pill, compared to those of women who weren't.
These areas just so happened to be larger in men than women, too. The study involved a relatively small sample and didn't separate androgenic and anti-androgenic contraception, so Dr Pletzer cautions against reading too much into the results. But other research has hinted that both types of hormones actually may be changing our behaviour.
It turns out that women taking pills with androgenic progestins have lower verbal fluency. They were also better at rotating objects. This makes sense, since men are thought to be slightly less articulate than women in certain situations and have better spatial awareness. Other studies have found that women on oral contraception remember emotional stories more like men - recalling the gist more than the details. They're also not as good at recognising emotions in others, such as anger, sadness, or disgust - just like men. It looks suspiciously like certain types of pill are "masculinising" women's brains....

As Dr Pletzer wrote in 2014, when athletes take steroids we call it 'doping' - it's considered abuse and strongly condemned by society. But we are happy for millions of women to take these hormones every day, sometimes from puberty to menopause. Scientists do not yet know if any of the pill's effects on the brain have much of an impact on our behaviour. But perhaps it is time we put it to the test. - 
on the other hand, the alternative might be ten kids, or ten abortions, so maybe it's okay.

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