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Study gives this man something to talk about

December 05, 2006|by TIM ROWLAND

Commentary

There's a new book out by Dr. Luan Brizendine called "The Female Mind" that reaches the startling conclusion that woman on average talk three times as much as men.

I'm speechless.

But then I guess the book would have predicted that.

According to the definitive scientific study, the average woman speaks 20,000 words a day (and that's just ordering a pizza - but seriously ...) while the average man utters a scant 7,000 words a day.

Now while you are still sitting there stunned by this revelation, I hate to hit you with another, but there is more: Men think about sex more than women.

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I worry that Dr. Brizendine might have crammed too many revelations into one tome. I might have been tempted to save the sex part for Vol. II.

While men think about sex once every 52 seconds, studies show a woman thinks about sex once a day.

As a man, that leaves me with one question: What time of day is that. Like, 10:35 a.m.?

I mean in all honesty, if sex is only infrequently wandering across a woman's celestial consciousness like it's Haley's comet or something, I need to be sure to rearrange my calendar so as not to miss it and be out of luck for another 76 years.

Women, of course, will want to know, if a man is thinking about sex once every 52 seconds, then what is he thinking about the other 51, and why doesn't he make better use of it?

If he's thinking about sex, say, once every 3.5 seconds, that would at least excuse his lack of productivity.

Of course, the book gives some very interesting scientific explanations for these phenomena, most of it involving - bet you didn't see this coming - the brain.

Women, see, actually devote more brain cells to talk, thanks to their greater emotional capacity.

"Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road," Brizendine told the Daily Mail (London, not Hagerstown).

But this was the paragraph in the Mail story that really got my attention:

"And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high."

As a man, this explains to me one heck of a lot.

First, no wonder she only thinks about sex once a day if she's strung out on gab. While us men are sitting at home drumming our fingers waiting for her to come around, she's shooting up over at the chatterbox crack house.

And no wonder she can't describe a cucumber in less than 2,000 words if it gives her a rush to do so.

She can talk for two hours on any subject? Heck, she doesn't even need a subject. It's just the thrill of the hunt, so to speak.

It all makes so much sense now.

A man would say, "This is a cucumber." Women, meanwhile, experience the cucumber in their emotional broadband, at once seeing its color, texture, shape, "... and what am I going to make for dinner and should it include cucumbers, I wonder if they're in season, purple is in this season, I have a purple shirt at the dry cleaners, why do dry cleaners charge women so much more than men to clean a stupid shirt, if I go to the dry cleaners I could go to that other market where they have better cucumbers, I wonder if Harold in marketing likes me in purple (WARNING: NEAR-SEX-RELATED THOUGHT! AVERT! AVERT! DEFAULT TO SHOES! DEFAULT TO SHOES!) shoes would look nice with that lavender dress ..."

Meanwhile, the man is still standing there looking at the cucumber. It reminds him of sex.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or via e-mail at timr@herald-mail.com. You can listen to his podcast, The Rowland Rant, on www.antpod.com.

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