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Study: Women Talk More Because Of A Protein

From Science World Report:

Why Women Talk More Than Men: Language Protein Uncovered

By Catherine Griffin | February 20, 2013

You know all the times that men complain about women talking too much? Apparently there’s a biological explanation for the reason why women are chattier than men. Scientists have discovered that women possess higher levels of a "language protein" in their brains, which could explain why females are so talkative.

Previous research has shown that women talk almost three times as much as men. In fact, an average woman notches up 20,000 words in a day, which is about 13,000 more than the average man. In addition, women generally speak more quickly and devote more brainpower to speaking. Yet before now, researchers haven’t been able to biologically explain why this is the case.

We’ve had our theories. (But best not mentioned.)

Now, they can. New findings conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and published in The Journal of Neuroscience show that a certain protein may be the culprit.

In 2001, a gene called FOXP2 appeared to be essential for the production of speech. In order to test this protein, the team, led by J. Michael Bowers and Margaret McCarthy, looked at young rat pups. These animals emit cries in the ultrasonic range when separated from their mothers. The team recorded the cries over five minutes in groups of 4-day-old male and female rats that had been separated from their mothers. They found that male pups had up to twice as much of the protein FOXP2 in regions of the brain known to be involved in vocalization–perhaps an unsurprising finding since researchers noted that males made twice as many cries as females…

Next, the researchers wanted to test their findings in humans. They conducted a small study on human children aged four to five years who had died in accidents less than 24 hours previously. They then analyzed the amount of FOXP2 protein in the brains of these children. In the end, the researchers found 30 percent more FOXP2 protein in the brains of the girls.

All of this to find out why women talk more? Was this really the best use of these poor dead kids?

The research shows that the protein, FOXP2, is a key molecule for communication in mammals. In fact, it could allow researchers to better understand other species that may or may not possess the protein, such as Neanderthals.

With this new biological link, scientists could potentially trace back the evolutionary origin of speech.

That said, the research also gives a reason for why women tend to be better at small talk.

We’re never going to hear the end of it, either.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 21st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Study: Women Talk More Because Of A Protein”

  1. untrainable says:

    There is so much wrong with this study. My first question is who paid for it? I probably did… hate that.
    They use stats from baby rats, and dead children to explain language. Where exactly did they find baby rats with the power of speech? And how did they get the dead children to speak? Is this how the Zombie apocalypse begins?

    Did the methodology include social and cultural norms? Is there a difference in the protein levels between dead children and live middle aged people? Is there a difference between married men and women and single men and women. Come on people, did this study actually PROVE anything, or is it just academic masturbation with big government grant money as the orgasm?

    I’ve got an equally provable theory about why women talk more than men. Men, after thousands of years, have learned that if they keep their mouths shut, they stand a better chance of staying out of trouble. Plus, I don’t actually consider “small talk” a language. True language is meant to convey ideas. Small talk is meant to fill awkward silences with meaningless jibber in an effort to make the jibberer more comfortable. Lets do a study on why people whistle while walking through the graveyard. I’ll bet they could find a “fear graveyard whislte” protein too. Give us our money back.

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