Posted in: Health Studies

Women Talk More Than Men, But It’s Not Our Fault

A newly discovered protein may be to blame for women talking more than men.

In recent years, the traditional roles of men and women have shifted. More men are opting to stay home with their kids, while more women are entering the workforce. But some stereotypical characteristics of men and women have stayed the same, possibly thanks to genetics.

Most of us know that women talk more than men. Most of us also know that the few faults of the fairer sex are rarely, if ever, actually our fault. A new study suggests that while women talk more than men do, there is a biological reason. See? Genetics is to blame for our Chatty Cathy habits.

New research indicates that there is a biological reason for why women gab much more than men do. Women speak around 20,000 words a day, compared to the 7,000 words spoken by men. (In defense of the men, the occasional grunt or head bob should count as additional verbiage.)

Women’s brains, it turns out, have a higher level of a protein called FOXP2 — also called the “language protein.” According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the protein is involved in vocalization. And women have more of it.

“The major finding that we discovered was that this protein FOXP2 is involved in vocalization,” Mike Bowers, who led the study’s team of researchers, told Today.

Obviously, having the physical ability to talk and having the emotional or social incentive to talk are two separate things.

“We can’t say that this is the end-all-be-all reasoning,” Bowers states. “But it is one of the first avenues with which we can start to explore why women tend to be more verbal than men.”

The study examined a group of young 4- and 5-year-olds. They discovered that the brains of the girls had 30 percent more of the language protein.

Science Now states that scientists are cautioning that we still have “far to go” in the understanding of how genes such as FOXP2 might affect human speech, along with other brain functions.

The co-discovered of FOXP2 states that it is impossible to draw “big conclusions about human sex differences” from one small study.

Do you think that women always talk more than men do?

[Image via Shutterstock]

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