Amazing and Fascinating Facts About Women's Bodies
The human body is an amazing and complex thing. While there are similarities between males and females, it’s hard to ignore just how incredible the female body truly is.
Be it surviving injuries, overcoming obstacles, learning languages, growing a baby or accomplishing something else entirely, a woman's biology is there to support her in interesting ways. Check out these fascinating facts about female bodies that impact women physically, emotionally and mentally.
Women Have Stronger Immune Systems
Women often have stronger immune systems than their male counterparts. This fact may not be due to biology so much as it is their activities, though. Women tend to be exposed to more germs and pathogens than men are thanks to their roles as caregivers.
Women are often the ones caring for the kids, dropping them at daycare or helping with school room parties. This alone exposes them to all kinds of germs. Add to that the fact that they’re also often the ones to care for ailing parents, and the result is boosted immunity.
Women Tend to Experience More Pain
Some people assume that men experience more pain than women, but that's not actually the case for a number of reasons. Of course, there’s the pain associated with menstruation and the indescribable pain of childbirth. But there’s more behind this.
Women have more nerve receptors than men, so their bodies physically do feel more pain. Additionally, the hormones estrogen and progesterone can augment the pain. If that's not enough, women are more susceptible to several painful health conditions, such as fibromyalgia and headaches.
Women Have Higher Pain Thresholds
Women also have a higher tolerance for pain. Perhaps this is Mother Nature's way of showing mercy because women deal with more physical pain on a regular basis. Regardless, some scientists think that this tolerance comes from how easily a woman is able to forget previous pain that she experiences.
Many women somewhat forget the pain of labor when it’s over and they begin nurturing their babies. If they didn’t, there might not be as many mothers willing to go through the process a second time!
Women Distinguish Colors Better Than Men
Women and men have different strengths when it comes to sight. Men are able to track movement better than women and can see better at a distance. Women, on the other hand, are able to distinguish differences between colors better than men.
It’s possible that we evolved this way due to our roles in the past. Men, as hunters, needed to be able to track fast prey animals. Women needed to be able to determine which fruits, berries and other plants were safe to eat and which were poisonous.
Women Have Better Language Skills
For many decades, it has been said that women have better language skills than men do. Whether they’re writing research papers or picking up new languages, it seems to come easier for women than men. Why is this the case?
Women seem to show more activity in the areas of the brain that help with spelling, speech processing and understanding spoken words. It’s also possible that women think in more abstract terms and forms, making it easier for them to learn new things.
Women Speak More Than Men
People often joke that women talk more than men, but it really is true. Women speak around 20,000 words each day, while men only speak around 7,000. There happens to be an interesting biological reason for this.
Women have larger temporal and frontal areas in their brains. They also have higher levels of what’s known as the language protein FOXP2. This all adds up to women having more happening in their brains to influence and expand their language skills, making them more conversational and social.
Women Have Better Memories
Women often have a million things to remember on a daily basis. They’re writing to-do lists, signing field trip permission slips, planning dinner menus, hitting the gym, finessing work presentations, getting Grandma's birthday present and doing so much more.
Fortunately, women's brains are equipped to deal with all of this. When tested, women generally score higher on memory-skill tests than men do. Whether this is a quality they’re born with or it’s just conditioning due to their daily lives and the responsibilities society places on them, women's memory capacities are pretty incredible.
Women Have Better Chances of Surviving Traumatic Injuries
Studies show that severely injured women are 14% more likely to survive their injuries than men dealing with similar injuries. Oddly enough, this may be due to the hormones that each sex has more of, and the survival rate may differ based on age.
A study that Johns Hopkins conducted showed that women between the ages of 13 and 64 were more likely to survive than men. The study concluded by noting that the levels of hormones that women of these ages experienced helped their bodies fight their injuries. The men's hormones in this age range worsened the injuries.
Women Are More Resilient
In addition to surviving traumatic injuries more often than men, women are generally more resilient in most areas of life. Regardless of how progressive the world becomes, there are still many biases against women. Women often have to learn to overcome a lot in their lives.
Also, women tend to carry the brunt of almost every load a family deals with, especially the emotional load. With all of the responsibilities women have, it makes sense that they learn to adapt and overcome the situations they face.
Women Have Sensitive Skin
Did you know that a woman's skin is actually thinner than a man's by as much as 25%? This leads to women being much more sensitive to touch. This can be a positive or negative thing. On one hand, it means that women can enjoy textures of things more than men can.
On the other hand, this makes them more sensitive to pain. It also means that as women’s bodies lose collagen over the years, they often show more lines and wrinkles than men the same age.
Women Have More Muscle Endurance
Many people assume that men are built to endure more physically, but that may not be true. Estrogen in a woman's body makes her muscles more resistant to fatigue. In fact, it can make a woman’s muscles last 75% longer before getting too fatigued to continue when exercising.
Why would a woman's hormones let her keep going longer? Because women more often fill the caregiver role, this is possibly evolution’s way of giving them the strength they need. If women ran out of strength too quickly, it would be harder to care for others.
Women’s Muscles Have Greater Flexibility
Women’s bodies contort into yoga poses and other stretchy exercises well because their bodies are more flexible. For starters, their muscles and tendons have more elasticity. Women’s spines have adapted for their bodies to carry fetuses, so their lower backs are often more flexible, too.
Additionally, because a woman’s body can carry a baby and endure childbirth, her pelvic area has a greater range of motion. While men can work up to a great level of flexibility, many women have the advantage of not having to work as hard for it.
A Woman’s Cycle Lasts All Month
A woman’s menstrual cycle is just that: a cycle. It’s not just a period once a month. It has different phases during which a woman’s body prepares to ovulate, and different hormones tell her body what to do.
The changing hormones can also impact a woman’s body and mental health differently throughout each month. Every menstruating woman experiences her period differently, with some women having various uncomfortable symptoms and some having none at all.
Women Read Faces Easily
Women are often more empathetic than men and have the inclination to share their feelings more openly. In addition to that, because women have great memories, they log facial expressions and meanings into their memory banks. Over time, their brains make connections between those expressions and their meanings.
When they see someone make those expressions again, they know how that person is feeling. This is why they can often tell when someone is trying to lie to them. They’re not reading minds; they can easily discern the deception on a person's face.
A Woman’s Body Does Amazing Things for Pregnancy...
A woman's body really shows how amazing it can be if she’s pregnant. For approximately nine months, a pregnant woman’s body changes to carry a child and prepares to deal with around 400 pounds of pressure per square inch during birth.
Her uterus expands in size from a couple of inches to large enough to hold a watermelon. It would take a lot of space to tell all of the incredible things that happen, but suffice it to say, pregnancy is an incredible feat of evolution!
...And for Childbirth
Among other things, a woman's cervix has to spread enough to let the baby pass through during birth. You don’t need to be an expert to know that a newborn baby's head isn’t a tiny thing. Ten centimeters is considered fully dilated — meaning the cervical opening has expanded enough for the baby to be born — but babies are larger than that.
The cervix continues to dilate as the woman works to push the baby out. If you’ve never thanked your mom for giving birth to you, now is a really good time to do so.
Women Feel More Amorous in Summer
Although it sounds kind of like an old wives’ tale, some people believe men are more interested in sex in the summer and women are more interested during winter. That’s not the case, though; women are just as interested in intercourse in the summer as men are.
In both men and women, the warm sun shining in the summer energizes their bodies, so that’s one part of the equation. The other part is that summer scents have a way of turning a woman’s mind toward intimacy.
Women Have an Incredible Sense of Smell
Women tend to pick up on scents much easier than men. A woman’s sense of smell increases during certain stages of her menstrual cycle and during pregnancy, too. It’s also common that women find men attractive based on how they smell.
There have been many theories over the years as to why women have a stronger sense of smell. According to one study, women seem to have more brain cells in the olfactory bulb of the brain, which is the area responsible for smelling.
Some Women Are Born With Double the Organs
Did you know that some women are born with two uteruses? Some are also born with an extra cervix or an entire extra vagina. This is the result of abnormal fetal development.
The more incredible thing is that women with two of these organs can have multiple concurrent pregnancies by carrying a child in each uterus, or carrying a child in one while having a period in the other during the entire pregnancy. Some women with this condition also experience double periods.
Women Listen With Both Sides of Their Brains
Some people say that men only listen halfway, and it looks like they may be right. The Indiana University School of Medicine conducted functional MRIs on a group of men and women. The point was to measure the differences in the two sexes' brain activity when listening to someone read.
The results? Women listened with both the right and left sides of their brains, while men only showed activity on one side when listening. While there’s no clear reason for this that we know of yet, it may simply be due to women’s brains having larger language-processing centers.
Women Are More Rational
While we’re on the subject of differences in brains, it’s important to address rationale. Many people throughout history have suggested that women are more emotional and men are more rational. That’s been disproven.
According to both cognitive and general intelligence tests, women have a thicker brain cortex than men do, while men have higher brain volumes. That thicker cortex in women's brains means that they break ideas apart and think more rationally. Men are much more likely to react emotionally in situations — at least initially.
Most Women Have Two Different Breast Sizes
If you’re a woman, have you ever looked in the mirror, noticed that one breast is smaller than the other and wondered how that happened? This is normal for women. In fact, it’s almost abnormal for a woman to have perfectly symmetrical breasts.
There can be quite a few reasons this happens. First, the skin on one breast may have more or less elasticity than the other. Second, there may be a difference in the amount of breast tissue. It may also be that the supportive tissue is a different size or shape.
A Woman’s Uterus Is Super-elastic
A woman's uterus is actually quite small, averaging only a couple of inches in height and width. When a woman has her period, her uterus gets about 10% larger. By the end of a pregnancy, a woman’s uterus is the size of a watermelon.
All of this is pretty common knowledge. The other amazing feature of the uterus, though, is that it shrinks back down after childbirth. While it may take a little time, the uterus’ size decreases instead of staying stretched out. The elasticity of the uterus is amazing.
A Woman’s Body Works on Different Circadian Rhythms
If it’s common for women to have more responsibilities than men, then it’s easy to assume that a woman gets tired earlier than a man due to all she has to take care of. But there seems to be another reason. It turns out that women run on a different body clock than men do.
According to some research, a woman's body clock — or her circadian rhythm — runs about 1.7 to 2.3 hours ahead of a man's. This explains why women may want to go to bed earlier. However, their ability to handle it all is probably one reason why they need more sleep.
Women’s Hearts Beat Faster
Women have smaller hearts than men do. On average, a woman's heart is only about two-thirds the size of a man's heart. A woman's heart weighs around 120 grams, and a man's heart weighs about 180 grams. Because women typically have smaller frames than men, this makes sense.
Due to its smaller size, though, a woman's heart beats a little faster. A man's heart beats an average of 72 times per minute, while a woman's heart beats anywhere from 78 to 82 times per minute. This is also possibly due to hormones.
Women’s Eyes Blink More Often
Both men and women have estrogen in their bodies, but it plays a bigger role in women. It’s necessary for everything from puberty to pregnancy while strengthening bones and maintaining cholesterol levels. It also stimulates the production of natural lubricants for a woman’s eyes.
Because women have much higher levels of estrogen, it makes them blink more often than men. Men blink around 14 times each minute, while women blink about 15 times per minute. When on birth control with high estrogen, this number increases to 19.6 times per minute.
Women Have More Taste Buds
If you have both a man and a woman taste the same exact thing and ask them to describe what they taste, you might notice that the woman can describe it better. This has nothing to do with a woman's language abilities but everything to do with her mouth.
Women have more fungiform papillae, or taste "zones," in their mouths. Their tongues also have more taste buds. This means that a woman can usually discern more flavors than a man and describe the food in greater detail.
Women Tend to Live Longer
It's no secret that women tend to live longer than men, barring accidents and other outliers. There could be a number of reasons for this, some of which we’ve previously mentioned. Women seem to survive injuries and spring back from them more often than men.
Women also have stronger immune systems, so their bodies are better at fighting disease. Also, behavior-wise, women often make more of an effort to live healthier lifestyles than many men. Any or all of these reasons can lead to a longer life.
Bras Can Affect a Woman’s Breast Health
Whoever invented bras must not have foreseen the issues they could cause. Lack of comfort aside, bras can actually hurt women’s breasts. First, wearing a bra weakens the muscles that hold them up. This leads to more sagging.
It’s also possible that bras affect the lymph system and keep a woman’s body from eliminating toxins. Breasts were never meant to sit inside of a bra all day. Though many women may feel more comfortable wearing bras while in public, it’s a wise idea to limit the time spent wearing them.
Women Tend to Feel More Anxiety
Women get anxious more often than men. Though managing the responsibilities a woman has is more than enough to cause anxiety, this is more of a chemical thing. Women have more progesterone, estradiol and cortisol, which are hormones that can play a role in anxiety.
These aren’t really bad, though. They’re actually very helpful, especially for women. They help women stay more alert, increase their intuition and help make them aware of nearby danger. They’re ultimately a bigger assistance than they are a hindrance.