Why do women talk more than men?

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  • It's all down to a 'language protein' in our brains

    Scientists have discovered that women talk more than men – and it’s all down to the levels of a ‘language protein’ in our brains.

    Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found a chemical called ‘Foxp2’ was responsible for the fact the average women speaks 20,000 words a day, 13,000 more than the average man.

    The protein plays an important part in language development and women have more of it in their brains.

    For the study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the scientists tested baby rats as in sex difference in Foxp2 levels is reversed in the animals.

    When separated from their mothers the young male rats made more noise and were retrieved first.

    But when the protein levels were raised in the female rats the mother reversed her behaviour, retrieving the females first.

    Cheryl Sisk, a scientist at Michigan State University, said: ‘At first glance, one might conclude that the findings in rats don’t generalise to humans, but the higher levels of Foxp2 expression are found in the more communicative sex in each species.’

    It is now thought these findings could lead to a better understanding of differences in the way the sexes acquire language.


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