Do Males And Females Listen Differently?

One common complaint among women is their male spouses or partners don’t listen to them. Men might just be guilty of this, but it isn’t necessarily their fault. Thanks to science, there are now new revelations on the differences of a man and woman’s listening ability.

It’s not that men don’t really pay attention to what you say, but rather the thought process of a man when perceiving sound, is different than a female’s.

Differences In Listening Style

These two genders have different methods of listening. Men are more keen to listening to essential information needed to complete a certain task at hand, leaving out unnecessary details. If you’re a woman reading this, this might be why your husband overlooks a few minute details you tell him.

Women, on the other hand, are more emotionally-oriented when listening to a conversation. They are much more involved with the sentiment being displayed in a dialogue rather than the crucial facts.

The Science Behind It

When we hear something, what happens is our auditory system captures the sound and delivers it to the brain where it will be deciphered and interpreted. Our brain is a vital element of the whole process, and it has 2 tissues called gray matter and white matter.

Gray matter is believed to be in charge of processing data that’s delivered to the brain, while white matter is what links sections of gray matter together. It is the “highway” where information travels and is being exchanged.

A study found that there are differences in the amount of gray and white matter between both sexes. Males were reported to have six times more gray matter than that of their counterparts, and females had ten times more white matter. This fact merits women to be have an upperhand in communication skills.

Despite these differences, there seems to be no gap between a man and woman’s cognitive ability during a conversation. Women may have an advantage in absorbing a conversation, but both genders are equally capable in comprehending information that has already been absorbed.

Two Sides Of The Brain

A research done by the Indiana University School of Medicine sheds more light on this. Male and female subjects were made to listen to the same excerpt that was being dictated out loud. Most of the female participants revealed signs of activity on both sides temporal lobe. However, the activity on their counterparts was restricted to the left side of the temporal lobe, which is responsible for listening and speech. The right side is said to be in command of non-language auditory functions.


The ability of a woman to utilize both sides of the brain while using her auditory functions, might just hold the key to why they listen a lot better but this is hasn’t been proven yet. Further investigations have to be made for us to unravel the mysteries of the brain and how it differentiates between the two genders, especially in the aspect of listening.

To improve your relationships, protect your hearing. Have it checked by a specialist at Beltone DFW. Schedule an appointment by calling (888) 958-8432.