Hey, listen up. Hereís some important information.
Researchers have discovered that men and women
listen differently. Women listen with both sides of
their brains, while men listen with just the right sides
of their toes.
Well, not exactly. But the results would be the same.
Men listen with mostly the left sides of their brains,
according to a study by Dr. Joseph T. Lurito of
Indiana University School of Medicine.
A female friend tried to tell me about this study a
few weeks ago.
Friend: "Did you hear about the new study that
shows that men and women listen differently?"
Me: "Huh? Did you say something? I saw your lips
moving. You should know better than to speak to me
while Iím concentrating on something important, like
Friend (shouting): "I said that men and women listen
differently. We use both sides of our brains, you
use just your left sides."
Me: "Hey, your lips were moving again. Do you have
some kind of twitch? You had better get it checked
Friend (screaming): "I donít have a twitch, you idiot. I
said that men and women are different. We have a
full brain and you apparently have only half a brain.
Just ask Dr. Lurito."
Me: "A burrito? Yes, I would like a burrito. Iím
In the study, researchers measured the brain activity
of 20 men and 20 women while the participants
listened to taped excerpts from John Grishamís novel
"The Partner." The men used only the left side of
their brains and were apparently thinking of just one
thing: "I hope they arenít going to test me on this."
The women used both sides of their brains and were
apparently thinking of two things: "What a thrilling
novel" and "John Grisham is cute. I wonder if heís
The study provides a good excuse for men:
Wife: "I thought I told you to stop the car and ask
for directions. You keep driving in circles. Why
arenít you listening to me?"
Husband: "Iím sorry, honey, but I can listen with
only half my brain. Since youíve been speaking into
my right ear, your words keep fading before they
reach the left side of my brain."
Lurito says the study doesnít necessarily mean that
women are better listeners than men. Listening could
in fact be harder for them. Thatís why they need to
use both sides of their brains. But through personal
experience, I know that women are definitely better
listeners. For example, hereís a telephone conversation
between a female friend (let's call her Sandra) and I:
Sandra: "Hi Melvin. How are you?"
Me: "Great! Never felt better."
Sandra: "Are you sure? You donít sound too good.
Your tone of voice is one tenth of an octave lower
than usual. And your words are coming out three
percent slower. Something is obviously bothering you.
Would you like to talk about it? I'm willing to listen
Now hereís a conversation with a male friend (let's call
Ramesh: "Hi Melvin. How are you?"
Me: "OK, I guess, considering everything thatís
happened to me."
Ramesh: "Great! Did you catch the basketball game
last night? It was a thriller."
Me: "No, I was too busy picking up the pieces of my
Ramesh: "Man, you missed a great game. The Lakers
were awesome. Kobe was on fire. I told you to watch
the game. Why don't you ever listen?"