A first-of-its-kind study suggests that gender disparity causes stress in women’s brains.
Researchers from more than 70 institutions discovered that the outer thickness of the right region of women’s brains was thinner than men’s in countries with higher levels of gender inequality, but there was no significant difference in countries with lower levels of gender equality.
The study, which looked at over 7,800 MRI images from people in 29 countries, discovered that the affected areas of the brain are particularly associated with stress and emotions.
“Our analysis suggests that some sex differences in brain structure are associated with the adverse social environment in which many women live,” said Dr Nicolas Crossley, the main author and visiting professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Oxford.
“These changes were found in brain regions involved in emotion control, which are also affected in stress-related disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.”