Blame it on His Small ACC

While reading The Male Brain by Louann Brizendine I learned something new. I learned about the anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC. The ACC is larger in women than it is in men.

  • The ACC is the “worry-wart” part of the brain.
  • The ACC plays a part in fear of punishment.
  • The ACC is the “center of sexual performance anxiety.”
  • In order to have an orgasm, several parts of the brain, including the ACC must be “turned off”.

Strengths and Weaknesses © Stuart Miles

Of course, the size of the ACC varies from person to person, so some men have a larger ACC than some women, but for the most part it is bigger in women. This gives men and women various differences that fit with common male/female stereotypes. Men as a whole are less given to obsessive worry, and are less afraid of being punished – which can lead to doing stupid things. Women usually have more sexual performance anxiety, and a more difficult time reaching climax.

My point here is not to excuse anyone for anything, but to show that men and women have different struggles – understanding that can help your marriage. For example – if you are a typical couple, you have a greater fear of punishment than your husband does. You might then think he is too unconcerned, while he may think you fear authority too much. If you each understand that God made you to be different in this area, it is easier to give some grace. Stop measuring against each other, and look instead at other men and women. If he is about as concerned with fear punishment as other men, accept it as part of how God intended men to be.

This also plays into the idea that “worry is sin”. God created women in such a way that they are more likely to worry than men are. This serves to protect children when they are young, but can limit and harm older children. Raising healthy children requires both her “motherly concern” and his “they need to toughen up”. The key is to understand that both are necessary and find a healthy balance.

~ Paul – I’m XY and my smaller ACC may have gotten me in trouble when I was younger…

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Image Credit: © Stuart Miles

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3 Comments on “Blame it on His Small ACC

  1. I had not heard that before….very interesting. My ACC must be on the larger side!

  2. Well…. This explains a lot about last night. I need to keep this in mind.

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