Source: The Mercury, 3 February, 1997, p.16

Women leave men thinking

MEN can forget any notions 
that they are mentally su- 
perior to women-research 
results published yesterday 
say women have better mem- 
The biggest study of mem- 
ory differences between men 
and women ever done in Brit- 
ain shows that even pregnant 
women who are said to suffer 
from "shrinking" brains are 
less forgetful than most men, 
the Sunday Times newspaper 
Science reporter Steve 
Connor said: "It confirms 
what women have long sus- 
pected-that men struggle to 
remember the simplest de- 
tails, let alone birthdays or 
Men may have bigger brains 
than women but this does not 
necessarily translate into be- 
ing able to remember where 
their socks are. 
The research shows male 
memories begin to deteriorate 
after about the age of 20 
whereas women keep their 
sharper memories well into 
middle age. 
Nearly 4000 people took 
part in the study which in- 
volved a hidden memory test 
buried within questions about 
health and lifestyle. 
The newspaper quoted Dr 
Joyce Whittington, a senior 
researcher at Cambridge Uni- 
versity, who helped analyse 
the results, as saying "The 
women who were not preg- 
nant scored higher than the 
"And the women who were 
pregnant were still higher 
than the men." 
The Cambridge study is 
said to contradict recent re- 
search which found that the 
brains of pregnant women 
shrink in size and can take up 
to six months to recover fol- 
lowing childbirth. 
This was blamed for alleg- 
edly poor memory and depres- 
sion suffered by some preg- 
nant women. 
But the Sunday Times said 
that the Cambridge study of 
memory runs counter to those 
"Overall, women who be- 
came pregnant during the 
course of the survey showed 
no noticeable deterioration in 
their memories," it said.

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