Source: The Mercury, 3 February, 1997, p.16
London MEN can forget any notions that they are mentally su- perior to women-research results published yesterday say women have better mem- orles. 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 said. 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 anniversaries." 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 men. "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 conclusions. "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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