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This New Study on the Female Brain is a Must-Read

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90% of studies on stress have been on males; however, a new UCLA study by 2 female scientists explored stress on the effects of the female brain – the findings are shocking yet… reaffirming. Past studies confirm that stress triggers bad hormones in the brain that provoke fight or flight mode. Good hormones, like oxytocin, are also released to help fight the bad. However, the new study reveals that stress prompts a much higher release of oxytocin in women (often called the “love” hormone). The result? This actually mitigates the fight or flight response, and creates an instinct to go toward children and gather other women instead of fleeing. Through the act of taking care of others, even more oxytocin is released, helping to fight the stress hormones in the body. While testosterone counteracts the smaller amount of oxytocin in the male hormonal reaction, estrogen sets the stage to welcome the love hormone in.

How this study started is also noteworthy – the scientists discussed how as women, when they were stressed in the lab, they collected together to bond over coffee, while the male scientists disappeared. It’s no wonder we always look out for everyone! And for one another. This also supports other studies proving that strong female friendships actually make people feel more empowered, optimistic and healthy. In fact, as a Harvard study revealed, social bonds for men and women actually reduce our risk of disease and cancer. The absence of those bonds can be as detrimental as smoking.

Many speculate that the instinctual bond between women started way back. Ancestrally, women often left their family or community to live with another and it was with new, non-blood related women they formed inter-dependent bonds, creating the pathway for the emotionally intimate, empathetic sisterhoods we get to be a part of today. This makes us evolutionarily drawn to the micro-communities we build with each other.

And this beautiful bond doesn’t just support our health. In sharing his findings with Harvard Business Review, researcher Dr. Brian Uzzi reveals that women who have a strong inner circle of at least 1-3 female friends are more likely to get executive positions and 2.5% higher pay than those who don’t. Amazing right? Uzzi explains that the other side is also true. “While women who had networks that most resembled those of successful men (i.e., centrality but no female inner circle) placed into leadership positions that were among the lowest in authority and pay.”

The point is as women, we NEED each other. We NEED community. For our health, our happiness and success. That is why the Theatre of Public Speaking is so adamant about the love for our Women’s Public Speaking Program and the community we’ve created.

We are in such an exciting time for women, and for science! Because this level of extensive study on the female brain is new, who knows what else is left to discover as research continues. Stay tuned to find out.

Our Spring Women’s Public Speaking Cohort is open for registration! Sign up or book a clarity call with us now to learn more.


Much Love,

Misty Megia
Hi, I'm Misty Megia!

I’m a Creative Director for high-achieving leaders who want to unmute themselves to give presentations that move people profoundly through my Corporate Speaking Program and my Theatre of Public Speaking Program.

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