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seventy-eight adult male brains, the maximum weighed sixty-five ounces; while of one hundred and ninety-one adult female brains, the maximum was only fifty-six ounces- a difference of nine ounces, or nearly double the average.
The female brain, however, is not only smaller than that of man, but it is different in structure, and this fact involves much more as regards the character of the mental faculties than does the element of size. Thus, accurate measurements show that the anterior portion of the brain comprising the frontal lobes, in which the highest intellectual faculties reside, is much more developed in man than in woman, and this not only as regards its size, but its convolutions also. Taking 100 as representing the entire length of the brain, the frontal development in man will be expressed by the figures 43.9, while in woman it will be indicated by the figures 31.3. Now, the part of the brain which is especially concerned in the evolution of mind is the gray matter constituting the cortex, and this is increased or diminished in accordance with the number and complexity of the convolutions. The frontal lobes contain a greater amount of gray cortical matter than any other part of the brain, and they are, as we have seen, larger in man than in woman.
Again, it is only necessary to compare an average male with an average female brain to perceive at once how numerous and striking are the differences existing between them. Not only is the former longer, but its vertical and transverse diameters are greater proportionally than those of the latter, and hence the shape is quite different. Moreover, its convolutions are more intricate, the sulci are deeper, the secondary fissures more numerous, and there is some reason for believing-though the observations on this point are not perhaps sufficiently numerous to warrant the positive assertion that the gray matter of corresponding parts of the brain in the two sexes is decidedly thicker in man than it is in woman. It is quite certain, as the observations of the writer show, that the specific gravity of both the white and the gray substances of the brain is greater in man than it is in woman.
It is not necessary, therefore, in order to the advancement of the view to be presented in this connection, that we should insist upon the fact that as man has more brain than woman he must possess more mind. The question we design to submit is not so much one of quantity as it is of quality. The brain of woman is, as we have seen, different from that of man, and difference of structure necessarily involves difference of function. Doubtless, it is perfectly adapted to the proper status of woman in the established plan of nature, and for that very reason it is not suited to the work which is required of man's brain. It is a brain from which emotion rather than intellect is evolved, and this circumstance, while it constitutes one of the strongest factors among those which are concerned in the preservation and happiness of the human species, is, at the same time, one which thoroughly disqualifies her in whom it is manifested for those sterner duties which must be performed through the exercise of the intellectual faculties. The best wife, the best mother, the best sister, would inevitably make the worst legislator, the worst judge, the worst commander of a man-of-war.
To this great preponderance of the emotional over the intellectual nature is due the fact that very few women are capable of an intense degree of abstract thought, no matter how much education they may have received. The female brain, besides being an emotional, is, like that of the quadrumana, an imitative brain. It is not capable of originating, though it copies well. No great idea, no great invention, no great discovery in science or art, no great poetical, dramatic or musical composition, has ever yet emanated from a woman's brain. There have been two or three second-rate female painters, and perhaps one firstrate female novelist,- and when that is said, all is said. Who however, will venture to say that the brain which evolves a mother's love, a wife's fidelity and self-abnegation, a sister's devotion, a woman's gentleness, forbearance, and constancy, is not a better brain than the one that prompts to the making, executing, and interpreting of laws, to arctic voyages, to the discovery of electric telegraphs, or to the building of wonderful suspension bridges ?
As woman cannot reason abstractly, neither can she reason exactly. She does not, in fact, while having an abhorrence of falsehood, understand the necessity for being exact in the ordinary affairs of every-day life. She tells her physician, for instance, that she “has eaten nothing for a month," and if pressed as to whether she means what she says, replies that really she “eats nothing at all," and if still further pressed and requested to consider for a moment the meaning of the words she uses, answers, with entire unconsciousness that there is any difference in the two statements, that she may “take a roll and an egg and a cup of coffee for breakfast, and an infinitesimal piece of chicken and a modicum of pie for her dinner," but that she does not call that anything." On account of her inability to be exact in regard to her age, the diseases she may have had, her mode of life, and other matters in which exactness is required, life insurance companies decline to issue policies to her. For the like reason, many corporations which loan money will not lend to women, though the security be as good as gold itself.
It is owing to this difficulty of being exact that the female mind experiences overwhelming obstacles in the study of mathematics. It is not a matter for surprise that the schoolgirl, under the idea that she must pursue the same course of study which experience has shown to be most advantageous for boys, suffers with headache and other symptoms of disordered cerebral action when she ventures into the domain of spherical trigonometry and the differential calculus. The attempt to convert a woman into a mathematician is generally very much like trying to make a hare drink brandy and soda. You may, it is true, sometimes succeed, but then you find not only that the animal has acquired a useless accomplishment, but that the qualities characteristic of a hare have disappeared. It is made very uncomfortable, and for all leporine uses it is irretrievably ruined. The example of Mrs. Somerville, the one mathematical woman of the age, will doubtless, occur to some persons as an instance in opposition to this view. But an occasional exception is to be looked for, and does not invalidate the correctness of the opinion expressed. Besides, this lady is chiefly remarkable for the fact that she was a woman. She made an abridgment of Laplace's “Mécanique Céleste," and wrote two or three excellent works on the physical sciences, all very creditable productions, but scarcely sufficient, had she been a man, to cause her name to be very widely known. As one of the most friendly of her biographers says, she never reached the grade of original observation or ideation.
A strong point in the mentality of woman consists in her intuitions, which, other things being equal, are perhaps more apt to be right than wrong. She will often "jump" at a correct conclusion with a wonderful degree of promptness and accuracy, which reason would reach with slowness and difficulty, if at all. There is nothing of intellectuality about the process, so far as we can perceive. If asked for her reasons, she has either none to give, or those she alleges are altogether irrelevant or insufficient. She is in this respect like the East Indian judge, of whom it was said that his decisions on points of law and equity always commanded respect till he gave his reasons for them, and that then they appeared to be ridiculous.
But whether the results of unexplainable mental vision, unconscious cerebration or of some other mysterious psychical process, intuitions often stand a woman in good stead, and are not to be recklessly disregarded by those for whose benefit they are evolved. Valuable as they are, however, in the absence of any better guides, it would scarcely do for the governor of a State to trust to them in the performance of his official acts, the judge on the bench to rely on them in questions of law, or the mathematician to wait for them to appear when engaged in solving a difficult problem.
But there is a peculiar neurotic condition called the hysterical which is ingrafted on the organization of woman, which, so long as it does not pass certain limits, is a normal feature of her being, and which is met with in a greater or less degree in all females of the human species. It is the result of the advanced development of the emotional part of her nervous system, and has existed, at least, since the earliest historical period with women of all nations, of all degrees of civilization and of all varieties of physical and mental traits. It is the cause of all the most charming features of woman's character and disposition, so long as it does not acquire an undue preëminence. But as it is at any moment, and often from slight causes, liable to burst out into unexpected and uncontrollable paroxysms in which all the mental and physical faculties are perverted from their normal course of action and thrown into a condition of the most astounding turbulence, its possession entirely unfits her for emergencies or difficult situations in general. In every woman there is, therefore, a potentiality for irregular, illogical, incongruous, and altogether inharmonious conduct under circumstances which require the utmost degree of presence of mind and discretion. She is in this respect not unlike a package of dynamite, perfectly harmless till some one disturbs the equilibrium of its particles, but then a power, the precise limit of which it is impossible to predict with accuracy.
At all times disposed to judge rather as she feels than as she thinks,- if she thinks at all on the subject at issue,—she is entirely wanting in that type of mental organization known as the "judicial mind." Abstract justice in a case in which her emotions are involved is an impossibility with her, and however much this peculiarity may dispose those whom she loves, and who profit by it, to condone its exercise, it is one which those who are obnoxious or indifferent to her may well regard with fear and trembling. Her likes and dislikes are paramount with her; the question of right or wrong is a secondary consideration. She will sacrifice her own happiness, her life, and all considerations of duty to others and the public at large for some man whom she loves, and punish with merciless severity those who, though innocent of crime, have desecrated her ideals or have otherwise rendered themselves unpleasant to her. And it is also a notable fact that, in matters submitted to her judgment, in which she may originally have had no personal interest, and which, therefore, she would a priori be capable of deciding with impartiality, she becomes biased through some trifling act of kindness or courtesy shown her-a look, a tear will sometimes be sufficient - by one of the parties, and pronounces an opinion at which Justice starts back in dismay. It would not be at all outside of the potentialities for a female judge upon the bench to do all in her power to favor the plausible, handsome, gentlemanly rogue who tenderly cared for his sick mother and lame sister, though evidence as impregnable as Gibraltar showed him to have committed a crime; while the dirty, drunken blackguard and ruffian who cruelly beat his children would go to prison, if she could send him there, for an offense which irrefragable testimony might prove that he could not possibly have committed. Shakespeare, in his portrayal of the character of Portia, shows that he was thoroughly acquainted with the hysterical element as a factor in the mental organization of women.
The conferring of the franchise upon woman ought, in common justice, to carry with it the right to hold any office for which she might have the privilege of voting. Her sex ought, in such an event, to be no bar to her being a governor, a chief justice, or any other functionary named to office by the people or other appointing power. It is to be hoped, however, that matters will not reach a more advanced point than that to which they have already attained. Nothing could be more