Let's hear it for the girls! New research has found that women are more generous than men.


The study discovered that female and male brains react to selfish behaviours differently.


The researchers, from the University of Zurich, stated, “For women, pro-social behaviour triggers a stronger reward signal, while male reward systems respond more strongly to selfish behaviour.”


If a woman carries out a positive act or an act of kindness, their brain registers it a reward. However, they found that men’s reward system is heavily influenced by more selfish behaviours.


The striatum, which administers dopamine, is the brain’s reward system. This system has a substantial impact on our actions.


It is understood that the reward system influences our actions, especially when it comes to things that make us feel good.



The experts analysed the behaviours of both men and women, and found that there was a drastic difference between both of their reward systems.


The study revealed, “Behavioural experiments have shown that women share a sum of money more generously than men.”


This experiment helped the researchers to find out more about the brains of men and women.


The team asked 56 men and women to take part in several different activities, where they were asked to make “pro-social” decisions. The decisions the participants were asked to make, were focused on money.


When we have to make a decision, our striatum activates, controlling our choice. The team stated that men reacted in a more selfish way than women did during their experiments.



They shared, “The striatum was more strongly activated in female brains during pro-social decisions than during selfish decisions.”


Men who were participating in the study were less generous than the women who took part, “By contrast, selfish decisions led to a stronger activation of the reward system in male brains.”


Lead researcher Alexander Soutschek spoke about the results, “Studies show that girls are rewarded with praise for pro-social behaviour, implying that their reward systems learn to expect a reward for helping behaviour instead of selfish behaviour.”


The head author believes that the results are influenced by people’s roles in society, “[The results] could best be attributed to the different cultural expectations placed on men and women.”


He explained that our reward system and learning system share a strong link, however, he concluded by saying that they will need to conduct further studies, “Future studies need to take into account gender differences more seriously.”