A British study reveals that men have an 11 year lag behind women when it comes to maturing. According to the study, commissioned by Nickelodeon UK, the average man doesn’t reach full emotional maturity until age 43, while women mature by age 32.
“As a man, especially one who works for a children’s channel, the question if men ever reach maturity is one I am well accustomed to,” Tim Patterson, Nickelodeon’s programming director, said. The study confirmed the suspicions that men mature later than women. In fact, men were almost twice as likely to describe themselves as immature than women were, and one in four men believe they are actively immature. Three out of ten women ended a relationship because they lost patience with their man’s immaturity.
The male and female perceptions of themselves and each other were alarming. Eight out of ten women believe that men will “never stop being childish.” Women defined the childish acts that bother them most as, passing gas, burping, eating fast food in the last hours of the night, and playing videogames.
Women were twice as likely to experience the feeling that they were the grownup one in their current relationship. Forty-six percent of the female participants studied have had a relationship in which they felt they had to mother their male counterpart. Women claimed they actually had to tell their man to, “act his age” on an average of 14 times a year, more than once a month.
Despite divorce rates, how do couples manage to stay together at all, considering the staggeringly distant ages of maturity? According to the study, 40 percent of people said they thought immaturity was an important component in keeping relationships fun and fresh, and 33 percent said the immaturity helped when bonding with kids.
These findings can be re-affirmed with previous studies conducted on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the part of the brain just behind the forehead that is responsible for a lot of men’s shortcomings. The PFC has been referred to as the, “CEO of the brain” as well as the “mother.” This brain region controls cognitive analysis and abstract thought, as well as corrective behavior in social situations. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have made it possible for scientists to watch the rate at which the PFC matures, and have discovered the male brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25. Meanwhile, women experience a maturity rate of 21 years-old.
MRIs have revealed the brain has a developmental process that tends to occur from the back of the brain to the front, which explains why the prefrontal cortex develops last. With an immature PFC, even though the person can intellectualize dangerous situation or poor behavior, they may engage regardless. The slowness of a man’s brain maturation can explain the list of maturity failings, and their own recognition and admittance of those failings.
This article appeared in Medical Daily on line, Jun 11, 2013, By Samantha Olson. I shortened it slightly.
Samantha Olson is a writer-reader-runner cliché with a passion for nutrition and health management. Follow her on Twitter: @SnoWrite124
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