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July 21, 1997


By Rick Smith

That's what
I always thought

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I just read a report first printed in the Toronto Star May 24 that says
men's brains produce more of a chemical called serotonin than do women's
brains. According to the report, Montreal researchers think the lower
level of serotonin found in women's brains accounts for the fact that
women are more often depressed and suffer more eating disorders than men.

I don't know about you but I think it's interesting that researchers
found proof that explains why women are depressed more often than men.

According to Mirko Diksic, a professor in McGill University's
department of neurology and neurosurgery, the finding has important
implications in explaining different patterns of psychiatric illnesses
in men and women. Women suffer from depression three time more often
than men and eating disorders 10 times more, the report said.

The study, which examined seven men and seven women, appeared in the
U.S. journal Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences.
Apparently, this brain chemical affects many functions of the brain
including moods, appetite, sleep, aggressive behavior and sex drive.

Researchers involved in the study concluded that men's ability to
produce serotonin in large amounts might be an advantage in high-stress
situations where extra serotonin is needed. The lower level of serotonin
in the brains of women leaves them more vulnerable to depression under
high-stress situations.

While I don't believe that those findings mean that all men are more
capable than every woman, I do think it is further proof that the brains
of men and women operate differently. Those differences result in
differences in performance between men and women.

Other differences between the two genders include physical
characteristics such as muscle strength. In general, men tend to be
physically stronger than women. However, if you ever watched American
Gladiators or female body building contests you may have come to the
correct conclusion that some women can become stronger than the average

The point is, there are differences in men and women that result in
variations in physical and mental performance in certain situations.

These differences are not excuses to treat men and women unequally.
Both should be given a fair shake in any situation and rewarded equally
for performance. But the fact that there are proven differences should
remove any stigma from thinking or saying that such differences exist.

Such differences will make a difference in how a man or woman performs.
But, just as a woman with the right genetics who works hard enough can
become stronger than most men, individual strengths and weaknesses can
blur the general strengths and weaknesses of a sex.

Most men suspect that women get unhappier more often than men. Now
scientists have, at least tentatively, proven why that happens.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Rick Smith is an Enterprise writer and city editor whose column appears each Monday.


Joe Camel valuable as reformed smoker

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R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. euthanized Joe Camel last week after the
embattled cartoon pitchman became such a liability that he had to be

The anthropomorphic dromedary had become a high-profile focus of
tobacco critics who argued that Joe Camel's cool appeal was aimed at
peddling cigarettes to kids, and they had the statistics to prove it.

The move was widely interpreted as a conciliatory gesture aimed at
winning approval of the giant settlement by Congress and President
Clinton. Although smoking cigarettes is a filthy habit, dangerous to the
lungs and heart and offensive to the nostrils, it would be an error not
to employ Joe Camel's amazing powers of persuasion for good.

If Joe Camel is as irresistible a tobacco salesman as the Federal Trade
Commission insists, why not bring him back to life and recast him as a
spokesman for an anti-smoking campaign aimed at youth? There is no more
zealous or convincing preacher than a reformed sinner. Give Joe another
chance. It's the American Way. -- San Francisco Chronicle


Oklahoma reader likes Enterprise online

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Dear Editor:

Thanks for posting your nice paper on the internet. Keep up the good

-- Ben Meek, III
Oklahoma City

Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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