Scientists who tried very hard to find differences between male and female brains say they can’t do it – not with brain scans and not even by asking seemingly obvious questions such as whether someone likes boxing or worries about his or her mother.
For many years, society has declared the structure of the human brain so different according to gender, we’ve even managed to convince ourselves that the male and female specimens derive from entirely different parts of the solar system.
In other words, the concept that ‘Men are from Mars’ and ‘Women are from Venus’, and little girls are made of ‘sugar and spice, etc.’ and boys of ‘snips and snails, etc.’ is wrong, a new study suggests.
Anywhere between 23 percent and 53 percent of the MRIs had at least one region with a “male-end” score and one region with a “female-end” score, they found. And at the most, 8 percent of the brain scans showed someone whose brain regions all scored “male” or “female”.
Some characteristics are more common in women while some are more common in men, and some are common in both men and women, according to the study.
Professor Joel adds that the idea of male or female behaviors may also be a myth. Science Mag says the group analyzed brain activity for stereotypical behaviors such as scrapbooking and playing video games. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
What we perceive as very different male and female types did not bear out when the scientists studied the anatomy of more than 1,400 brains.
Overall, the results demonstrate that “human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories” male and female, researchers have concluded.
The researchers compared scans of 1400 people aged between 13 and 85′s brains.
The results were then divided into “most male”, “most female”, a third in the middle or a third considered. Out of this number, only 10 areas showed the most distinction between men and women. “Even if there are differences, does it mean brains come in two different forms?”
Citation: “Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic“, Daphna Joel, Zohar Berman, Ido Tavor, Nadav Wexler, Olga Gaber, Yaniv Stein, Nisan Shefi, Jared Pool, Sebastian Urchs, Daniel S. Margulies, Franziskus Liem, f, Jürgen Hänggi, Lutz Jäncke, and Yaniv Assaf.
Next, the researchers examined the scans to see if there were unique features for each gender. As before, they found that consistently male or consistently female brains were rare, and brains with features related to both genders were common.
The group’s conducted their study at the Sagol Neuroscience Center.
Larry Cahil, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, who didn’t participate in the new study, said he agreed that brains contain varying mires of male and female anatomical traits. “There are not two types of the brain”.
There’s “a mountain of evidence proving the importance of sex influences at all levels of mammalian brain function”, he said.
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