If it wasn’t already obvious until 2015, scientists have finally reached the conclusion that there is no male or female specific brain.
A team of researchers from the Tel Aviv University, led by psychobiologist Daphna Joel have demonstrated that both male and female brains are an ‘unpredictable mishmash’ of features considered to be either femalelike or malelike. More than that, their findings show that there are more differences within the brains of the same sex than there are between the two sexes.
The study, published in the National Academy of Sciences’ journal Proceedings on November 30, argues that even in those regions of the brain previously considered to be different according to gender, consistency is more rare than variability.
Scientists claim their study demonstrates that even if there might be gender/sex differences in the structure of our brains, they do not follow a gender binary. Basically, there is no gender-specific brain.
It seems that even when looking only at those small groups of brain features showing the biggest sex/gender differences, each brain proves to be unique.
This is the first research to study sex differences in the whole brain. The researchers argue that if brains would be indeed sexually dimorphic, the brains of males and females should show obvious differences.
The researchers have analyzed about 1,400 MRI (magnetic resonance images) scans from previous studies of female and male brains, looking for those parts of the brains that have shown the greatest differences.
They found that only 6 percent of the studied brains were consistent as either female or male. At the same time, a similar analysis on the brains of more than 600 young persons, 18 to 26 years old, showed a consistency of only 2.4 percent and a variability of more than 52 percent.
Neuroscientist and author Lise Eliot says that anyone aware of the current data on sex differences among the brain of males and females know that there is no gender specific brain, just like there is no gender specific heart.
More factors can influence the development of our brains than our sex does. Prenatal and early-life stress, as well as environmental influences have a much larger influence on the way in which a brain develops than the sex of the individual.
All of these factors explain why the stereotypes on which society builds its expectations from individuals according to their gender, usually fail.
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