Israel study busts myth of ‘male’ and ‘female’ brains


Men may be from Mars, but according to new research, they’re not there alone.

An Israeli study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined nearly 1,400 human brains – and failed to find consistent differences between the sexes.

Until now, research into how the brain is wired has focused on a single region and whether it is constructed differently according to gender. This new Israeli study has taken a different approach, looking at many regions at the same time to see if being ‘male’ or ‘female’ in one region was true across the other regions.

The study found that there was no correlation between regions, meaning that being good – or not so good – at one thing did not necessarily mean you had an overall ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain.

They concluded that you cannot a predict a person’s gender just by looking at their brain.

Daphna Joel, from the School of Psychological Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, said: “It is a very popular belief, even among scientists, that brains have a male and female form…even if there are differences, does it mean that brain comes in two forms?”

She continued: “What we have shown you cannot do is take someone’s sex and predict the form of brain. But as a society we treat males and females as if we can do that….it is much easier to look at the genitals.”

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