Study Dispels Myth of “Male” and “Female” Brain

A new study dispels the idea that men and women have different brains.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that specific parts of the brain in men and women are built differently, but the overall structure remains the same.

Tel Aviv University psychobiologist Daphna Joel and her colleagues conducted the research. According to Joel, the idea that male brains are different from female brains is based on a theory that testosterone “masculinities the brain,” reports the Independent.

The team sifted through 1,400 magnetic resonance images or MRI scans obtained from other research on the subject. In one part of the study, brain scans from 169 men and 112 women were analyzed. Joel and her colleagues identified certain features in the brain that were “malelike” or “femalelike”. The team, however, found no evidence of dimorphism in human brains, meaning that males and females do not exhibit differences in the brain based on gender.

The team also looked at the MRI scans of 600 brains of men and women aged between 18 and 26 years. Researchers found that each brain has a unique pattern of features, not based on gender, reports Livescience.

“Our study demonstrates that although there are sex/gender differences in brain structure, brains do not fall into two classes, one typical of males and the other typical of females, nor are they aligned along a ‘male brain–female brain’ continuum,” the study researchers wrote today (Nov. 30) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Rather, even when considering only the small group of brain features that show the largest sex/gender differences, each brain is a unique mosaic of features, some of which may be more common in females compared with males, others may be more common in males compared with females, and still others may be common in both females and males,” the authors added.

Share this: