Monday 5 December 2016

Men are from Mars...and so are women - the difference between sexes isn't so stark after all

Published 27/12/2015 | 13:08

Men and women aren't so different after all.

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Contrary to popular opinion, men and women have both male and female aspects of the brain, with a minority having an 'all male' brain or an 'all female' brain.

A new study by Israeli researcher Daphna Joel scanned 1,400 men and women's brains and identified the areas that differed most and what characteristics were shared.

The research showed that few participants showed 'all male' or 'all female' brains, showing that "human brains cannot be categorised into two distinct classes - male and female brain."

Joel, a professor at the School of Psychological Sciences at Tel Aviv University explained: "There was extensive overlap for all brain regions and connections assessed, irrespective of the type of sample, measure or analysis.

"This extensive overlap undermines any attempt to distinguish between a 'male' and 'female' form for specific brain structures. Rather, the forms are evident in most females are also evident in most males."

Joel added that stereotypical gender roles and ways of thinking are largely enforced in schools and at home. "This is built on the assumption that boys and girls are two different classes of people. We show this is not true. People come in many, many different forms and are equally likely in males and females."

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