Penn Study: Men, Women Have Different Brains

Overwhelming response: Duh.

E! Science News reports on a Penn study showing that men and women’s brains are wired differently, giving fresh material to a million subpar “women be shoppin’” comics everywhere. But there’s real science involved.

 In one of the largest studies looking at the “connectomes” of the sexes, Ragini Verma, PhD, an associate professor in the department of Radiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and colleagues found greater neural connectivity from front to back and within one hemisphere in males, suggesting their brains are structured to facilitate connectivity between perception and coordinated action. In contrast, in females, the wiring goes between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition.

For instance, on average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group. They have a mentalistic approach, so to speak.

Interesting stuff. The big question is: How will this news be used as an excuse for sexists to be sexist? Because you know it will be.

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  • Dr. Janice Presser

    Given that, even as infants, males and females are treated differently, and also given neuroplasticity (the abiliity of the structures of the brain to adapt), the findings – which include “only a few gender differences in the connectivity in children younger
    than 13 years, but the differences were more pronounced in adolescents
    aged 14 to 17 years and young adults older than 17” – are a lot less surprising. Maybe it would have been better to spend the money figuring out how to get people to start treating kids as individuals, not genders.