Our brains aren’t actually ‘male’ or ‘female’ at all, study finds

Our brains aren’t actually ‘male’ or ‘female’ at all, study finds
Not so simple (Picture Getty)

Our brains are not actually ‘male’ or ‘female’ at all, a new study has shown – a result which has been hailed as supporting the view that gender is non-binary.

Scientists had long thought that human brains had distinctively ‘male’ or ‘female’ features – but in reality, most are a ‘mosaic’ of both.

Daphna Joel of Tel Aviv University said, ‘The idea that people have either a “female” or “male” brain is an old one.

‘The theory goes that once a fetus develops testicles, they secrete testosterone which masculinises the brain. If that were true, there would be two types of brain.’

But Joel and her colleagues found the truth was quite different, in a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

By analysing MRI scans of 1,400 people, they found that most people have ‘mash-ups’ of features generally considered to be ‘male’ or ‘female’.

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The researchers wrote, ‘‘Brains with features that are consistently at one end of the “maleness-femaleness” continuum are rare.

‘Rather, most brains are comprised of unique “mosaics” of features, some more common in females compared with males, some more common in males compared with females, and some common in both females and males.’

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1 December 2015 | 6:19 pm – Source: metro.co.uk


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