Monday, July 7, 2008

Brain Sex!


[Picture Courtesy of 3DScience.com]

Admit it, my post title got ya, didn't it? Anyhoo, Zwicky mentioned this series of articles at Slate.com: The Sex Difference Evangelists (posted July 1) by Amanda Schaffer and Emily Bazelon. The six part series takes a critical look at the claims about neurological sex-differences made primarily by two people:

1. Louann Brizendine, a psychiatrist at U.C.-San Francisco.
2. Canadian psychologist Susan Pinker.

I read the first two articles and I'm reasonably impressed with the reporting (something I rarely say about Slate). The authors are generally even-handed (though, it's not at all clear to me why the authors point out Pinker's Canadian nationality as if it meaningfully modifiers her profession).

Anyhoo, this quote stood out for me: "All told, what's striking about the evidence on language is not so much a profound gap between the sexes, but the large gaps in our understanding of the brain."

All psycholinguists repeat after me now:
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

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