Two recent studies said that the cliché that men are from Mars and women are from Venus is false.
One scientific study published in the October, 2015 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said that there is no sharp division between the brains of men and women.
Daphna Joel, a psychology professor who led the study at Tel-Aviv University, analyzed the brain scans of more than 1400 men and women.
Joel said, "What we show is that there are multiple ways to be male and female, there is not one way, and most of these ways are completely overlapping. We show there are differences, but brains do not come in male and female forms. The differences you see are differences between averages. Each one of us is a unique mosaic."
Researchers viewed MRI scans to analyze brain characteristics. They compared the amount of grey and white matter and their strength to connections in the brain.
Joel’s analysis looked at the sizes of different brain parts. Also, researchers focused on the parts of the brain which showed the greatest differences with the least overlap between women and men.
Some of the brain’s regions showed an overlap between the sexes. In addition, some features are more common in one sex, but some features are common in both men and women.
Heidi Johansen-Berg, professor of cognitive neuroscience atthe University of Oxford said "We are all a mixture."
Joel hopes that the study will prompt people to think beyond a person’s sex. She said, "We have to treat each person according to what he or she is and not according to the form of their genitals."
The Huffington Post said another study from the University of Rochester determined that "men and women don't have such distinct psychological characteristics after all."
The researchers determined that "characteristics that we traditionally associate with one sex or the other actually exist on a continuum."
Harry Reis, a professor of psychology at University of Rochester, and Bobbi Carothers, senior data analyst for the Center for Public Health System Science at Washington University in St. Louis, reevaluated data from over 13,000 individuals. The data was a reanalysis of 13 previous studies. The studies featured significant social differences between men and women.
Reis and Carothers wrote, "there are not two distinct genders, but instead there are linear gradations of variables associated with sex, such as masculinity or intimacy, all of which are continuous."
Sample, Ian. "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus? New Brain Study Says Not." The Guardian, 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.
Gray, Emma. "Men And Women's Differences Aren't Actually Distinct, Confirms Study." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 2 June 2013. Web. 21 Dec. 2015.
Reviewed December 22, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith