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Male and Female Brains? Nope, Researchers Say They're Not Gender-Specific

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By    |   Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 01:58 PM

Male and female brains are not as distinct from one another as once commonly thought, according to a new study released on Monday.

The research, which was published in the Nov. 30 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined more than 1,400 MRI scans. The results seemed to indicate that most brains are a mix of traits deemed to be “masculine” and “feminine,” and thus cannot be lumped into neat categories.

“[B]rains with features that are consistently at one end of the ‘maleness-femaleness’ continuum are rare," the study authors wrote, according to The Washington Post. “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.”

While the researchers analyzed the results from the MRI scans, they paid specific attention to the brains’ more anatomical characteristics as a whole, rather than to individual structures.

“Over the decades, scientists have already learned that most features of the brain and mind between male and female animals, including humans, are not categorically distinct,” Dr. Meng-Chuan Lai, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto, told the Chicago Tribune, remarking that the study’s results are akin to body height in humans. “On average, males are taller, but there are many female individuals who are taller than male individuals . . . This paper strengthens this common scientific view.”

This new study has added more fuel to the current discussions debating “maleness,” “femaleness,” and the issue of gender identity as whole. Despite these apparent mixtures of “male” and “female” traits within individual brains, physiology and gender still profoundly influence the ways that humans function and interact with one another.

“There's a mountain of evidence proving the importance of sex influences at all levels of mammalian brain function,” said Dr. Larry Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, the Daily Mail reported.

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Male and female brains are not as distinct from one another as once commonly thought, according to a new study released on Monday.
male, female, brain, gender, specific, unisex
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2015-58-01
Tuesday, 01 Dec 2015 01:58 PM
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