Brain and Behavior of Men and Women

1885 Words8 Pages
If we were to examine a high school calculus classroom or the staff at an engineering program of a college or university, chances are that the male to female ratio would be significantly skewed. Why are women and men so different in their choices and behavior? The brunt of popular opinion focuses on the environmental cues that lead to our distinct behaviors. But is there also an innate biological basis to the choices and differing abilities between men and women? Cognitive functioning or brain processing differences in the two genders has been a point of interest and contention for many years. The purpose of this essay is to explore if neuroanatomical and genetic differences between males and females play a role in the development of "gender-specific" behaviors, perceived intellectual strengths and professional choices.

Equality regardless of gender or creed is an axiom that is crucial to our modern day society. And yet even in this 21st century, the number of women in certain "male dominated" professions, has remained fairly unchanged. Many social theorists believe that women are discouraged from such professions and that if they were given an unbiased, level playing field, that demand for these professions would be identical for both males and females. Mary Pipher, a psychotherapist for adolescent females writes, "With girls... their success is attributed to good luck or hard work and failure to lack of ability, with every failure, girls' confidence is eroded. All this works in subtle ways to stop girls from wanting to be astronauts and brain surgeons. Girls can't say why they ditch their dreams, they just 'mysteriously' lose interest" (10). Experiments have shown that women perform better when given tests that they...

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...nd environment play on sexual identity is uncertain.


1) Gender Identity Disorder by Anne Vitale

2) The Role of Estrogen in Sexual Differentiation by Elaine Bonleon de Castro

3) Gender Differences in Cognitive Functioning by Heidi Weiman

4) Sex on the Brain - Biological Differences between Genders by Deborah Blum

5) Cognitive Development

6) Gender-Related Heart Differences in Human Neonates by Emese Nagy

7) Boys will be Boys: Challenging theories on Gender Permanence by Josh Greenberg

8) Neural Masculization and Feminization by Mary Bartek

9) Thinking about Brain Size

10) Gender Issues - Excerpt from "Reviving Ophelia" by Mary Pipher

11) Women's Brains - More Effective?

12) Speech Processing in the Brain

13) The Nature Versus Nurture Debate

14) The Genetic-Gender Gap

15) Explanations of Criminal Behavior
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