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Just In: Scans Show Brains Aren’t Male or Female

Study entitled 'Sex Beyond the Genitalia: The Human Brain Mosaic' shatters brain gender divide

Published on: December 07, 2015

Although I’ll continue to sing “I’m not a, not a boy” from Book of Love’s Boy, I’m pondering new research that says brains don’t necessarily fit into male or female categories.

“Our study demonstrates that, although there are sex/gender differences in the brain, human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories: male brain/female brain,” wrote the researchers in the study published Nov. 30 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Here we show that, although there are sex/gender differences in brain and behavior, humans and human 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.”

Psychologist Daphna Joel of Israel’s Tel-Aviv University, and her research team analyzed MRI scans of more than 1,400 people. “Across the sample, between 0 and 8 percent of people had “all-male” or “all-female” brains, depending on the definition,” writes Jessica Hamzelou in New Scientist.

The study results are important for brain researchers, people who study gender and those who may not identify with a specific gender. Lead researcher Joel spoke of the meaning behind the research in New Scientist: “We separate girls and boys, men and women all the time. It’s wrong, not just politically, but scientifically — everyone is different.”

This makes me nod in agreement. I love the song Boy because I longed be able allowed to do everything my brothers could do through the virtue of their maleness. If only I were a boy, I thought. Brain research that helps erase the lines between genders is music to my ears.

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