Men's and women's brains are the same, says scientist

A neuroscientist declares that there is no scientific basis for myths such as women's alleged inability to read maps and men's alleged inability to care.

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Their brains are the same. SemperLOL/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Whenever men and women are in conflict, the dialogue appears to have been written in English by three drunks of varying nationalities, none of whom speaks the others' languages.

The conclusion reached by many over the tortured course of history is that the two sexes have fundamentally different makeups. This includes their brains.

A neuroscientist has stepped forward to remind everyone that men and women have the same brains. They just use them differently on occasion.

Professor Gina Rippon of Aston University in Birmingham -- the home town that forged my brain from scrap metal -- explained that you can't slap a brain down in a lab and immediately recognize it as being male or female.

As the Telegraph reported on Saturday, Rippon believes that science shows that "any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology."

If society expects men to be witless dolts, always ready with a crude joke and ten beers in their stomachs, that's only because they're reacting to society's expectations. In realizing these expectations, they simply exercise the part of their brains that will achieve what is required.

Naturally, this wasn't one of Rippon's examples. She preferred to speak of how women are expected to multitask. She said that a woman's brain becomes wired to multitask, merely because that is what her environment expects of her, according to The Telegraph.

She explained: "What often isn't picked up on is how plastic and permeable the brain is. It is changing throughout out lifetime."

I must confess to feeling sympathy with this argument. Ever since I've lived in the Bay Area, I've found my brain forcing me to eat kale and utter phrases like "this is a challenging situation," rather than "we're in deep s***."

Rippon pointed to the way that toys dictate to boys and girls how their brains ought to function.

"Often boys toys are much more training-based, whereas girls toys are more nurturing," she told The Telegraph. "It's sending out an early message about what is expected in a child's future."

At some point, however, we must hope that our brains are strong enough to stage a rebellion. As we're threatened by ever-greater levels of self-loathing, we have to talk to our brains and say: "Hey, stuff your rules. I'm a man and I'm going to clean the house while listening to Celine Dion."

At heart, the human brain is responsible for so much that's wrong with the world. We have to remind it that it works for us. It has to go along with what we want to be, not what society tells it we want to be.

If it doesn't comply, we'll tell it that Google is working on an implant that will make it redundant. That should scare it.

 

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