Saturday, 7 December 2013

Finally: Some Sanity re: Gendered Brain Wiring

Current Issue CoverA recent study regarding brain mapping and gender has resulted in the popular press making some outlandish claims about how men and women are "hard-wired" differently and the alleged implications of those "differences". Much commentary has followed, much of which boils down to reiterating or retaliting against gender stereotypes. I have tried to ignore these discussions since they seem to be fueled by the Daily Mail's or The Independent's interpretations of the results rather than the study itself. Newspapers are still typically thought of as an authoritative form of print-media, but don't be fooled: these reports are a commercially validated form of trolling.
If anyone is interested in the study, here are my suggestions: a) ignore the reports, b) read the study yourself and c) make up your own mind about its validity. For anyone who does not have access to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (which goes by the unfortunate sounding acronym PNAS), or who wants to skip these steps, Jarret's article in Wired will give you some sensible pointers so that you can "cheat sheet" your way through any time-wasting, stereotype-laden conversation you might find yourself bogged down in thanks to the study/the press's click-baiting.

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