Re: Gender differences

J. Moore (
Wed, 24 May 95 09:57:00 -0500

Ge> In article <3poamv$>
Ge> (Mary Beth Williams) writes:
Ge> >In <3pm6c7$> (Bryant) writes:

Ge> >>I think Gerald meant only that sexual dimorphisms in the nervous
Ge> >system
Ge> >>were "proven" (and, indeed, such dimorphisms are well documented).

Ge> >Hmmm... I re-read this and it still sounds to me like one presenting a
Ge> >yet undetermined hypothesis as generally accepted. *Clear differences
Ge> >were shown between male and female cognitive processes* sounds rather
Ge> >positivist, wouldn't you agree?

Ge> Yes, I was under the impression that actual cognitive differences
Ge> between male and female had been demonstrated. The physical dimorphism
Ge> of the brain, as bryant mentioned, is well documented, and apparently
Ge> less controversial. But I was talking about cognitive differences.

Ge> The results that I saw reported the results of very basic cognitive
Ge> functions, and showed differences as large as .6sigma or so. I forget
Ge> the name of the researchers; what exactly is the nature of the
Ge> controversy? Is it a question of the experimental methodology, or just
Ge> some people who don't like the results, and then refuse to accept them?

Ge> Unfortunately, the latter seems quite likely, given the knee-jerk
Ge> hysteria which we've witnessed here in response to any findings relating
Ge> to innate, hereditary aspects of human capability.
Ge> =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf

I certainly see a lot of knee-jerk reactions in brain studies, but
mostly they knee-jerk in the direction of assuming that physical
differences seen *must* be innate, rather than developed. This is done
over and over, from the first time I read the "Einstein's brain's cells"
stuff to the corpus callosum stuff. Yet the only study I've heard of
that actaully attempted to address this question (innate or developed?)
concluded "developed" was the answer.

In other words, just like your muscles develop in certain ways when you
use them, so too does your brain. (If you use it instead of assuming
"physical difference" equals "innate" ;-)

Jim Moore (

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