Re: Gender, Language, etc.

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Tue, 11 Apr 1995 23:46:41 -0400

Is Ruby now arguing that brain size is or is not smaller in women? Can we
get these facts straight once and for all? Every sample I have seen and
studied of S. African Bantu, Hong Kong Chinese, Singaporeans, European
Danes, American caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, shows the same
thing: Males brains are absolutely heavier than females brains. The
relative size of the female brain is larger in women than in men, and,
depending on the sample size and group, significantly so. The
differences are not entirely attributable to differences in body size
between males and females, which is to say that no, females are not scaled
down versions of men re: brain size or are men scaled-up versions of
women. There does exist a strong positive correlation between
stature and brain weight which is stronger than between brain and
body weight.There is absolutely no way to relate the differences in average
brain size between males and females to behavior. And up until the last
couple of years there were no strong correlations known between brain
size and intelligence tests of whatever ilk. There are studies claiming
correlations of between .4 and .55, both in males and females. Lebon was
among the most virulent of 19th century quacks who related brain size to
mental abilities. Ralph Holloway
n Tue, 11 Apr 1995, Ruby Rohrlich wrote:

> Bret, this was written during the first women's movement in the last
> century, when a whole array of so-called social scientists, including
> anthropologists, were saying this kind of thing. This period, social
> Darwinism, was incredibly racist and classist, as well as sexist. They
> were saying the same kind of thing about the brain size and intelligence
> of blacks and the poor. What they were really saying was that people in
> the lower social strata were there because
> they were
> genetically inferior. And what are they saying now in The Bell Curve?
> By the way, when my older son was in the sixth grade, his teacher told
> the class that women had smaller brains than men, as reflected in their
> smaller size. But I pointed out to my son, who was believing what his
> teacher said, that he was shorter than the tallest children in his class,
> and he did a double take. Ruby Rohrlich