Nordquist on Sexual Dimorphism

Susan Love Brown (SL_BROWN@ACC.FAU.EDU)
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 13:36:22 -0400

I too have been following the discussion on sexual dimorphism, and the
same things that Nordquist wrote about occurred to me too. Why do we
assume that all physiological differences arise from genetics rather
than interaction with the environment? Also, at some time in the
distant past I remember hearing about a study or studies that showed
that Japanese-born Japanese use a different side of the brain for
language than "westerners" do, but that western-born Japanese use the
same side as other westerners do, even if they are of the same genetic
stock as Japanese-born Japanese. Does anyone recall this study? If
it is more than an anecdote, then it demonstrates exactly what
Nordquist is talking about.

And as long as we're on the subject, Carol Tavris in THE MISMEASURE OF
WOMAN calls into question the entire sexual dimorphism question by
telling how the original paper in SCIENCE on which this whole question
is based was, in fact, about rats and not people, and that Geschwind
and Behan failed to base their findings on the examination of human
fetal brains where they found no difference. When Bleier, who
discovered this problem, sent a paper to SCIENCE, it was not published
. So, does anyone know of any additional studies that support this
dimorphism other than that original SCIENCE paper?

In any case, haven't studies of damaged brains shown that different
parts of the brain can take up the functions of other parts? Wouldn't
this imply, then, that some degree of learning is involved in this

Susan Love Brown