Study researches brain matter for differences between males and females.
A just-released study that looked at the physical characteristics of the human brain found there is no such thing as a male and a female brain, according to a report on usnews.com.
The findings show the male or female sex differences in the body do not extend to the area of the brain, but instead the brain is a mixture of both male and female characteristics, and that each person possesses characteristics common to both sexes.
Lead author of the study, Daphna Joel, a psychologist and professor at Tel-Aviv University in Israel, said she and her colleagues in the study analyzed MRI brain scans of about 1,400 people.
The results revealed no significant differences in gray matter, brain cells known as neurons, or white matter, which makes the connections between the neurons.
Joel added that every person has a unique mosaic of characteristics, in which some are more common in females, some more common in males, and some common to both sexes.
Expanding the study to personality traits, the researchers looked at three previous studies that involved more than 5,000 people, studies that recorded action and attitudes, as well as personality traits, and found it was rare for anyone to be consistently masculine or feminine. The researchers say that most people have a mixture of male and female traits.
Joel noted, however, that the new study did not address the way you act and how it reflects on your gender. The research team did not investigate any questions as to where differences in brain and behavior come from, and they did not attempt to link behavior to brain structure differences, she adds.
Joel says the study did indicate that people should not be treated differently according to their sex, saying single-sex education is often advocated to specifically cater to “boy brains” or “girl brains,” adding that few boys are consistently at the male end of the spectrum.
Any argument for special boy or girl education that was based on the assumption that the sexes brains’ were different is in trouble, noted Joel.
The findings from the study were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.