London: New research in Britain has claimed there is very little difference in the way male and female brains function, overturning the notion of ‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ as propagated by the 1990’s psychology bestseller, reports PTI.
Professor Gina Rippon, a cognitive neuroscientist at Aston University in Birmingham, has found no real evidence to show that women’s and men’s brains are wired differently. “The latest evidence shows that we are all part of a spectrum, so dividing us into binary categories gives misleading results.
I will be discussing new evidence that our brains and behaviour are mosaics of different characteristics and there is no such thing as a male or female brain,” she told ‘The Sunday Times’ in reference to her findings, which she will be presenting at the British Science Festival in Swansea next month.
‘Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus’ by American writer John Gray had popularised the idea that each gender’s supposedly different behaviour was linked to physical and hormonal differences in their brains.
The book, which is due to be made into a film starring Hollywood star Reese Witherspoon, even argued that housework benefited women by boosting their hormones. “Men and women not only communicate differently, they think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently,” the book claimed. But Rippon argues such studies are “neurotrash” riddled with flaws and reflecting the bias of researchers.
Also Read: Men have bigger brains than women!
“Sex differences in the brain have been extensively researched, widely reported and enthusiastically believed but modern brain-scanning techniques show there are few real differences — and the interpretations are borne more from prejudice than science,” she said.
Some studies in the past have suggested that men have a higher ratio of grey matter, the tissues that process data, while women have relatively more white matter, the fibres that link different brain areas. But Rippon believes that any differences found by researchers could equally be caused by the different expectations imposed on men and women.