Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Is there any difference between male and female brains?

02 December 2015, 12:29

While specific parts show sex differences, an individual brain only rarely has all "male" traits or all "female" traits, researchers report.

It's more likely to be a mixed bag: some things are more common in women, some more common in men, and some are common in both.

That argues against the idea that brains can be neatly divided into two sex-based categories, Daphna Joel of Tel-Aviv University and co-authors conclude.

Both male and female zones

They published their work in a paper released on Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They used MRI scans of more than 1,400 brains, focusing on anatomy rather than how brains work. They scored variable traits like tissue thickness or volume in different parts of the brain.

They focused on traits that showed the biggest sex differences, dividing the scores into a predominantly male zone, a predominantly female zone, and an intermediate range.

The key question: How often did a brain end up in just one of those three?

Such consistency turned out to be unusual, generally found in 6 percent or less of brains across analyses of several sets of data. It was much more common for an individual to score in both the male and female zones than to show a lineup that indicated only one sex or the other.

The researchers also used a similar approach to analyse psychological and behavioural scores from two prior studies that covered more than 5,000 participants, and again got similar results.

Overall, the results show "human brains do not belong to one of two distinct categories", male and female, the researchers concluded.

Larry Cahill, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Irvine, who didn't participate in the new study, said he agreed that brains contain varying mixtures of male and female anatomical traits. But that doesn't rule out differences in how the brains of the two sexes work, he said.

There's "a mountain of evidence proving the importance of sex influences at all levels of mammalian brain function", he said.

That work shows how much sex must matter, "even when we are not clear exactly how", he said in an email.

- AP

Tags health

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...