Neuroscientists Gina Rippon, Daphna Joel, and Giordana Grossi discuss latest breakthroughs in neuroscience that dispel the myth of male versus female brains. In The Gendered Brain: The New Neuroscience That Shatters the Myth of the Female Brain (2019), Rippon shows the historical and political conditions that produced ideas of binary gender differences in people’s brains, how and why these misperceptions have persisted into the 21st century. In Gender Mosaic: Beyond the Myth of the Male and Female Brain (2019), Joel draws on large-scale studies of brains and of human psychology to show that while brains of women and men on average are different in a number of ways, there is no “average” male or female brain: at the individual level, most people are a mosaic of gendered features. Together, these new books show how cutting-edge neuroscience reveals that human brains are highly individualized, profoundly adaptable, and full of unbounded potential.
Rebecca Jordan-Young, Barnard College Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, will moderate.
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Barnard Center for Research on Women
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