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Professor Gina Rippon's talk at the Royal Institution

(4 Posts)
OddBoots Mon 06-Jun-16 07:21:56

I've just watched this talk that was put up by the RI a few days ago partly because I am studying brain imaging at university and partly from a feminist point of view. The talk actually didn't go into detail about the imaging but the overview of how this science can be and often is manipulated to fit pre-defined ideas was very good.

The video is quite long at 53 minutes long but worth it, I think (although I watched this one as I do a lot of youtube videos at 2x speed)

The take home points were
- The differences in the brains of women and men mainly come from size in the same way men's internal organs are generally larger.
- The overlap in the bell curve in all the differences measured was huge.
- Brains are plastic enough that they become proficient in what we use them doing, this is enhanced or limited by what we are told we are expected to be good or bad at doing.
- The idea of sex differences is an idea that goes back a long way and is subject to a lot of confirmation bias and manipulation to suit the authors and sell books.

It's probably not new stuff to feminists that try to challenge the way society attempts to gender the brains of our children through the promotion of toys and ideals but it is good to hear a scientific expert with years of experience discuss it.

LurcioAgain Mon 06-Jun-16 10:37:43

Thanks for this - I will definitely have a look later when I have the time. Looks really good. (Huge overlap in bell curves, and misunderstandings thereof, is one of my hobby horses!)

singingsixpence82 Tue 07-Jun-16 00:29:39

This is interesting - thank you for posting!

EBearhug Sat 11-Jun-16 09:11:05

I've seen Gina Rippon talk before - well worth it, if you get the opportunity.

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