Plasticity, plasticity, plasticity…and the rigid problem of sex

  title={Plasticity, plasticity, plasticity…and the rigid problem of sex},
  author={Cordelia Fine and Rebecca M. Jordan-Young and Anelis Kaiser and Gina Rippon},
  journal={Trends in Cognitive Sciences},

The Politics of Plasticity. Sex and Gender in the 21st Century Brain

The Politics of Plasticity examines how sex and gender are imag(in)ed in the 21st century brain. At the beginning of this century, the idea that the brain is plastic (i.e. that its structure and

Considering Gender-Biased Assumptions in Evolutionary Biology

A set of good-practice guidelines aimed at helping to improve researchers’ awareness of gender-biased assumptions underlying language use, generalizations, and interpretation of observations are presented, and recommendations to increase transparency, avoid problematic terminology, and improve study designs are provided.

Sexual dimorphism: innate or acquired? A reinterpretation of biological differences

It is proposed that if correlations between genitality and biological differences exists, they are not caused by the processes of sexual differentiation, but by statistical links given by normative gender stereotypes.

Beyond sex differences: new approaches for thinking about variation in brain structure and function

An approach to thinking about variation in brain structure and function that pulls us outside the sex differences formulation is offered, arguing that the existence of differences between the brains of males and females does not unravel the relations between sex and the brain nor is it sufficient to characterize a population of brains.

Equal ≠ The Same: Sex Differences in the Human Brain

  • L. Cahill
  • Psychology, Biology
    Cerebrum : the Dana forum on brain science
  • 2014
This month’s Cerebrum highlights some of the thinking and research that invalidates the assumption that sex differences in the brain hardly matter.

Neuroscience, Gender, and “Development To” and “From”: The Example of Toy Preferences

“Development to” perspectives implicitly or explicitly assume that experience influences the individual’s development “to” a genetically encoded phenotype. By contrast, “development from”

Sex in Context: Limitations of Animal Studies for Addressing Human Sex/Gender Neurobehavioral Health Disparities

It is argued that the costly imposition of sex analysis on nearly all animal research entrenches the presumption that human brain and behavioral differences are largely biological in origin and overlooks the potentially more powerful social, psychological, and cultural contributors to male-female neurobehavioral health gaps.

The Future of Sex and Gender in Psychology: Five Challenges to the Gender Binary

5 sets of empirical findings are described that fundamentally undermine the gender binary, spanning multiple disciplines, that refute sexual dimorphism of the human brain and psychological findings that highlight the similarities between men and women.

VIII. Captured in terminology: Sex, sex categories, and sex differences

The question of whether the effects of sex result in dimorphic systems is discussed, focusing on the case of sex effects on the brain, and it is shown that although there are sex/gender differences in brain and behavior, humans and human brains are comprised of highly variable ‘mosaics’ of features.

The ‘Facts’ of Life?

It is concluded that the evolutionary-neuropsychology heuristic obtains much of its appeal from the apparently ‘scientific’ evidence it provides for understanding sex/ gender as a ‘natural’ rather than ‘sociocultural’ phenomenon—a view which is aligned with postfeminist ideologies of sex/gender in the contemporary west.



Re-Conceptualizing “Sex” and “Gender” in the Human Brain

The aim of this conceptual paper is to pinpoint the understandings of “sex” and “gender” difference in the brains of females and males.

A comparative analysis of the role of androgen in human male and female sexual behavior: Behavioral specificity, critical thresholds, and sensitivity

The observation that sexual motivation in females is enhanced by levels of testosterone much below those required for normal sexual interest in men raises the possibility of a difference in neural sensitivity to testosterone.

Social behavior in context: Hormonal modulation of behavioral plasticity and social competence.

A reciprocal model for the action of androgens on short-term behavioral plasticity is proposed and a set of studies conducted in the laboratory using an African cichlid fish that provide support for it are reviewed.

Bateman's principles and human sex roles

Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences

Female and male brains are different, thanks to hormones coursing through the brain before birth. That's taught as fact in psychology textbooks, academic journals, and bestselling books. And these

Effects of Social Contexts and Behaviors on Sex Steroids in Humans

In this paper we provide a critical review of research concerned with social/environmental mechanisms that modulate human neuroendocrine function.We survey research in four behavioral systems that

Experience-dependent structural plasticity in the adult human brain

  • A. May
  • Psychology, Biology
    Trends in Cognitive Sciences
  • 2011

Is There Neurosexism in Functional Neuroimaging Investigations of Sex Differences?

The neuroscientific investigation of sex differences has an unsavoury past, in which scientific claims reinforced and legitimated gender roles in ways that were not scientifically justified. Feminist

Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology

It is argued that the key tenets of the established EP paradigm require modification in the light of recent findings from a number of disciplines, including human genetics, evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology, and paleoecology.

Testosterone and paternal care in East African foragers and pastoralists

Comparisons between two neighbouring Tanzanian groups that exhibit divergent styles of paternal involvement confirmed the hypothesis that paternal care is associated with decreased testosterone production in men, and added further support to the ‘challenge hypothesis’.