A Brief History of Gender
We must be careful when discussing gender issues. It is important to remember that differences or similarities between the sexes are not easy to determine. In truth, variation within one gender is most often greater than the variation between them. Data gathered in studies does not ALWAYS show strong statistical evidence of differences between the sexes. And sometimes when it does give strong evidence the information can be miscontrued or misinterpreted. The category of gender has historically been used for discrimination, particularly against women... thus it is important that we remember to ponder and question how we use information about possible brain and behavior differences between the sexes.
The idea that "innate" factors such as genes or hormones influence human behavior is often called "biological determinism". Equating biology with descriptive words like intrinsic, inflexible, and pre-determined is unfortunate, however, because of the potent implications for society's interpretation of biological data. Presently, scientists do not have an exact conception of how genes, hormones, or environmental input affect the biological basis of behavior at the molecular level, but it is definite that BOTH intrinsic and extrinsic factors are key. Most often, however, this concept is lost to the lay public, especially when data is neatly presented as complicated scientific vocabulary which is easily misapprehended.
The information that will be presented on this site is not meant to give absolute evidence for differences or similarities between males and females but rather get us thinking about behavior and the brain.