An individual’s sex has nothing to do with his or her brain

Findings of a new study have forced scientists to conclude that there’s no significant difference between male and female brains. The study showed that all brains actually contain a mixture of unique features and some characteristics that are common to both sexes. However, there are some features that, according to the researchers, are more common in one sex than the other.

During the study, scientists analyzed brain scans of over 1400 men and women. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead researcher and psychology professor Daphna Joel said that what this study shows is that there are several ways of being a male and a female, and the majority of these ways are absolutely overlapping.

When analyzing the MRI scans, the researchers looked at multiple brain characteristics including the amount of white and grey matter the brains of the participants contain and strengths of the connections in their brain. A large share of the analyses focused on sizes of different parts of the brain. While quite a few areas showed significant overlap between the two sexes, researchers focused primarily on parts showcasing maximum differences, with minimum overlap between men and women.

Next, Joel and colleagues checked the scans to find out how often the structure of these parts within a particular brain was consistently on the female-end and male end. When all four sources of scans studied by the researchers were taken into account, it was found that the proportion of internally consistent brains, which are brains with all regions either at male-end or at female-end, varied between 0% and 8%. The percentage of brains with both female-end and male-end features, on the other hand, varied between 23% and 53%.

Joel stated that through these facts, she and her colleagues have successfully shown that all of us don’t have similar brains, but that doesn’t mean that brains come in male and female forms. According to her, the differences we find are basically differences between averages and added that each individual has a unique mosaic of brain features.

Joel continued by saying that sex does affect the brain, but there are a range of other factors that decide how it will affect the brain. She informed that she and her colleagues found that effects of sex might differ and might even turn out to be opposite under different circumstances.