March 16, 2018 – Everything ‘The Female Brain’ Gets Wrong About the Female Brain
Male and female brains are hardwired to be different. Men are programmed to be aggressive, assertive and strong, while women are emotional, nurturing and compassionate—right?
Well, maybe not, according to the most recent scientific evidence. You wouldn’t know, however, from Hollywood’s latest pop-science flick.
Friday saw the U.S. release of The Female Brain—a movie based on Louann Brizendine’s best-selling but widely criticized 2006 book of the same name. Documenting the “science” behind heterosexual relationship woes, both the movie and book tread some pretty familiar gender-stereotyping ground. Think Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus—but with brain scans.
The Female Brain movie follows the fictionalized “Julia” Brizendine: a neuroscientist who explains the relationship dynamics of her friends through her research. But how accurate is the science in the film?
Newsweek spoke to five experts from the fields of neuroscience, psychology and even social neuroendocrinology to get to the bottom of the question: are female and male brains really that different?
Hormones are presented—in the film and throughout pop culture—as key drivers of human behavior. According to the movie depiction of Brizendine, women can limit the secretion of “flight or fight” cortisol by “getting obsessed with details.”
Sari van Anders, a social neuroendocrinologist from the University of Michigan, told Newsweek: “There is literally no evidence for this effect, much less its explanation. Any scientist who made a claim like this without attending to the huge volume of science and scholarship about gender and work is not doing science.”
To read more of this article, originally published in Newsweek, click on the title link.