A Brain of One’s Own

From Washington Post:

Brain_24 In the past, “nature” was used to maintain the status quo. A physician at Harvard University once cited biology as a reason to bar women from higher education: All that blood rushing to their brains would be drained from their wombs, he claimed, impairing their ability to bear children. Then the pendulum swung the other way. In the 1960s and ’70s, nearly every aspect of human behavior was attributed to “nurture,” including sex differences. If parents raised children the same way, giving dolls to boys and trucks to girls, they’d grow up acting the same.

In the 1990s, the pendulum swung again: A steady flow of books about evolutionary biology explained nearly every aspect of human behavior as a result of the organism’s urge to get its genes into the next generation — the female by ensuring her offspring’s survival, the male by spreading his sperm far and wide. And books such as Ann Moir and David Jessel’s Brain Sex , Deborah Blum’s Sex on the Brain and Melissa Hines’s Brain Gender provided accounts of gender differences based on brain structure and hormonal chemistry.

More here.