Actually, Men & Women's Brains Might Not Be That Different After All

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
You know the old trope: Women are more emotional and men are more aggressive. For years, people have backed up this stereotype by pointing to the idea that male and female brains are just "wired differently." And while the jury's still out on whether that's really true, new research has found that men and women might experience emotions in the same way.

According to a study published in the journal NeuroImage, there isn't much of a difference between the male and female amadygla, the portion of the brain that is involved in emotions and social behaviors. In other words, we may not be so different, after all.

For the study, researchers at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science analyzed the results of 58 male and female brain MRIs to determine how neurologically different men and women really are. As the study reports, it didn't find much validity to the frequently held belief that men have larger amygdalas and are therefore more aggressive.

"Despite the common impression that men and women are profoundly different, large analyses of brain measures are finding far more similarity than difference," Lise Eliot, PhD, one of the study's authors said in a press release. "There is no categorically 'male brain' or 'female brain,' and much more overlap than difference between genders for nearly all brain measures."

However, it is important to note that the study used a relatively small sample size. Whether or not this data is conclusive remains to be seen. Either way, the study does strengthen the case for gender similarities in human brains and could even have implications for understanding the brains of transgender individuals.

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