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No such thing as ‘male’ or ‘female’ brain, Israeli research finds

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) A new study by Israel’s Tel Aviv University used more than 1,400 MRI scans to demonstrate that human brains cannot be categorized as “male” or “female.”

“Each person possesses a unique mosaic of characteristics, some more common in females compared to males, some more common in males compared to females, and some common in both,” said the study’s lead author, Professor Daphna Joel of Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences and Sagol School of Neuroscience.

She and the other researchers found that a mix of “male” and “female” traits make up the vast majority of brains, regardless of gender, rather than most men displaying exclusively male characteristics and most women displaying exclusively female ones.

Joel completed the study in conjunction with other Tel Aviv University researchers, as well as scientists from the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig and the University of Zurich.

Published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study weakens popular claims that men and women have “different brains” and should be taught or treated differently based on gender.

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