Thursday, February 01, 2007

Is there a fundamental difference between the male and female brain?

Can we claim that, in general, men are inherently better at math and science, or is the disparity between numbers of men and women in scientific fields due only to cultural bias?
If it's only because of cultural bias, then why did that bias develop in the first place?
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I think this issue is interesting, and I can think of several good arguments for both sides. However, I've noticed that those arguments are based mostly on emotion-- the main premise behind most of the points is that the arguer wants their point of persuasion to be true. For example, I would really like to think that men and women are intellectually equal in all areas. I based my decision on what I wanted to be true, and only found supporting evidence afterwards. When responding, try to see if you're doing the same thing.

1 comment:

Smaile said...

We've been studying some similar issues in psychology lately... I think that it is due largely to gender (and cultural) bias. Parents tend to reinforce their children according to standards that they have set, such as in math. If a parent's son gets a good score on a math test, the parent will tend to say, "I knew your smart genes would kick in!" or something along those lines. If the parent's daughter were to get a good grade on a math test, the parent would tend to say something like, "I knew all your hard work would pay off," implying that the girl had to work hard to get a good grade while the boy simply did it naturally (obviously, this is just in general, and is not the case with everyone). Also, in general males just tend to be better with spatial abilities and such, like in math and science, and that is why there are so many men in those fields. Oh, and I don't really think I've answered your question in terms of TOK. I think that the first time I read this question, like you, I based my answer on emotion and wanted to say no. Afterwards, I used logic more to decide. And I'm pretty sure I didn't really answer your question, but that's ok. It's a good question, by the way.