It is a commonly held belief, certainly among the fairer sex, that women are better at multitasking than men.
And scientists have now discovered that women undergoing a sex change start to think more like men after treatment as their brains are rewired.
Researchers studied the brains of 18 female-to-male transsexuals before and after four weeks of testosterone treatment.
They found that qualities more traditionally attributed to women, such as verbal and multitasking skills, diminished, while others increased.
Exposure to the male hormone almost immediately reduced the volume of grey matter in the two regions of the brain linked to language processing.
At the same time, connections between the two regions became stronger, increasing spatial ability.
Researcher Professor Rupert Lanzenberger, from the University of Vienna, said: “What we see is a real quantitative difference in brain structure after prolonged exposure to testosterone. This would have been impossible to understand without looking at a transsexual population.
“In more general terms, these findings may suggest that the genuine difference between the brains of women and men is substantially attributable to the effects of circulating sex hormones. Moreover, the hormonal influence on human brain structure goes beyond early developmental phases and is still present in adulthood.”
All rather what Simon Baron Cohen has been talking about, EQ, SQ, male and female brains and all that.
All rather unremarkable in fact: no one with any connection to reality thinks any differently.
And yet there are those who insist that everything is culture, imprinting, that men and women are exactly the same underneath it all. They thus push for outcome equality…..
But if there are real and actual differences in the brain (and as Baron Cohen is the first to point out, this is about averages, we tend to find women at one end of the spectrum, men another, but any individual can be anywhere) then things like female equal representation in coding or engineering might just not be what our species was cut out for.