Rethinking sex, brain and gender: Beyond the binary
Are the brains of women and men the same or different? Or maybe it’s the wrong question? Sex-related variables affect brain structure and function and there are group-level differences between women and men in specific measures of brain and behavior. These are often taken as supporting the existence of ‘male’ and ‘female’ brain phenotypes.
I will describe the development of the binary conceptualization of the relations between sex and the brain in response to challenges posed by animal studies of sex effects on the brain and by the ‘mosaic’ hypothesis, which builds on these studies. I will also present the results of recent studies, using large datasets and machine learning algorithms, that attempt to understand the relations between sex and the brain beyond the binary.