Do Our Brains Really Differ By Gender? | KERA News

Do Our Brains Really Differ By Gender?

Nov 1, 2019

We often hear men are inherently more violent or that a woman’s brain makes her a deeper thinker, but are those stereotypes based in science? 

Kevin Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin talked with Think host Krys Boyd about the science behind gender differences in the brain.

When you compare groups of male brains with groups of female brains, Mitchell said, there are some apparent differences. For example, male brains tend to be slightly larger. But, he says it's important to remember that each person's brain is unique.

"It's kind of like faces, actually," Mitchell said. "You can say, there's no such thing as the male face or the female face, but male faces differ from female faces in many different ways."

Mitchell said gender differences are important from a medical standpoint, particularly in psychiatry.

"The rates of ... different kinds of psychiatric disorders differ a lot between males and females," he said. "For example, depression and anxiety are significantly more common in females, while things like schizophrenia, or ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder], even conditions like stuttering are ... somewhat more common in males than in females." 

Click here to listen to the full interview.