Hardwired for Sexism? Approaches to Sex/Gender in Neuroscience

Neuroethics 5 (3):305-315 (2012)
Abstract
Evidence has long suggested that ‘hardwiring’ is a poor metaphor for brain development. But the metaphor may be an apt one for the dominant paradigm for researching sex differences, which pushes most neuroscience studies of sex/gender inexorably towards the ‘discovery’ of sex/gender differences, and makes contemporary gender structures appear natural and inevitable. The argument we forward in this paper is twofold. In the first part of the paper, we address the dominant ‘hardwiring’ paradigm of sex/gender research in contemporary neuroscience, which is built on broad consensus that there are important ‘original’ sex differences in brain structure and function, organized by sex-differentiating prenatal hormone exposures. We explain why this consensus is both unscientific and unethical. In the second part of the paper, we sketch an alternative research program focused not on the origins of sex/gender differences but on variability and plasticity of brain/behavior. We argue that interventional experiments based on this approach will address more tractable questions, and lead to much more satisfactory results than the brain organization paradigm can provide
Keywords Hardwiring  Brain organization theory  Plasticity  Biosocial  Intersectionality
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Marla Morton-Brown (2004). Artificial Ef-Femination. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 11 (1):27-34.
    Peggy DesAutels (2010). Sex Differences and Neuroethics. Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):95-111.
    Belinda Bennett & Isabel Karpin (2008). Regulatory Options for Gender Equity in Health Research. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 1 (2):80 - 99.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-09-26

    Total downloads

    32 ( #45,902 of 1,088,905 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,661 of 1,088,905 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.