Explaining, or Sustaining, the Status Quo? The Potentially Self-Fulfilling Effects of 'Hardwired' Accounts of Sex Differences

Neuroethics 5 (3):285-294 (2012)
Authors
Cordelia Fine
University of Melbourne
Abstract
In this article I flesh out support for observations that scientific accounts of social groups can influence the very groups and mental phenomena under investigation. The controversial hypothesis that there are hardwired differences between the brains of males and females that contribute to sex differences in gender-typed behaviour is common in both the scientific and popular media. Here I present evidence that such claims, quite independently of their scientific validity, have scope to sustain the very sex differences they seek to explain. I argue that, while further research is required, such claims can have self-fulfilling effects via their influence on social perception, behaviour and attitudes. The real effects of the products of scientists’ research on our minds and society, together with the fact that all scientific hypotheses are subject to dispute and disconfirmation, point to a need for scientists to consider the ethical implications of their work
Keywords Essentialism  Neuroethics  Gender  Stereotypes
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s12152-011-9118-4
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 38,086
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Sex-Related Variation in Human Behavior and the Brain.Melissa Hines - 2010 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 14 (10):448-456.

View all 6 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Neurosexism and Neurofeminism.Ginger A. Hoffman & Robyn Bluhm - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (11):716-729.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Sex, Gender, and Science.Myra J. Hird - 2004 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
Sex Differences and Neuroethics.Peggy DesAutels - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):95-111.
Some Reflections on Sex Differences in Aggression and Violence.Stephen C. Maxson - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (2):232-233.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-06-26

Total views
158 ( #40,201 of 2,313,437 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #76,747 of 2,313,437 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature