In May, Prof. Rebecca Jordan-Young traveled to Israel, where she spoke at Barnard's forum: Perspectives on Gender Medicine and Women's Health. While there, she was interviewed by The Jerusalem Post about her work examining research on “human brain organization theory,” which has claimed responsibility for everything from gender identify and innate talents to homosexuality. An excerpt from the article:
"Trained in the sociomedical science, with a specialty in research design and measurement, Jordan-Young specializes in the interdisciplinary field of gender and sexuality, science and technology studies. The scientist has devoted nearly 13 years to examining hundreds of published, peer-reviewed studies by psychologists, neurologists and other specialists aimed at proving “human brain organization theory,” which has claimed responsibility for everything from gender identify and innate talents to homosexuality.
This long-accepted “given” is that exposure in the uterus to sex hormones like testosterone not only triggers the formation of sexual organs, but also affects the brain throughout one’s lifetime – thus males and females have “different brains” that are permanently “hardwired.” Advocates of this view have claimed, among other things, that little girls prefer dressing dolls to playing with trucks; teenage boys do better in mathematics; men in college studying engineering and computers while women go for softer, easier subjects; and that women care about raising a family more than men. And they stress that all this has been “scientifically proven.”
Jordan-Young says she discovered “serious methodological weaknesses, questionable assumptions, inconsistent definitions and enormous gaps between ambiguous findings and grand conclusions.”
She argues that environmental factors, and not only biology, shape brains."
Read the full article here.
Prof. Jordan-Young is a sociomedical scientist whose work includes social epidemiology studies of HIV/AIDS, and evaluation of biological work on sex, gender and sexuality. She is the author of Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences.