Dick Swaab: ‘We Are Our Brains’

I’m enjoying a fascinating book by Dick Swaab, an eminent Dutch neuroscientist, titled We Are Our Brains (from the womb to Alzhemer’s). In one chapter he outlines the compelling evidence that the human brain becomes ‘hard wired’ in the womb for sexual identity, sexuality, body integrity identity disorder (the conviction that a part or parts of your body don’t belong to you), transsexuality, and more. One paragraph (p.78) struck me being possibly of particular interest to followers of this blog, and it takes up the remainder of this post.

“Our description of the first sex differences found in human hypothalami in postmortem brain tissue (Swaab and Fliers, Science 228 [1985] : 1112-15) provoked a hostile reception from feminists. At the time there was widespread denial within the feminist movement of possible biological sex differences in the human brain and behaviour.

Speaking about our findings in an interview with the Dutch magazine HP (January 17, 1987), a woman biologist by the name of Joke t’Hart said, ‘But if I were to accept that there are differences between the sexes in such fundamental areas as the structure of our brains, I would no longer have a leg to stand on as a feminist.’ Whatever the case, I never heard any more of her.

Many hundreds of sex differences have subsequently been identified between the male and female brains.”

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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