Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Carol Giligan, a masters graduate from Cambridge wrote concerning the nature of women’s psychologically saying, “identity is defined in a context of relationships and is judged by a standard of responsibility and care.” One British Ph.D. geneticist and renowned neuropsychologist Anne Moir, bluntly puts it:

"Men are different from women. They are equal only in their common membership of the same species, humankind. To maintain that they are the same in aptitude, skill or behavior is to build a society based on a biological and scientific lie."

The sexes are different because their brains are different. The brain, the chief administrative and emotional organ of life, is differently constructed in men and in women; it processes information in a different way, which results in different perceptions, priorities, and behavior.

The way our brains are made affects how we think, learn, see, smell, communicate, love make love, fight, succeed, or fail. Understanding how our brains, and those of others, are made is a matter of no little importance.

Depending on your field of study, researchers tend to land on either a nature or nurture side of why men and women are the way they are. Nevertheless, the trend in psychology, neuroscience, genetics, and biology lend persuasive evidence to a natural conclusion. As Moir goes on to say:

"Conclusive scientific research presents an irrefutable truth: The difference between men and women is not merely physical. It is neurological, too. Male and female brains are wired differently, causing us to think, feel, react and respond in strikingly different ways."

She has coined the term brainsex, which she describes as “The distinctive gender-based circuitry that determines how – and explains why – men and women respond so differently to the same emotional and situational triggers.”

Major studies are now pinpointing at least 9 major areas of difference between male and female brains, with a range of overlap depending on how much testosterone or estrogen the human embryo received in the womb. Nevertheless, these major categories have emerged after copious research: 1. total brain size 2. number of cells 3. cellular connections 4. density of corpus collosum 5. hypothalamus 6. language ability 7. inferior parietal lobule (IPL) 8. orbitofrontal to amygdale ratio (OAR) and 9. limbic size.

First, concession must be made for human variation. Not all women have the same amount of estrogen or are equal in language-association, empathizing, or data transfer across brain hemispheres. Likewise, men may not embody as many typically male traits due to a lack of testosterone in the womb. However, the point is this: anatomical differentiations in gender have corollaries in the brain that uniquely mark each sex.

Where these demarcations in anatomy and neurology are weaker, they lend toward a more masculine female or a more feminine male. Hence, responding to the biblical calling for males and females is admittedly more difficult in such cases. Nevertheless, God calls men and women to embrace bearing his image in gender distinction not gender “bending”.

When we find these lines blurred physically, dependence on an Almighty Creator, an All-Sufficient Redeemer, and an Ever Present Sustainer in the Holy Spirit becomes accentuated (2 Cor.12:9). The testimony of scripture is that gender is fully realized through a mature understanding of God’s designs, callings, and omnipotent ability to redeem our humanity. This reality should be no sooner abandoned by us than by the 1st century Corinthians who turned to Christ (I Cor. 6:9-11).

Finally, no human being on the face of the planet is excluded from the results of our first parents fall. All of us, men and women, are living under the affects of sin, corruption, moral decay, and physical death. Each of us is bent towards sin in a unique way. No one is without this struggle. We all share it. One singer-songwriter said it this way, “The broken heart is the tie that binds (Sandra McCracken, Tie that Binds).” We have all been partakers of sin and we are all partakers in its curse. That’s why our only hope is in Jesus who bore the curse for us, to presently and ultimately redeem us from it.

This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of current research concerning neuroscience and biology. And we are not experts. However, the information simply serves to attest to what the Bible has been saying in principle for millennia. Much of pop-culture and North America’s collective wisdom continue to draw a bold line between gender and sex. Thankfully, the Bible and reputably good science contradict this notion.

1 comment:

Amy Donell Molina said...

really great. well said.