The idea of gendered brains

Hm. Plates shifting just a bit. Maybe. Pink News reports:

The Green Party has hit out at a Science Museum quiz that tells kids they have a “male or female” brain.

Feminist campaigners hit out at London’s Science Museum on Twitter this week, after a woman was taken aback to see ‘girl’ brains coded in pink and ‘boy’ brains blue in the interactive exhibit.

Well yes. I was taken aback by that exhibit too, as were a lot of my friends. We’ve all been a good deal taken aback by this whole claim that there are “girl brains” and “boy brains” because it sounds so very identical to the pseudo-scientific justifications for the subordination of women we could have sworn feminism had been disputing for decades. I have to say that in a scream like the Duchess because how can I say it calmly?

The test, which cites its source as pop-up children’s psychology book ‘The Brain Pack’ by Ron Van Der Meer and A Dudink, claims to be able to tell the difference between the male and female brain.

It says: “Generally males and females are very similar to each other in the way they think. Psychologists have developed tests to show up some differences between the sex[es].”

But campaigners say it reinforces tired stereotypes.

Ya think?


Green Party’s equalities spokesperson Sarah Cope said: “It’s really disappointing to see the Science Museum reinforcing outdated gender stereotypes in this way.

“The idea of gendered brains is dubious science at best, and this kind of sexism – telling girls at a young age that they have feminine brains – is part of the reason why boys still dominate STEM subjects and less than 10% of engineers in the UK are women.”

This is what we keep saying.

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