Q: A popular notion has it that a human being’s most important sex organ is the brain. You say it’s our behavior that’s different; our brains are strikingly similar. Why?
A: This goes all the way back to Charles Darwin, who said that women are inferior because they have inferior brains and therefore they do not have the right to assume a powerful role in society. But the bottom line is there is no consistent pattern or structure which reliably characterizes the brain so that we could say, “O.K., that’s a female brain and that’s a male brain.”
… Some critics have called people like myself sex-difference deniers, like climate deniers. There are sex differences that we should pay attention to, but the power that’s attributed to biology is what needs challenging. We have to pay more attention to how our experiences drive our brain architecture. It’s a bit like trees that grow on windy plains. Their biological drivers make them grow upward, but the winds make them twist or grow branches on only one side.
Q: You’re open about the fact that you hate gender-reveal parties.
A: I’ve called them jaw-droppingly awful. Twenty weeks before children even arrive, people are already stressing about how important it is to be a boy or a girl.