A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that “brains can’t really fit into the categories of ‘male’ or ‘female’ – their distinguishing features vary across a spectrum.”

In analyzing MRI scans of about 1,400 participants, they discovered that most brains include a combination of characteristics traditionally regarded as “male” or “female.”  Study authors “believe their study is the first to look for brain differences between genders by using the brain as a whole, instead of pointing out individual structures and features (like size, amount of gray versus white matter, and so on) in isolation.” The study reports that it is unlikely that one person has all male characteristics or all female characteristics.

This study hopes to change perceptions of gender. “We separate girls and boys, men and women all the time. It’s wrong, not just politically, but scientifically – everyone is different.”

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