Science losing out to 'men are from Mars and women from Venus' myth

Leading neuroscientist says brains are not wired differently, but moulded by experiences and attitudes.

Science is losing out because of the mistaken belief that ”men are from Mars and women from Venus”, a leading neuroscientist has claimed. Professor Gina Rippon said it was time to debunk the myth that gender differences are hard-wired into our brains. In reality, there was no significant difference between the brains of a girl and boy in terms of their structure and function, she stressed. But experiences and even attitudes could change the ”plastic” brain on a physical level, causing its wiring to alter. It was this that led girls and boys from an early age to head in different directions, said Prof Rippon, from Aston University.

While girls tended to tended to gravitate towards fields of communication, people skills and the arts, boys were more likely to become scientists and engineers. Even when girls went into science, they mostly chose careers at the ”softer” end of the subject, such as biology, psychology and sociology, rather than physics and maths.

Our videos