Most of Us Have Brains That Are Both Male and Female

'Human brains cannot be categorized into two distinct classes'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2015 6:27 PM CST
Study: Most of Us Have Brains That Are Both Male and Female
A new study using brain scans found it's nearly impossible to classify brains as either male or female.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Maybe this explains why we're hooked on both fantasy football and Gilmore Girls. Researchers studying more than 1,400 brains found it impossible to categorize them as either male or female, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Brains with features that are consistently at one end of the 'maleness-femaleness' continuum are rare," researchers write in their study published Monday. "Rather, most brains are comprised of unique 'mosaics' of features." While different regions of the brain show male or female characteristics, brains with all-male or all-female characteristics were extremely rare—between 0% and 8%, Science reports. Most brains had a combination of male and female features. "Our results demonstrate that … human brains cannot be categorized into two distinct classes," the study states.

The Times reports researchers took the study even further—looking at the prevalence of all-male or all-female thoughts and behaviors—and came to the same conclusion. For example, a survey of college students regarding 10 "highly gender-stereotyped activities" found only 1.2% of students had exclusively male or exclusively female interests. “There is no sense in talking about male nature and female nature,” lead researcher Daphna Joel tells Science. “There is no one person that has all the male characteristics and another person that has all the female characteristics. Or if they exist they are really, really rare to find.” The Washington Post notes the study could be welcome news for people "who live outside the gender binary." (This man sold stolen brains on eBay.)

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