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Cordelia Fine

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 4: Neurosexism in Functional Neuroimaging: From Scannerto Pseudo-science to Psyche

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Neurosexism in Functional Neuroimaging: From Scannerto Pseudo-science to Psyche
Neurosexism in Functional Neuroimaging: From Scanner to Pseudo-science to Psyche
Cordelia Fine
Introduction

The neuroscientific investigation of sex/gender1 differences has an unsavoury history. In the Victorianera, for example, brain scientists reported sex/gender differences in head shape, brain size, andlobe morphology, claiming them as the neural basis for female intellectual inferiority (e.g.,Russett, 1989; Shields, 1975). Such scientific hypotheses were eventually rejected. However, whilefavored by scientific and mainstream opinion, such claims were, Russett (1989, p. 191) has argued, a‘key source’ of opposition to greater sex equality, serving to help legitimize astatus quo in which women were denied equal access to political participation, higher education, andemployment opportunities. To be clear, although such proposals have been erroneous in the past thisis not ...

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