Making Sense of la Difference

Few areas of science are as littered with intellectual rubbish as the study of innate mental differences between the sexes. In the 19th century, biologists held that a woman's brain was too small for intellect but large enough for household chores. When the tiny-brain theory bit the dust (elephants, after all, have bigger brains than men), scientists began a long, fruitless attempt to locate the biological basis of male superiority in various brain lobes and chromosomes. By the 1960s sociobiologists were asserting that natural selection, operating throughout the long human prehistory of hunting and gathering, had predisposed males to leadership and...

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