In a discovery that will surprise absolutely no one who hasn’t attended graduate school, a researcher who has spent years studying human brains–that is, actual physical brains removed from cadavers–has found significant differences between men’s and women’s brains. The researcher, Canadian Sandra Witelson, has the world’s largest collection of brains:
She measured her brains.
She weighed them.
She cut them up and counted the cells.
She traced synapses, the junctures where impulses pass from one neuron to another in the hidden root cellars of the brain.
Wherever she looked, she discerned subtle patterns that only gender seemed to explain.
“We actually didn’t set out to find sex differences,” she said. “Sometimes as a scientist, you are doing one thing and you bump into something else.”
The brains in Witelson’s freezer are contested terrain in a controversy over gender equality and mental performance.