In December, a highly publicized study declared that distinctive wiring in the brain explains different skill sets in men and women. After scanning hundreds of participants’ brains, the researchers reported that men have stronger connections within a given hemisphere, whereas women have stronger connections between the two. This makes sense, they speculated, because same-side connections are responsible for carrying out focused tasks, such as map reading, at which men excel, whereas cross-brain connections underlie the multitasking and social graces that are most often associated with women. Finally, evidence that men are from Mars and women are from Venus! The trouble is, the study is riddled with faulty assumptions and methodological flaws. Worse still, problems like these taint just about every study that claims to show a “hardwired” explanation for why men and women behave differently.

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Popular Science, April 2014.