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A recent, well-reviewed book that deals with the issues that Claudia 
raises is Melissa HInes, Brain Gender (Oxford  U.P., 2005).

There's a review here: 
http://www.psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/56/10/1325

--PG


http://www.oup.com/us/catalog/general/subject/Medicine/Neuroscience/?view=usa&ci=9780195188363

Description

New in Paperback! How important are biological factors, such as 
hormones, in shaping our sexual destinies? This book brings a social 
developmental, as well as a biological and clinical psychological, 
perspective to bear on the factors that shape our development as male 
or female, and that cause individuals within each sex to differ from 
one another in sex-related behaviors. Topics covered include sexual 
orientation, childhood play, spatial, mathematical and verbal 
abilities, nurturance, aggression, dominance, handedness, brain 
structure, and gender identity. This original and accessible book is 
of interest to psychologists, neuroscientists, pediatricians, and 
educators, as well as the general public. It is also used in graduate 
and undergraduate courses on the psychology of gender and on hormones 
and behavior.

Reviews

". . . The book has many pluses. It is clearly written, preserving 
important and nuanced research findings in a style that can be 
appreciated by both the established investigator and lay person . . . 
This timely piece of work cuts through the well-described 'cognitive 
schemas' of many researchers and theorists in the fields of sex and 
gender differences and brings these areas of inquiry up to more 
modern realities..." --JAMA

"[This book] serves as an excellent text for senior undergrad or 
graduate level courses on this topic." JINS

". . . a remarkable book, a wonderful resource that belongs on one's 
bookshelf for frequent reference to the many times gender, sex, and 
brain questions come to mind . . . well written, easy to read . . . 
Tucked within the pages of this fascinating book are intriguing 
observations . . . The author has done an excellent job of getting us 
to think about some of the most fundamental questions in the science 
of reproduction." --The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease

"Brain Gender is a fascinating book, clearly written and well 
organized...The most satisfying aspect of Hines' work is her emphasis 
on the many ways in which sex and gender research can go wrong and 
her insistence on recognizing the complexity of the subject...Her 
book is well worth reading."--Psychiatric Services

"Brain Gender contains much thoughtful and measured information in a 
readable and interesting manner...This book will make a much-needed 
contribution to the fields of psychology as well as gender 
studies."--Feminism and Psychology

Product Details
336 pages; 13 halftones, 20 line illus.; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4; ISBN13: 
978-0-19-518836-3ISBN10: 0-19-518836-5

About the Author(s)

Melissa Hines, Professor of Psychology and Director, Behavioural 
Neuroendocrinology Research Unit, City University, London


At 9:46 AM -0700 7/6/07, Claudia Hemphill Pine wrote:
>On 7/6/07, Yoshie Furuhashi 
><<mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]> 
>wrote:
>
>Moreover, biologically speaking, "men" and "women" may be better
>thought of as continuum, rather than two separate categories that are
>opposite to each other in all things, as many sociobiologists have it.
>
>Thanks for pointing that out.  I have trouble with the basic 
>category error in all these studies, namely, that the "male brain" 
>and "female brain" are recognizably different entities from the 
>start.   The terms "male" and "female" have been agreed to describe 
>differences in physical biological equipment and in specific 
>chromosomes, but have they been shown to (a) unequivocally describe 
>physical differences in brain tissue? or (b) any proven one-to-one 
>correspondence of such physical brain differences to sexual or DNA 
>differences?  If some murderer removed my brain and divided it into, 
>say, half a dozen chunks, of which one were subsequently recovered, 
>would the forensics folks be able to say at a glance -- as for 
>instance, with my pelvic bones -- oh, yes, these physical remains 
>are almost certainly those of a female?  (And as I recall from my 
>physical anthropology, without large reference collections, even 
>"sexing" individuals from pelves is only about 75% accurate.)
>
>Thus, to attribute the property of sexuality to people's brains 
>seems meaningless to me, as brains are not reproductive organs.  Are 
>there such things as "black" brains and "caucasian" brains?   For 
>that matter, are there "gay" brains and "straight" brains?  The 
>assumption that there are only two kinds of humans, male and female, 
>seems another gross overgeneralization, as Yoshie points out.
>
>Granted, I've read only the NYT and a few other reports on the 
>article ('says lead author, Matthias R. Mehl, University of Arizona 
>psychologist, "Our paper puts to rest the idea that the female brain 
>evolved to be talkative and the male brain evolved to be 
>reticent."'), so I have no idea what conceptualization they are 
>short-handing with their talk of "male brain"/"female brain".    But 
>my sense is that their main goal is simply to level the playing 
>field that was badly tilted by scientifically unsupported "urban 
>legends" by insisting, through such studies as this, that 
>demonstration of difference must precede hypotheses for cause. 
>Speaking rates have countless other possible correlations besides 
>gender, both internal to subject (eg ethnicity, economic class, 
>cultural group, academic major) and external (conversation types, 
>gender/class/ethnicity/etc of others). 
>
>I read this thread just after my Amer.Soc. Assoc. 'Animals & 
>Society' newsletter, and a different but related question pops into 
>my mind: 
>
>When scientists use mice/rats/monkeys/rabbits etc., in behavioral 
>and neurobiological experiments, do they always use only-male or 
>only-female mice because it has already been proven that the sexes 
>of mice/rats/monkeys etc. are so profoundly different in "male 
>brain" and "female brain" that each sex would have significantly 
>different test results?  Or do we generally take male & female 
>non-human animals to be effectively the same in the anatomy of their 
>brains, while holding open the question for human sexes?
>
>Claudia
>