Homunculus in the Hormones, Vortrag von Rebecca Jordan-Young, Ringvorlesung "For Future Innovations: Gender in Science and Technology"
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This talk will examine research related to brain organization theory, which holds that early steroid hormones are responsible for permanent sex-typed patterns of cognitive skill, personality, sexuality, and non-erotic interests. The talk will have three main parts: 1) I will review the structure of brain organization research in humans; 2) I will demonstrate the use of ?symmetry principles? and explain how they are superior, in certain cases, to traditional meta-analysis for determining whether a theory is generally supported by empirical studies; and 3) Using the case study of research on so-called ?sex-typed interests? which supposedly underlie male-female differences in occupational interests and domesticity, I will show deep gaps and major contradictions in the evidence that is usually taken to argue that steroid hormones create initial predispositions for such traits as aggression, nurturing, and orientation towards ?systems? or ?objects? versus people. In sum, I will argue that longstanding ideas about hormones as ?male? and ?female? essences cause scientists to perceive patterns of masculinity and femininity in their findings, even when this requires reversal of definitions, ignoring or ?forgetting? earlier results, and other non-rational approaches to data.