The ‘Facts’ of Life?: How the notion of evolved brain differences between women and men naturalises biological accounts of Sex/Gender
Donaghue, N. (2015) The ‘Facts’ of Life?: How the notion of evolved brain differences between women and men naturalises biological accounts of Sex/Gender. Australian Feminist Studies, 30 (86). pp. 359-365.
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Taken together, evolutionary psychology and neuroscience combine to provide a compelling heuristic account of sex/gender differences. In this article, I explore how the meta-theoretical framework provided by evolutionary psychology provides support for a reading of sex/gender effects in neuropsychological research that sees these as evidence of a ‘hardwired’ neurobiological basis for sex/gender. I discuss the resistance of these ‘hardwired’ accounts to arguments that—like other neuropsychological phenomena—sex/gender could be theorised in terms of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. I conclude that the evolutionary-neuropsychology heuristic obtains much of its appeal from the apparently ‘scientific’ evidence it provides for understanding sex/gender as a ‘natural’ rather than ‘sociocultural’ phenomenon—a view which is aligned with postfeminist ideologies of sex/gender in the contemporary west.
|Publication Type:||Journal Article|
|Murdoch Affiliation:||School of Psychology and Exercise Science|
|Publisher:||Taylor and Francis|
|Copyright:||© 2016 Informa UK Limited|
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