The Female Brain

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 27, 2006

Mark Liberman did some digging into claims featured in the new book “The Female Brain,” specifically the I’ve-heard-it-so-often-it-must-be-true assertion that women talk more than men. Liberman, a trustee professor of phonetics at the University of Pennsylvania, patiently dissects the source material and finds the empirical support lacking.

Liberman should be the regular go-to person for smart analysis of women-are-like-this-men-are-like-this stories. Check out Liberman’s excellent blog for more “Female Brain” analysis, as well as other posts analyzing published works on gender differences (hat tip: Broadsheet).

Plus: Gender differences are the subject of a three-day conference of pain researchers which starts today at the University of Maryland. In this case, however, they are very deliberately working through the empirical data to determine if there are differences in how men and women perceive and respond to pain — and how these differences should be studied. The Painful Truth: A Conference on Gender and Pain Research ultimately hopes to reach some type of consensus over what role gender differences should play in the diagnosis and treatment of pain.

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