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Gender and how our brains work

spreston's picture

After getting past some of the general difficulties I had with Conceiving Ada, I tried to get past the far-fetched idea of the movie and think about how gender roles functioned within it.  For Ada, having children is a full-time job, something that as a woman, must take over her life and stop her from pursuing her own goals.  Similarly, Emmy's pregnancy frightens her at first and from looking at her life with her boyfriend, it seems clear that her work comes before any personal relationships do.  In a way, her daughter becomes her work because she is a clone of Ada, another "experiment" for Emmy to explore.

This got me thinking about whether there is currently sex equality in science.  I also thought back to our visit from the MIT GIST professor, in which she spoke about the idea that males and females think differently.  I listened to an NPR program (http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/01/13/gender-brain-new if anybody is interested in listening) with Cordelia Fine, who argues that men and women do not think differently, but that it is so difficult to escape socialization to think a different way.  I agree with Fine that men and women's brains are by nature different, but it was interesting to hear a number of listeners call in to say that they believed that as well, but when they had children, they changed their mind.  I also jumped back to the example of male and female brains thinking differently that the MIT professor brought up: women programmed in a different way than men in computer programming. I thought of this because in my brief experience with computer programming, my programming matched the way that she described women as being thought to program.  I don't know how society would shape my programming style so I don't really know what to make of this.  While this is a little bit of rambling, I thought Fine's program was really interesting and definitely helped solidify my belief that society creates our gender constructions.

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