Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet
S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University
of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.
Differences between men and women, boys and girls, and male and female
animals have been classically described as "gender differences" for socially
determined factors and "sex differences" for biologically based factors. After
reading Brain Gender, by Melissa Hines, one will
recognize that these distinctions are essentially meaningless.
Dr Hines possesses impressive expertise in genetic, biological, behavioral,
and social determinants of sex differences, and evinces cogent analytical
and empirical skills and clarity of thought. Her book examines what is known
vs what is thought about important areas of basic and clinical theory and
research and social thought. She unites highly disparate, often independent
fields of investigation: genomic through phenotypic links to sex differences,
gonadal hormone roles in normal sexual development and other adjunctive behaviors,
classes of endocrine and receptor dysfunction resulting in either opposite
or ambiguous phenotypes relative to genotype, and basic animal model research
on sex-specific behaviors. She then reviews sex differences and the roles
of gonadal hormones in human sexuality, human play and aggression, human parenting
behaviors, and human cognition. The concluding chapters evaluate sex differences
in the human brain and the clinical and social implications of this research
for future directions in the field.
Bodnar RJ. Gender. JAMA. 2004;292(8):981. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.981-a
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