"What is astonishing to me," Witelson said, "is that it is so obvious that there are sex differences in the brain and these are likely to be translated into some cognitive differences, because the brain helps us think and feel and move and act.
"Yet there is a large segment of the population that wants to pretend this is not true."
No one knows how these neural differences between the sexes translate into thought and behavior — whether they might influence the way men and women perceive reality, process information, form judgments and behave socially.
But even at this relatively early stage in exploration of the brain's microanatomy, battle lines between scientists, equal rights activists and educators have formed.
"Other experts argue that the physical differences Witelson observed may result not from the brain's basic design but from conditioning that begins in infancy, when the brain produces neurons at a rate of half a million a minute and reaches out to make connections 2 million times a second."
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