Sex and the Brain
856 pp., 9 x 11 in,
- Published: October 19, 2007
- Publisher: The MIT Press
A collection of foundational texts on the nature and behavioral consequences of sex differences in the brain, allowing readers to follow the development of a rapidly growing but contentious field and giving them the tools to analyze emerging scientific findings from many perspectives.
This collection of foundational papers on sex differences in the brain traces the development of a much-invoked, fast-growing young field at the intersection of brain and behavior. The reader is introduced to the meaning and nature of sexual dimorphisms, the mechanisms and consequences of steroid hormone action, and the impact of the field on interpretations of sexuality and gender.
Building on each other in point-counterpoint fashion, the papers tell a fascinating story of an emerging science working out its core assumptions. Experimental and theoretical papers, woven together by editor's introductions, open a window onto knowledge in the making and a vigorous debate between reductionist and pluralist interpreters.
Five major sections include papers on conceptual and methodological background, central nervous system dimorphisms, mechanisms for creating dimorphisms, dimorphisms and cognition, and dimorphisms and identity. Each section builds from basic concepts to early experiments, from experimental models to humans, and from molecules to mind. Papers by such leading scholars as Arthur Arnold, Frank Beach, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Patricia Goldman-Rakic, Doreen Kimura, Simon LeVay, Bruce McEwen, Michael Merzenich, Bertram O'Malley, Geoffrey Raisman, and Dick Swaab, illustrate a rich blend of perspectives, approaches, methods, and findings.
Sex and the Brain will show students how a scientific paper can be analyzed from many perspectives, and supply them with critical tools for judging a rapidly emerging science in a contentious area.
Sex and the Brain is a pedagogical tour de force. Einstein has succeeded in organizing the diffuse literature on sex, gender, sexuality, and the brain into a comprehensive state-of-the-art tour of the field. This is remarkable enough, but Einstein also manages to weave together this literature in a way that has deep implications for the mind-body problem, for anthropolical takes on sex and gender, as well as for advancing methodologies for linking phenomenological data to neurological processes. Einstein's brilliant introduction alone is worth the price of admission to this rock-crusher!
Owen Flangan, James B Duke Professor and Professor of Neurobiology, Duke University, and Author of The Really Hard Problem and The Science of the Mind
This is an excellent collection of new and historically important articles that will be of value to students and their instructors! It can be difficult to track down many of these articles so compiling them in one book does the field a valuable service. The breadth of the articles on sex differences in the brain is a clear distinction–included are some of the earliest articles published on sex differences in the brain as well as more recent studies considering the role of sex chromosomes in sexual differentiation and the role of brain sex differences in gender identity.
Jill B. Becker, Professor of Psychology and Senior Neuroscience Scholar, Reproductive Sciences Program, University of Michigan
How wonderful to have so many critical articles on sex and the brain collected and annotated in a single source. The book will be a great resource for teaching and for scholars who use this history in their own work. I am happy to have been a part of this project.
Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology and Women"s Studies, Brown University, and author of Sexing the Body