The Integrity Talks

How women’s brains get affected in sexist societies

The Integrity Talks

Research underlines how women’s brains get affected in sexist societies. Analysis of thousands of brain scans shows that women’s inequality affects their brains. Scientists who compared 8,000 MRI scans from 29 countries discovered a disturbing pattern. In countries where gender inequality is high, meaning women are worse off and oppressed, women’s brains are less developed.

The scientists observed differences in thickness between the sexes in the anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex when women are in an inferior position. In countries where there is much less inequality, there were no differences between the two sexes in the brain.

The parts of the brain that were thinner in the MRI-scans from countries with great inequality are also the parts that have long been known to be affected by stress and depression. We already know that social conditions lead to changes in the brain. In China, for example, dementia is more common among women. Illiteracy and lack of activity are partly the causes of this. For the first time, the scientists detected a pattern that establishes a connection with the social position of women.

Source: BNNVARA, Joop, as discussed with Franciso van Jole.