Thursday, August 18, 2011

Women's Brain Reflection

by Stephen J. Gould in "The Panda's Thumb" 1980 (pp 152-159)


1. What is the general point that Gould is presenting?

He is presenting that women’s brains are small and lighter than that of a male. Which, this is saying that men are significantly more intelligent.

2. What is the general evidence on which that conclusion is based?

Women’s brains weigh less than the brains of men.

3. What is the gender of all the researchers producing those data and conclusions?

All of the researchers were males.

4. What weaknesses or problems with those data and their interpretation does Gould point out?

The problem is that the women have no say in this article and if it weren’t for Maria Montessori they would still believe that today.

5. a) Name the one woman anthropologist mentioned who studied the subject of this essay. b) What did she find after proper correction of Broca's data? c) What were her conclusions from that finding?

a) Maria Montessori
b) She believed that women’s brains were actually bigger than that of a man’s.
c) Women were intellectually superior, but men had prevailed, therefore by dint of physical forces.

6. What conclusion does Gould reach about the central issue?

He believes that women are still not of the intelligence of men and that they don’t deserve to do the things that they are able to do.

7. Make a general statement about the role of bias and assumptions in the collecting, processing, and interpretation of data in scientific studies.

Nobody wants to be told that the y are beneath another human, nor if they are different sex of the people who are conducting the experiment.

8. What other kinds of bias can you think of that might influence observations and interpretations in science?

Well sexism was a huge problem at the time for women because, the men though they were better than them and so they had no say in the test.

9. Describe your initial feelings (about the subject, the author, etc.) after reading the first 4 pages.

I thought that this was going to be an extremely bias article and that it was still going to stand, because the men also had more rights then women at the time so the men were going to clearly be bias and say that they had a bigger and heavier brain than women.

10. Describe your feeling after finishing the entire article.

I personally though that this whole situation was ridiculous; because if they wanted to conduct an accurate test they would have had both sexes do the experiment.

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