IWF’s Carrie Lukas reviews Louann Brizendine’s The Female Brain in today’s Washington Times:

“Dr. Brizendine begins by describing the historical failure of scientists to consider women’s unique make up, instead assuming that ‘women were essentially small men, neurologically and in every other sense except for their reproductive functions.’ The truth is quite different: 99 percent of male and female genetic coding is the same, but the differences that exist have profound effects:

“‘What we’ve found is that the female brain is so deeply affected by hormones that their influence can be said to create a woman’s reality. They can shape a woman’s values and desires, and tell her, day to day, what’s important. Their presence is felt at every stage of life, right from birth.'”

As Carrie points out, this information is powerful for women:

“As Dr. Brizendine writes: “if we can understand how our lives are shaped by our brain chemistry, then maybe we can better see the road ahead.” It’s easy to see how this information can help women better approach the relationships or personal trials they face.”

Regardless of how useful the information is, it is bound to be controversial (just ask Larry Summers!):

“Dr. Brizendine acknowledges the political sensitivity of these issues: ‘There are still those who believe that for women to become equal, unisex must be the norm. The biological reality, however, is that there is no unisex brain. The fear of discrimination based on difference runs deep, and for many years assumptions about sex differences went scientifically unexamined for fear that women wouldn’t be able to claim equality with men. But pretending that women and men are the same, while doing a disservice to both men and women, ultimately hurts women.'”

Acknowledging differences between men and women has public policy implications, some of which Carrie lays out in the review:

“It’s important, of course, to give women the opportunities to participate in all facets of life, but policies like Title IX — which have been taken to mean that colleges and universities must have the same number of female athletes as male athletes — ignore differences between men and women. Social engineers across Europe who seek to make child-rearing a responsibility equally shared by men and women are fighting human nature.”

Read the whole article here.