A recent trip to an evening of short-talks hosted by The Future Laboratory at the suggestion of a colleague resulted in me being utterly transfixed for six minutes by Dr Anne Moir. The subject? Brainsex!
- Yes, a brain has a sex, but “brainsex does not always match bodysex“
- You can tell what sex your brain is by examining your fingers! Specifically, the comparative length of your index finger and your ring finger on each hand.
To do this, measure from the crease (where your fingers meet the palm) to the tip; a longer index finger indicates a typical female brain and a longer ring finger indicates a typical male brain, however, you can have one of each which would require further investigation.
- Do most transsexuals and homosexuals have a brain gender that doesn’t correlate with their bodysex?
- What are the brainsexes of ‘great minds’? And are there differences according to field/focus?
- What are the brainsexes of leading politicians?
- What are the brainsexes of top athletes? And does this change with regards to sport/focus?
- And finally; has this changed over time?
Until more specific research can be done in order to shed light onto my burning questions, Dr Moir’s insights have more practical applications. They’re increasingly being used in marketing, as they give an insight into how a male or female brain might react to different stimuli. Apparently, brainsex can indicate occupational suitability, lead to better understanding within relationships and target our optimal learning style. Interestingly, Dr Moir points out that our current educational system favours female brains, which is why girls tend to progress quicker and better than boys.
From my perspective, not only is this fascinating, I think this research could be incredibly useful to the field of Human Factors, contributing to our comprehension of mental processes, such as how people think, perceive, remember and learn. If we can get a better understanding of how users think and react to a product or service, even on a high level, then we are more informed and capable of designing for them.
Posted by PDD
The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
My dream project: A project that makes a difference in the world.
My obsession: Develop successful, award-winning and world-first products and experiences.