Womens Brains Essay Research Paper English 104Essay

Womens Brains Essay, Research Paper

English 104


This is a brief summary of the essay “Women’s Brains” by Stephen Jay Gould, published in The Panda’s Thumb in 1980. Gould feals that the study of this is irrelevant to the field that they are studying and that the experiments should not have been conducted. This article is about the argument on the difference in intelligence between women and men.

Broca labeled women as not being near as intellegent as grown men and inferior to the male species. He came to his conclusions by measuring the skulls of women and men; Broca also compared height and brain weight. Broca’s colleague Gustav Le Bon also wrote an article viciously attacking women based on Broca’s theories. According to Gould their conclusions were very ill fetched, according to other authorities their experiment s were not completely carried out and were considered scientific fact when they actually were merely theories because they had biased opinions to begin with. He also puts into account that these were written in the nineteenth century when they did not have near as much information and women were treated a inferiors. He gives many excerpts from articles and tends to agree that the information regarding women having less intelligence based on the fact that they have smaller brains is fictional. He tries to give both sides of the argument by giving examples of each but he also makes it clear that he doesn’t agree with the conclusions that they made.

Gould talks about Montessori and Morgans theory using Broca’s philosophy they agreed that the theories of Broca were correct but they tend to favor the opposite sex. Gould thought that the argument by Montessori and Morgan was no better than that of Broca and he felt that all that the measurements were, were a vehicle to hurt other people and no good came from them in any way. There are many examples given in the story about why broca may have came to these conclusions and why he was wrong. Gould believes that the tests are of no value to that field of science


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