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Gina Rippon

The Gendered Brain: How our world can change our brains and make up our minds

Life and Matter Sciences Conference Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 19:00 hours Madrid


Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces - Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free asistance. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity.

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

  • Description
  • Programme

Do you have a female brain or a male brain? Or are we asking the wrong question? There is a long history of debate about biological sex differences and their part in determining gender roles, with the ‘biology is destiny’ mantra being used to legitimise imbalances in these roles. The tradition is continuing, with new brain imaging techniques being hailed as sources of evidence of the ‘essential’ differences between men and women, and the concept of ‘hardwiring’ sneaking into popular parlance as a brain-based explanation for all kinds of gender issues. This includes the failure of numerous well-meaning initiatives attempting to address the marked gender imbalances in many areas of achievement, especially science.

Drawing on new views of the brain, sex and gender, this talk challenges such deeply ingrained beliefs about sex differences in the brain, where they come from, how fixed they are and what they might mean for the brain’s owner. We will see how from the very first moments of life, our brains are shaped by society’s stereotypes and driven down binary pathways. We will see that, in order to truly understand our highly individualised and profoundly adaptable brains, we must acknowledge what goes on outside the brain is just as as important as what goes on inside. A gendered world will produce a gendered brain.

Tuesday, 25 February

18:30 h.

Attendees check-in

19:00 h.


Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra
Director de la Fundación Ramón Areces.


The Gendered Brain: How our world can change our brains and make up our minds 

Gina Rippon 
Professor Emeritus of Cognitive NeuroImaging at the Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham UK.

Gina Rippon is a past-President of the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience and, in 2015, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. Her research involves state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques to investigate developmental disorders such as dyslexia and autism. She also investigates the use of neuroscience techniques to explore social processes including gender stereotyping and stereotype threat.

She is an outspoken critic of ’neurotrash’, the populist (mis)use of neuroscience research to (mis)represent our understanding of the brain and, most particularly, to prop up outdated gender stereotypes. Her book on this topic ‘The Gendered Brain’, published by Bodley Head and Penguin Random House, came out in February 2019.

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