Pseudoscience: Another Fallacy Example

Here's another article about the reading/brain link. It commits, again, the correlation = causation fallacy: that when people process information in those areas of the brain it means something (like, this is the meaning processing area), or that because there are differences in the active areas between boys and girls, there is something different about them in the way they learn or anything else.

I think this shows that girls and boys are probably raised to process information differently than one another. The article notes that the differences decrease over time, which may mean that boys are developmentally catching up or they're finally being taught to read the same way as girls, whether at home or at school. (Also note the small sample sizes and the fact that the samples cut across ages. This is inappropriate in this type of developmental research. Ideally, you'd have at least 30 children of each age or age group, e.g., 30 from age 8-9.)

Don't get me wrong, I do think there are differences between male and female brain types, but I think they are small, and this study does not prove that there are any differences due to genetics or brain maturation alone. I think these differences are probably due to societal differences ("nurture").

Scientific American: Are Women Really Better at Language?


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