I suggest that taking an evolutionary perspective can actually help reduce gender inequality in leadership. Prog Brain Res. Annu Rev Psychol. However, in the context of modern plasticity research, we must take considerably more account of the fact that the brain can adapt and change anatomically and functionally through practice and learning 58.
Typically, it is argued that women show a more bilateral activation pattern, for example during the processing of verbal information. Curr Opin Neurobiol. This got the ball rolling, so the argument goes, toward gender norms that women be less competitive than men, including in the pursuit of leadership.
The idea is that in our hunter-gatherer ancestors, physical strength made men more efficient at, and thus more likely to specialize in, tasks like hunting or warfare. This implies more cortical surface area, which may offset gender differences in brain volume.
Voyer D, Voyer S, Bryden MP: Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: a meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. However, one has to keep in mind that fMRI studies usually rely on small sample sizes and that the paradigms used in verbal fMRI studies vary considerably.
Try Now! Gibson in his comparative study on gender differences in leadership across Sweden, Australia, and Norway, analyzed individuals working on leadership positions on four behavioral dimensions of leadership i. Main article: Sex differences in medicine. Feminist Economics. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology.
They also found that the effect on agentic attributes were mediated by perceptions of double standards, while communal traits were mediated by expectations of feminized management skills. Alice Eagly, a frontrunner in the research on gender differences in leadership, found through multiple studies that differences between men and women are small and that the overlap is considerable.
This got the ball rolling, so the argument goes, toward gender norms that women be less competitive than men, including in the pursuit of leadership. Most Popular. Early research in this area suggests stronger and more effective inter-hemispheric connections in women as indicated, for example, by larger cross-sectional corpus callosum CC areas representative of the number of transcallosal fibers A recent meta-analysis summarizing the published neuroimaging studies on that topic addresses this issue