The World Writes on the Body: The Influence of Gender on Biology -- talk by Gillian Einstein


Thursday, November 16, 2017, 4:00pm


Plimpton Room, Barker Center 133, 12 Quincy St.

Gillian EinsteinContemporary research on brain sex differences is characterized by polarized opposing positions. One side is represented by a surge in recent interest in neuroscientific research in sex differences that does not take into account the impact of gender on biology. The other side insists that sex differences in the brain are either entirely instilled by experience, non-existent, or unfortunate proclamations of bad science.  Neither position alone gets at the heart of the issue or leads to the best science. This talk presents three examples from Einstein’s own research in which both sex and gender are at play, looking at where they align, where they diverge, and how they interact.

Gillian Einstein, Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, Department of Psychology and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, studies how the structure and function of the brain are influenced by the context of people’s lives, especially sex and gender. In addition to her faculty affiliations, Einstein is an Adjunct Scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and a member of both the Institute for Life Course & Aging and the Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. She is also director of the Collaborative Program in Women's Health at the University of Toronto.

Part of the Sex/Gender: Theory into Practice Seminar Series. Future series events:

January 25, 2018 – Roundtable  Bringing Gender into Biomedical Research

February 15, 2018 – Rebecca Jordan-Young (Barnard College) “Transient Assemblages”: A New Hypothesis About the Biology of Sex

March 1, 2018 – Louise Pilote (McGill) Gender Matters in Heart Disease: A Novel Measure of Gender to Measure the Impact of Gender on Heart Disease Risk and Outcome

March 29, 2018 – Anne Fausto-Sterling (Brown) Gender-in-the-body: Infant-Mother Motor Interactions during Months 3-12 of Infancy

April 19, 2018 – Sari van Anders (University of Michigan) Gender/Sex, Social Neuroendocrinology, and Feminist/Queer Science