Are hormones a “female problem” for animal research?

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Science  31 May 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6443, pp. 825-826
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw7570

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One of the most deep-seated misconceptions about the human psyche is that men are simple and women are complicated (1). Gender psychology scholars trace this belief back to at least the 19th century, when the long-standing view that women were inferior versions of men started to fall out of favor (2). In response, biological theories on the sexes were restructured into a narrative that characterized the emergent psychological properties of the female brain—“sensitivity, perceptual acumen, and emotionality”—as not lesser than, but complementary to, those of men's brains (1). This framed women as a disordered, unstable yin to men's rational, orderly yang, thus preserving the patriarchy. So-called scientific explanations of why women's mental proclivities deviated from men's relied heavily on the purported influence of reproductive physiology on the female mind (3). More than 100 years later, this idea still shapes not just how society perceives women but also how biomedical scientists approach animal research.