Left Side, Right Side, Offside
Is there anything in dominance of left side of brain in mathematical ability?
Are boys better than girls in mathematics, because of left brain dominance?
The concept of left brain and right brain thinking developed from research in late 1960s by an American neurosurgeon Roger W Sperry. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1981.
I came across a variation of this theory (which Iíll call gender theory) in late 1970s. The gender theory was put forward as a means of explaining why at that time, boys out - performed girls in field of mathematics.
The left brain/ right brain theory says that left side of brain is logical, analytical and objective.
The gender theory says that this "masculine" side of brain is assertive, aggressive and authoritative
The left brain/ right brain theory says that right side of brain is random, emotional, spontaneous, and subjective.
The gender theory says that this "feminine" side of brain is emotional, passive, creative and holistic
The gender theory then says that dominant side of boys brains is left side, hence their mathematical skills are better.
Behavioural psychologists set out to prove or disprove this gender theory by measuring passive/ aggressive tendencies. There were a lot of dodgy psychological experiments performed.
Animal psychologists fed chickens male hormones and measured increased peck rate. Other psychologists worked with small babies. It was found for example, that when a researcher blew on babyís face while it was lying in pram, a girl baby would turn over and go back to sleep, whereas a boy baby would react in a more belligerent manner, perhaps giving psychologist a whack with his rattle.