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Vexcalibur
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04 May 2012, 10:26 am

WilliamWDelaney wrote:
My entire point, beginning to end, is that you and others have invested far too much faith in the explanatory power of "cultural indoctrination," and that is the beginning and end of it.

So your point is that you are misrepresenting everyone else's point? You must be proud.


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I have succeeded in demonstrating this position to the satisfaction of any reasonable person,

Ha, no.
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which is a category that you don't appear to fall into.

You are soo reasonable.


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I am done. I am right, and you are wrong..


No, not impressed, sorry. Please misinterpret another paper's abstract and use your misinterpretation as proof that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Maybe if you do a hundred of times, it will look better.


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visagrunt
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04 May 2012, 11:35 am

WilliamWDelaney wrote:
http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v28/n8/full/1300200a.html

"Estrogen impaired divergent thinking (p<0.01) and enhanced convergent thinking, motor perseveration, and memory for the initial word list (p<0.05 for all tests). In parallel, EEG dimensional complexity was reduced (p<0.05). Overall, these changes indicate an estrogen-induced shift from a 'divergent' towards a more 'convergent' mode of processing. However, overall less consistent, effects of testosterone were opposite to those of estrogen. It increased performance on some of the divergent thinking tasks (p<0.05), and tended to increase EEG dimensional complexity during divergent thinking."


You neglect to point out that this study was performed on a test group of post-menopausal women, whose levels of all gonadal steroids are, perforce, diminished.

This student does tell us about the specific impacts of estrogen and testosterone on subjects whose base levels of gonadal steroids are low--but it does not tell us anything about the interplay of the whole complex of gonadal steroids. Children have reduced levels of gonadal steroids--but this does not impact on the most crucial element of cognition: learning.

Furthermore, you have not demonstrated the linkage between the dosage levels used in the experiement from those that are typically found in adult men and women. If high doses of one or the other are being used, but only on an acute basis, this presents a different experimental environment than the ongoing levels of gonadal steroids that are observed in adult humans. If I pump you full of estrogen, that is going to have an impact on your cognition, to be sure. But when I do that, how will the levels of estrogen in your brain differ from the levels found in a typical, adult female?

The study proves that estrogen and testosterone have cognitive impacts. No argument there. But the link between their observable impacts and their actual function in a typical individual is not made out.

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Also, I actually presented scientific, factual support for the claim, "men are generally better at spatial reasoning." Hello, but it's a scientific fact, not just a political issue.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21295035

"Overall, the results indicate that testosterone can have positive activational effects on spatial learning and memory, but the duration of testosterone replacement and the nature of the spatial task modify these effects."

And that directly answers the question in the OP.


It does nothing of the kind.

Both testes and ovaries produce testosterone, after all. Typically, women have less testosterone in their bodies than men do--but it is not absent. So how much testosterone is enough to trigger this effect? Is more testosterone better? After all, earlier in the abstract of this article, the authors write:

Spritzer, et al. wrote:
This improved learning was independent of testosterone dose, with all treatment groups showing better performance than the castrated control males. Furthermore, this effect was only observed when rats were given testosterone injections starting 7 days prior to water maze testing and not when injections were given only on the testing days.


So perhaps the smaller amounts present in women are enough to trigger similar cognitive improvements. Perhaps differences in performance are not related to gonadal steroid levels, but rather to structural anatomical differences that are dicatated by environmental factors in utero.

You seem to be taking narrow experimental findings and using them to support broad, general conjecture. Your time would be better spent focussing on what is proved in the subjects that interest you, rather than searching for confirmation of your own biases.


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