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Dispelling a Popular Belief about Men & Women

This is Science Today. The popular belief that women have better language skills than men has been countered. Psychologist Christine Chiarello of the University of California, Riverside says her lab gathered demographic data, tested language and reading skills and performed magnetic resonance imaging to map the brain the brain structures of 200 university students - dividing the group by sex.

Chiarello:        It's been a somewhat controversial area. There's sort of the popular view and then there's the scientific view and they're not exactly completely meshed. The popular view of course is that women have better verbal skills than men do and there's also a belief that there's a specialized structures in the brain that support language in women that may be different from men. But in fact, our data showed pretty clearly that there were really no substantial differences between men and women in what we measured.

Narrator:        For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin