"There has certainly been a good amount of controversy over the science of sex differences and the brain. Pop-science books such as "The Male Brain" and "The Female Brain" that emphasize (and probably exaggerate) sex differences have drawn major criticism. A couple of books expose flaws in the stereotypical 'men think about sex every 5 seconds because they are programmed to' theory and related ideologies.
Researchers examined the brain activity of 26 females and 23 males who rested in a scanner and daydreamed. Three different well-characterized neural networks were analyzed for differences between males and females: the executive control network, the salience network, and the default mode network. The first two networks include several brain regions that have been associated with cognitive task performance in many previous studies. When subjects are at rest, these cognitive networks are deactivated but the resulting signal provides insight to their intrinsic behavior. The researchers chose to look at these 2 cognitive networks because of mixed findings from previous work that indicated possible differences between associated male and female cognitive performance and brain activity. However, when the signals among different regions within these networks were compared (in a functional connectivity analysis), no differences between males and females were found.
It should be noted that the findings did not match the hypothesis of the researchers, who thought that differences between the sexes would be found because that would support the findings of previous reports. However, this study had more subjects than most previous studies on male versus female brain differences, so the statistical power is higher. Furthermore, this is the first study to directly investigate male-female differences in resting brains, so the findings do not necessarily contradict other studies that involved concentration or attention. The researchers go as far as to suggest that resting state fMRI studies do not need to be controlled for sex because males and females have the same brain activity anyway.
Now that this blog post is done I feel my beer lobe lighting up and telling me to grab a cold one. Wait a second... is that possible?"