Tag Archive | 2000

Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus

Title: Male-to-Female Transsexuals Have Female Neuron Numbers in a Limbic Nucleus

Link: http://jcem.endojournals.org/content/85/5/2034.full

Summary: (abstract)

Transsexuals experience themselves as being of the opposite sex, despite having the biological characteristics of one sex. A crucial question resulting from a previous brain study in male-to-female transsexuals was whether the reported difference according to gender identity in the central part of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTc) was based on a neuronal difference in the BSTc itself or just a reflection of a difference in vasoactive intestinal polypeptide innervation from the amygdala, which was used as a marker. Therefore, we determined in 42 subjects the number of somatostatin-expressing neurons in the BSTc in relation to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and past or present hormonal status. Regardless of sexual orientation, men had almost twice as many somatostatin neurons as women (P < 0.006). The number of neurons in the BSTc of male-to-female transsexuals was similar to that of the females (P = 0.83). In contrast, the neuron number of a female-to-male transsexual was found to be in the male range. Hormone treatment or sex hormone level variations in adulthood did not seem to have influenced BSTc neuron numbers. The present findings of somatostatin neuronal sex differences in the BSTc and its sex reversal in the transsexual brain clearly support the paradigm that in transsexuals sexual differentiation of the brain and genitals may go into opposite directions and point to a neurobiological basis of gender identity disorder.

Blind Orchestra Auditions Better For Women

Title: Blind Orchestra Auditions Better For Women

Link: http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/A94/90/73G00/index.xml

Summary:

Efforts to conceal the identities of musicians auditioning for spots in symphony orchestras significantly boost the chances of women to succeed, a new study co-authored by a Princeton University economist suggests.

Traditionally, women have been underrepresented in American and European orchestras. Renowned conductors have asserted that female musicians have “smaller techniques,” are more temperamental and are simply unsuitable for orchestras, and some European orchestras do not hire women at all. Proving discrimination in hiring practices, however, has been difficult.

The study by Cecilia Rouse, an associate professor in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the economics department; and Claudia Goldin, a professor of economics at Harvard University, seems to confirm the existence of sex-biased hiring by major symphony orchestras and illustrates the value of blind auditions, which have been adopted by most American symphonies. Their report is published in the September-November issue of the American Economic Review.

“This country’s top symphony orchestras have long been alleged to discriminate against women, and others, in hiring,” Rouse said. “Our research suggests both that there has been differential treatment of women and that blind auditions go a long way towards resolving the problem.”