Original Paper


, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 319-330

First online:

New Research, Old Problems: Methodological and Ethical Issues in fMRI Research Examining Sex/Gender Differences in Emotion Processing

  • Robyn BluhmAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Old Dominion University Email author 

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Neuroscience research examining sex/gender differences aims to explain behavioral differences between men and women in terms of differences in their brains. Historically, this research has used ad hoc methods and has been conducted explicitly in order to show that prevailing gender roles were dictated by biology. I examine contemporary fMRI research on sex/gender differences in emotion processing and argue that it, too, both uses problematic methods and, in doing so, reinforces gender stereotypes.


Neuroimaging fMRI Epistemology Sex/gender differences Philosophy of science