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Women 's Brains by Stephen Jay Gould discusses how inferior women are to men , based on scientific data . George Eliot , in the prelude of Middlemarch , grieved over the unfulfilled lives of talented women . She wrote in 1872 that the leaders of European anthropometry or measurement of the human body , scientifically measured the inferiority of women . But it was craniometry or measurement of the skull , led by Professor Paul Broca , which got more attention Broca argued that women had smaller brains than men , therefore could not equal their intelligence . He claimed this is
Broca argued that women had smaller brains than men , therefore could not equal their intelligence . He claimed this is
scientific truth since men in modern societies possessed larger brains and that their superiority through time increases . He based this on extensive data that came from autopsies he performed in four Parisian hospitals . For 292 male brains he calculated an average weight of 1 ,325 grams 140 female brains averaged 1 ,144 grams for a difference of 181 grams , or 14 percent of the male weight . Though he recognized that the difference in brain size could be attributed to greater height of males , he made no effort to measure the effect of size alone and claimed that it cannot account for the entire difference
However , there are those who oppose Broca 's fold . One was Tiedemann , who proposed that the relatively small female brain size depends in part upon their physical inferiority and in part upon their intellectual inferiority . Another defender of women was
L . Manouvrier , who claimed that women displayed their talents and diplomas and invoked philosophical authorities . Unfortunately , bad commentaries and sarcasm outnumbered these positive points . Examples of which were theologians asking if women had a soul and scientists ready to refuse them of a human intelligence
In 1873 , Broca measured cranial capacities of prehistoric skulls from L 'Homme Mort cave and found a difference of only 99 .5 cubic centimeters between males and females . According to Topinard , one of Broca 's disciples , the increasing discrepancy through time is attributed to active men , who have all the responsibility and therefore needs more brain , and to the passive woman , whose role is childrearing . But the chief misogynist of Broca 's school was Gustave Le Bon , who claimed that there are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to the gorillas ' than to most developed male brains . Even psychologists , poets and novelists recognized that women represent the most inferior forms of human evolution , closer to children and savages than to an adult civilized man . There may be distinguished women , but they were a minority . Moreover , Le Bon opposed granting women higher education saying that when this happens , a social revolution will begin and that everything that maintains the sacred family ties will vanish
Gould , reexamining Broca 's data , said that his numbers were sound but his interpretations were ill-founded . Broca made conclusions yet he studied only seven male and six female skulls in L 'Homme Mort Furthermore , he did not consider that brain weight decreases with age Women in his studies were considerably older...