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Biomedical Reviews

Sex, sexual orientation and sex hormones influence human cognitive function

Doreen Kimura


Superior performance by women on a task requiring object location memory has challenged the traditional view that men excel on all spatial tasks. Sexual orientation is also associated with variation in cognitive ability pattern, but such association appears to be more consistent for a real-world ten-getting task than for paper-and-pencil spatial tests. Finally, there is increasing evidence that early exposure to sex hormones has lasting effects on problem-solving behavior; moreover, current fluctuations in sex hormones in both men and women are associated with changes in cognitive pattern.

Biomedical Reviews 1997; 7: 33-39.

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About The Author

Doreen Kimura
University of Western Ontario

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