According to a new study, the society’s
expectations about gender roles have a deep impact on human brains and can
alter human brain at the cellular level.
The researchers have highlighted that though the
terms sex and gender are used interchangeably, they are different things. Sex
is based on biological factors such as sex chromosomes and gonads (reproductive
organs). While, gender us a social construct, and involves expectations and behaviours
based on an individual’s perceived sex.
According to scientists, these expectations and
behaviours around the gender identity can be seen in epigenetic marks in the
brain. Epigenetics is the term used to describe inheritance by mechanisms other
than through the DNA sequence of genes. Epigenetic marks work through chemical
tags added to chromosomes that in effect switch genes on or off.
Epigenetic marks help determine which genes are
expressed and are sometimes passed on from cell to cell as they divide. They
also can be passed down from one generation to the next. They drive biological
functions and features as diverse as memory, development and disease