Lise Eliot: Brain Development, Binary Gender Identity, & Children

In this segment, neurologist Dr. Lise Eliot delves into questions regarding transgender and childhood gender identity. What factors of brain development inform gender identity in children? Dr. Eliot elaborates on what we do know, and don’t know, about the development of gender identity and gender expression in children, and how the ambiguity of gender expression in certain individuals points to gender as a cultural, rather than biological, function.

Dr. Eliot’s research is centered on brain and gender development, especially the role of neuroplasticity in shaping neural circuitry and behavior. Her studies range from cellular neurophysiology to meta-analyses of brain sex difference and include two highly-praised trade books, ‘What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life,’ and ‘Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps.’ Through both empirical and scholarly research, Dr. Eliot analyzes the interplay between innate biology, sociocultural factors, and individual experience in molding our brains and behavior across the lifespan. Learn more about Dr. Eliot and her work:

This is a segment of episode #136 of Last Born In The Wilderness “Pink Brain Blue Brain: Gender, Small Differences, & Big Gaps w/ Lise Eliot.” Listen to the full episode: