Stacey Burling’s article on a scientific gender-based brain study was fascinating reading. Although the article makes no judgment about gender brain differences, the front-page headline was a disparaging cheap shot: “No Surprise? Men using just half a brain.”

Haha! See? Men really are dumb! That type of negative stereotyping would never be tolerated for any other subgroup in our culture. That same headline would be blasted as prejudiced, insensitive, or, inappropriate, if you were to replace the word men with, say, women, gays, Christians, blonds,-you name it! I can't think of a single other group that would take that kind of front page ribbing without generating a significant backlash.

Perhaps, I'm just not using the half of my brain that's supposed to have a sense of humor about such things. After all, it's become quite common in advertising to poke fun at stupid, dirty men who, along with their unruly children, are constantly being chased around by full-brain-using women with appropriately strong vacuum cleaners and chemical disinfectants. I guess the logic is supposed to be that men have ruled the roost for so long that it's our turn to be the brunt of the joke. Can't we think of better jokes? Turning science into an opportunity for negative stereotyping is bad journalism.

Christopher Lawler, Cherry Hill,  christopherlawler@verizon.net

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