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Nicola Sullivan
The Science Museum in London has been criticised over an exhibit that allows visitors to test whether they have a pink or blue brain.

The interactive quiz is part of a wider display called Boy or Girl? that includes stories, objects and research, including studies about sexual preference and behaviour, tests to see the sex of an unborn baby, and a section looking at gender identity and the evidence for biological differences between the sexes.

The quiz is designed to determine whether a visitor’s brain is more male or female, but has been criticised for being out of date, misleading and reinforcing gender stereotypes.

 “The stereotyped view of a hard-wired link between sex and gender is wrong and potentially harmful as it implies that this is somehow the natural order of things,” professor Gina Rippon, a neuroscientist from the University of Aston told the Guardian newspaper.

Professor Joe Devlin, a neuroscientist at University College London, told the Guardian that there were differences between the male and female brain, but it is not clear what impact, if any, these differences have on cognition.

Comments were also made about the exhibit on social media

A statement from the Science Museum said the quiz dates back to the museum’s first incarnation of its Who am I? gallery, which opened 16 years ago, and was based on research from the 1990s that is now regarded as out of date.

“Scientific accuracy is of paramount importance to the museum and we recognise that with fast-moving areas of research, scientific consensus can and does shift. We are now talking to leading experts in neuroscience and clinical psychology to consider how, with the resources available, we can ensure this display is updated as soon as possible to represent the latest scientific evidence,” said the statement.

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