This review brings together evidence from a diverse field of methods for investigating sex differences in language processing. Differences are found in certain language-related deficits, such as stuttering, dyslexia, autism and schizophrenia. Common to these is that language problems may follow from, rather than cause the deficit. Large studies have been conducted on sex differences in verbal abilities within the normal population, and a careful reading of the results suggests that differences in language proficiency do not exist. Early differences in language acquisition show a slight advantage for girls, but this gradually disappears. A difference in language lateralization of brain structure and function in adults has also been suggested, perhaps following size differences in the corpus callosum. Neither of these claims is substantiated by evidence. In addition, overall results from studies on regional grey matter distribution using voxel-based morphometry, indicate no consistent differences between males and females in language related cortical regions. Language function in Wada-tests, aphasia, and in normal aging also fails to show sex differentiation.
Brain and Language, 2009, Vol 108, Issue 3, p. 175-183