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date: 15 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This article seeks to examine a range of ethical, legal, and social issues that are raised by scientific studies that report neurobiological differences between and within the female and male sexes in the context of depression and psychosis, including postpartum depression and psychosis. It illustrates a broader trend among scientists with respect to the neuroscientific investigation of sex differences. It identifies and examines several legal implications of these studies, including implications for criminal infanticide law, health insurance policy interpretation, mental health parity law, and disability discrimination law. It analyses the risks and benefits of scientific studies that report neurobiological differences between and within the sexes and conclude that these studies have the potential to assist women by providing them with additional criminal, civil, and administrative protections and benefits, although the ethical and social implications invite more concern.

Keywords: neurobiological differences, sex differences, legal implications, scientific studies, policy interpretation

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