Louann Brizendine

Louann Brizendine, M.D., (born December 30, 1952)[1] is an American scientist, a neuropsychiatrist[2] who is both a researcher and a clinician and professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).. She is the author of two books: The Female Brain, and The Male Brain (published in 2010).

Louann Brizendine
ResidenceCalifornia, USA
Alma materUC Berkeley, Yale School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Known forResearch on the effect of reproductive hormones on the brain and behavior
Scientific career

Research and career

Brizendine's research concerns women's moods and hormones. She graduated in neurobiology from UC Berkeley, attended Yale School of Medicine, and completed a residency in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is board-certified in psychiatry and neurology and is an endowed clinical professor. She joined the faculty of UCSF Medical Center at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute in 1988, and now holds the Lynne and Marc Benioff-endowed chair of psychiatry. At UCSF, Brizendine carries out clinical, teaching, writing, and research activities.

In 1994, Brizendine founded the UCSF Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic,[3] and continues to serve as its director.[4]

Brizendine also teaches courses to medical students, residents, and other physicians throughout the country, on the neurobiology of hormones, mood disorders, anxiety problems, and changes in sexual interest due to hormones.

Bestselling author status

Brizendine's book The Female Brain was reviewed both positively and negatively, especially one piece of content pertaining to linguistics and language. She later acknowledged that this book overemphasized gender-based differences, saying: "Males and females are more alike than they're different. After all, we are the same species".[5]

The Female Brain was loosely adapted as a romantic comedy movie of the same name in 2017. Brizendine served as the inspiration for the film's main character.[6]

She has also written The Male Brain and admitted that her books emphasize the differences between men and women, which has led to her "best-selling" success.[2]


Brizendine did her undergraduate work from 1972–76 at UC Berkeley, where she received a bachelor of arts in neurobiology. She studied for her MD from 1976–81 at the Yale School of Medicine. She subsequently did a residency in psychiatry, MMHC, from 1982–85 at the Harvard Medical School.

Faculty appointments

From 1985–88, Brizendine was on the faculty at Harvard, and from 1988 onwards at UC San Francisco.


  • The Female Brain. Morgan Road/Broadway Books. 2006. ISBN 978-0-7679-2009-4.
  • The Male Brain. Three Rivers Press/Crown Publishing. 2010. ISBN 978-0-7679-2754-3.


  1. "Brizendine, Louann, 1952-". id.loc.gov. The Library of Congress.CS1 maint: others (link)
  2. Bazelon, Emily (25 March 2010). "A Mind of His Own". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  3. The Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic
  4. Kapp, Diana (12 February 2010). "The Male Brain: Neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine on her inevitably best-selling new book". Elle. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
  5. Tugend, Alina. "Engendering Sons". California (Winter 2014): 48–49.
  6. Roznovsky, Nicholas (27 June 2017). "'The Female Brain' movie premieres in Los Angeles". UCSF Psychiatry News. UCSF Department of Psychiatry. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
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