Louann Brizendine is a neuropsychiatrist and the author of The Female Brain, published in 2006.
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 pursues active clinical, teaching, writing and research activities.
In 1994 she founded the UCSF Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic, and continues to serve as its director. The Women's Mood and Hormone Clinic is a psychiatric clinic designed to assess and treat women of all ages experiencing disruption of mood, energy, anxiety, sexual function and well-being due to hormonal influences on the brain. Brizendine also treats couples in the clinic.
Additionally, Brizendine teaches courses to medical students, residents and other physicians throughout the country, addressing the neurobiology of hormones, mood disorders, anxiety problems, and sexual interest changes due to hormones.
Academic feminists have given mixed reviews to The Female Brain. She was given the tongue-in-cheek 2006 Becky Award, which is given to "people or organizations who have made outstanding contributions to linguistic misinformation." The award cited errors in The Female Brain, including one sentence (removed in future printings) which contrasted the number of words used by men and women in one day. The numbers had been taken from a book by a self-help guru and were incorrect.The phonetician Mark Liberman has formulated an extensive criticism of Brizendine's approach in a series of blog comments, starting with , and continuing with a long series of blog articles listed here .