Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

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W. W. Norton & Company, Aug 30, 2010 - Social Science - 304 pages
24 Reviews

“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times

It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender.

Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.
 

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User Review  - Calavari - LibraryThing

Just as the title makes it sound, this book debunks many of the popular theories on the differences between men and women, girls and boys and their respective brains. The main message is that gender ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cdogzilla - LibraryThing

Men aren't from Mars; women aren't from Venus. Ms. Fine's work is a witty, insightful, and healthily skeptical look at the science of gender studies. As a father of twins who'd like to do whatever ... Read full review

Contents

We Think Therefore You Are
3
Why You Should Cover Your Head with
14
Backwards and in High Heels
27
The Glass Workplace
54
Gender Equality Begins or Ends at Home
78
Gender Equality 2 0?
90
The Fetal Fork
99
In the Darkness of the Womb and the First Few Hours in the Light
107
The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience
168
Unraveling Hardwiring
176
PaRt3
182
RECYCLINg gENDER
187
Preconceptions and Postconceptions
189
Parenting with a HalfChanged Mind
197
Gender Detectives
207
Gender Education
214

The Brain of a Boy in the Body of a Girl or a Monkey?
118
Sex and Premature Speculation
131
What Does It All Mean Anyway?
141
Brain Scams
155
And Stretch
233
Bibliography
289
Index
329
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Cordelia Fine, an associate professor at the University of Melbourne, is author of the much-acclaimed Delusions of Gender and A Mind of Its Own.

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