Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs

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Basic Books, Nov 8, 2005 - Psychology - 304 pages
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Publisher's description: From respected academics like Carol Gilligan to pop-psych gurus like John Gray, the message has long been the same: Men and women are fundamentally different, and trying to bridge the gender gap can only lead to grief. Generations have bought into the idea that women are uniquely primed to be "relational," men innately driven toward achievement-even when these "truths" are contradicted by what's happening in our daily lives. The time has come, argue the authors of this groundbreaking book, to liberate ourselves from biological determinism. Drawing on years of exhaustive research, Barnett and Rivers reveal how a toxic mix of junk science, pop psychology, and media hype has profoundly influenced our thinking and behavior, causing us to make poor decisions about how we choose our mates, raise our children, and manage our careers. It is power, not gender, that makes a difference; in fact, there are more differences among women (or men) with varying degrees of power than there are between women and men. In this vitally important and life-changing book, Barnett and Rivers sound a clarion call: a plea to end sexual stereotyping so that women and men, girls and boys, may realize their destinies as full human beings. Same Difference takes on the myths of "Mars and Venus": Myth ... Men are genetically driven to seek out beautiful women. This may have been true in the stone age, but times change. Now, a significant number of men report that an attractive portfolio is even more alluring than a pretty face. Myth ... Women want to marry wealthy men who can protect them and their children. In fact, a surprising majority of today's women put a higher price tag on empathy and nurturance. Myth ... Girls face an inevitable plunge in self-esteem at adolescence. Recent research finds no evidence of this. Yet parents, teachers, and girls themselves lower their expectations and balk at challenges, because of this pervasive belief. Myth ... Boys and girls learn differently. Teaching styles that emphasize different tactics for boys and girls are more often rooted in stereotypes than research or hard science, and can lead to a poorer-quality education for girls. Still, public funds are squandered on special curricula aimed at "female learning styles." Myth ... Men and women speak "different languages"--They "Just Don't Understand" each other. Wrong. Women talk "male" in the boardroom, and men easily master "motherese." Myth ... Female leadership is kinder and gentler. Not so. Position is the key to behavior: female managers are not more democratic than males, though many of us might like to think so.

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User Review  - mirikayla - LibraryThing

I almost gave this 4 stars because stylistically, there were some things I didn't care for. But the information is the important part, and as information goes I think this is about as essential as it gets for right now. I'll be writing about it on my blog. Read full review

Same difference: how gender myths are hurting our relationships, our children, and our jobs

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In their fourth joint effort (e.g., Lifeprints), Barnett (senior scientist & director, Community, Families, and Work Program, Brandeis Univ.) and renowned journalist Rivers (journalism, Boston Univ ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Rosalind Barnett, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Brandeis University and Director of its Community, Families, and Work Program. She is the author of six books and her work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles. Times, the Chicago Tribune, and USA Today, among other publications. She lives in Weston, Massachusetts. Caryl Rivers is a Professor of Journalism at Boston University and is a nationally known columnist, author, journalist, and media critic. She has written for the New York Times, The Nation, Ms., Rolling Stone, the Washington Post, and Dissent. She lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

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