The Essential Difference: Male and Female Brains and the Truth about Autism

Front Cover
We all know the opposite sex can be a baffling, even infuriating, species. Why do most men use the phone to exchange information rather than have a chat? Why do women love talking about relationships and feelings with their girlfriends while men seem drawn to computer games, new gadgets, or the latest sports scores? Does it really all just come down to our upbringing? In The Essential Difference, leading psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen confirms what most of us had suspected all along: that male and female brains are different. This groundbreaking and controversial study reveals the scientific evidence (present even in one-day-old babies) that proves that female-type brains are better at empathizing and communicating, while male brains are stronger at understanding and building systems-not just computers and machinery, but abstract systems such as politics and music. Most revolutionary of all, The Essential Difference also puts forward the compelling new theory that autism (and its close relative, Asperger's Syndrome) is actually an example of the extreme male brain. His theory can explain why those who live with this condition are brilliant at analyzing the most complex systems yet cannot relate to the emotional lives of those with whom they live. Understanding our essential difference, Baron-Cohen concludes, may help us not only make sense of our partners' foibles, but also solve one of the most mysterious scientific riddles of our time.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ThePinesLibrary - LibraryThing

This ground-breaking and controversial study reveals the scientific evidence (present even in one-day-old babies) which proves that female-type brains are better at empathizing and communicating ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jwrudn - LibraryThing

That rare scientifically fascinating book for the non scientist. Thought provoking. Will change the way you think about men and women. A Men are from Mars, Women from Venus for intelligent readers. Read full review

Contents

The Male and Female 2 Boy Meets Girl Brain
1
What Is Empathizing?
3
The Female Brain as Empathizer The Evidence
4
What Is Systemizing?
5
The Male Brain as Systemizer The Evidence
6
Culture
7
Biology
148
Evolution of the Male and Female Brain
183
THE READING THE MIND IN THE EYES TEST1
289
THE EMPATHY QUOTIENT EQ1
304
THE SYSTEMIZING QUOTIENT SQ1
310
THE AUTISM SPECTRUM QUOTIENT AQ1
317
REFERENCES
323
BIBLIOGRAPHY
341
398
379
Material
398

Autism The Extreme Male Brain
207
A Professor of Mathematics1
240
The Extreme Female Brain Back to the Future
264

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About the author (2010)

Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor in Developmental Psychopathology and Director of the Autism Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, is the author of "Mindblindness" (MIT Press, 1997) and "The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Mind".

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