Customer Reviews


58 Reviews
5 star:
 (40)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent at first
The first third of this book is incredible, it cited sources and large enough studies to convince any honest person of it's point and it's importance. It' completely changed my views on many of what I now consider to be key and generally poorly understood issues. But after that something strange happened. It started when she was comparing how important people perceive...
Published 12 months ago by Michael Watson

versus
136 of 208 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Delusions of science: a question of scientific validity
There is an implicit oxymoron in the notion of anything referred to as 'real science'. If science has taught us one thing throughout history, it ought to be that we know very little about anything: mostly, our supposed knowledge is merely a collection of ideas that explain apparent data - a set of beliefs, not ultimate truths. So when someone uses a phrase such as "the...
Published on 29 Dec. 2010 by GrrlAlex


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent at first, 19 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Paperback)
The first third of this book is incredible, it cited sources and large enough studies to convince any honest person of it's point and it's importance. It' completely changed my views on many of what I now consider to be key and generally poorly understood issues. But after that something strange happened. It started when she was comparing how important people perceive work of men and women to be, in support of her point she cited that 2 couples she was friends with both thought the man was more busy/ important at work, at this point alarm bells started going,

they continued ever louder while a paragraph was given to discrediting rat studies only for a rat study to be used in supporting one of her points not 10 pages later.

and they became deafening when an entire chapter was given to discrediting another persons work because although they could show a link from foetal testosterone levels to brain structure they couldn't then show a link to behaviour (although differences existed). which was fine but don't then in the very next chapter quote a nobel prize winner in support of your point saying that a great scientist is one who can try to predict the whole picture when only fragments of it can be seen.

In summary, the first 1/3 of the book is well worth the cost of the whole thing but it's worth keeping 'the filter' on if you are going to read the rest.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be sceptical, 20 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Cordella Fine looks at the research done into the supposed difference between how men and women think. She finds that most, if not all, the research studies are inconclusive, but she finds the 'results' have been used to promote views that are false and misleading.
I found this a stimulating read. It was worth reading, and made me realise how manipulated we are.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


83 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning amount of research, 29 Aug. 2010
I found this book stunning. All around you see all this stuff about 'Men's brains' and 'Women's brains', and it always struck me as odd that a sex that has, for example, written so much brilliant literature should be deemed semi-autistic, etc etc. So here comes this brilliantly researched book (just take a look at the pages and pages of notes at the end - this author knows her onions backwards and forwards and sideways) - and she points out how shoddy it all is.
And she's funny!
No one will ever again have to sit through a dinner party with some parent going on about how 'I thought that too, but you only have to LOOK at my ttwo children to see there are innate differences...bleh bleh'. She unpickes it all and shows how social pressures are so important and the brain differences that are so often claimed are, essentially, neurotosh, aka neurosexism. I think I shall carry a copy round with me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking and entertaining, 4 Jan. 2011
By 
Amazon Customer (North West England) - See all my reviews
This book should be required reading for all women - and men, and especially all those who would wish to be enlightened parents.

The author reviews and explains neuroscience studies, real and spurious, in the area of gender that are genuinely surprising to read about. Assumptions I've made over the years are taken apart and revealed as 'tricks of the mind'. Studies are analyzed and shown to be 'bad science'. It is genuinely eye-opening, even for those of us who have always thought themselves fairly 'gender aware'. Thankfully the hardiest detractor of Cordelia Fine's work (and I'll just bet there are many - this area is always one in which you light the blue touchpaper and retire!)would have trouble finding her rabid or partisan. The wry - and overt - humour in the text is wonderful.

I heartily recommend this book - for it's balanced, scientific approach, its good humour and it's well-written prose.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this., 19 Jun. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Paperback)
Hands down one of the best books on gender issues and popular assumptions about gender I have ever read. And for all that it tackles some pretty heavy theory and science, it's a remarkably light read, that will even have you laughing out loud at times, without ever becoming less than serious and passionate.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it but be prepared to get angry, 25 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Someone on Facebook recommended this to me, as part of a conversation we were having about gender perceptions. I thought I was pretty savvy about these issues but this just blew me away. It's the sort of book you want to keep quoting at people, you'll want to buy it for people, and force them to read it. It opened my eyes to how much I have been conditioned by society to be a certain way, and how much I have been part of the conditioning. Once your eyes are opened, you see examples of it everywhere - the author makes a good case, and then you see the evidence yourself. Terrifying. But a very necessary book. Give it to your children to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing read!, 18 July 2012
By 
Manuela Vittori (Cardiff, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Paperback)
Well, if you want a book that makes you stop and think, then click the "buy now" button now!
It challenges stereotypes about men and women (and their brain) in a simple but effective way, allowing a layperson like me to understand scientific research on the matter. As a woman, I feel much more empowered after reading this book and I will put it on my list of presents for family and friends.
(well, at least the female ones!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this, 17 May 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Paperback)
A fascinating, thoroughly researched assessment of gender differences and where these come from.

This book convincingly argues the case that gender difference is more the result of gender inequality in society than a result of genes or biology. It scathingly pulls apart assertions in popular literature that gender differences are "hard wired" showing these without fail to be based on bad or inadequate science or misinterpretation of results.

Easy to read and laugh out loud funny in places this important book should be read by anyone interested in why we are the way we are and how our interactions with the environment affect others in around us, most particularly children and how we parent them.

In fact I think this is one of the best books I have read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make everyone read this at gunpoint, 2 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences (Paperback)
I'd only read the introduction to this book when I found myself listing people I wanted to make read it at gunpoint: the list began with two exes, and the boss that wouldn't shake hands with women, but within a few minutes included "every teacher, policymaker and year 10 child in the country".

This is a book with such a large scope that it's near-impossible to overestimate its importance. Much like The Spirit Level did for socio-economics, this book ropes together decades' worth of studies on gender differences and casts a cool, calm eye (and an arched brow) over them all.

Fine (daughter of Bill's New Frock author Anne Fine) begins by framing her argument within the historiography of accepted scientific truths: she quotes some now-hilarious Victorian pronouncements on the innate weakness of women's charmingly delicate minds and bodies to point out just how easily dated most `common sense' assumptions can be.

Then she points out just how deeply flawed the methods of many gender difference studies have been. Though she does take some obvious, Bad Science-esque pleasure in debunking such studies, you'd be hard-pushed not to smirk too at the news that, though one study appeared to show women's brains reacted more than men's when shown images likely to trigger empathy - another scientist found much the same result when they ran the same MRI scan on a dead salmon.

Once a lot of the `science' has been debunked, the most vocal `experts' on gender differences appear almost as dubious as creationist scientists. It would be hilarious except that some of these people campaign, off the back of these studies, that these `innate' and `scientifically proven' differences mean the genders should be educated separately and differently.

The book also explains the concept of the `stereotype threat' - an impressive array of studies demonstrate that once you have been told you will not be as good at something, your performance suffers. Differences as subtle as ticking a box to indicate your sex at the beginning of the maths test, or gendered décor in the exam room, were shown to have a small-yet-palpable effect on performance when people felt they were up against a negative gender stereotype. If you add up a lifetime of such instances the reason for the lack of women in traditionally `male' jobs and vice versa becomes pretty obvious.

Another welcome addition to my vocabulary was the `gender fallback' argument - "when things are so equal now, it must be innate that my little girl loves pink." However, as Fine argues, with wit and warmth, children are very good at picking up what they `should' do - whether they were instructed deliberately or unconsciously. Studies have shown mothers often overestimate their male toddlers' physical abilities while underestimating their girls' - so how can we possibly assume the differences we see are set in stone rather than self-fulfilling societal prophesies?

This book will cast a light on gender assumptions you didn't know you had, and it's hilarious - with chapter titles such as `We Think, Therefore You Are' and `Sex and Premature Speculation' Dr Fine is a brilliant tour guide - making light, fun and engaging work of the research. By debunking the rubbish, this book opens up possibilities for a (slightly) clearer vision of the future. Not to be missed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrifying book. All boys and girls (left-handers and right-handers) should read this, 6 Jan. 2011
By 
Albertine Davies (Swindon, Wiltshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Oh my LORD! You will never feel the same way about using a simple pronoun again.

This book highlights all sorts of ways in which male and female stereotypes affect the way people think about themselves and others. In TERRIFYING ways. We are given a layperson's synopsis of a number of experiments and their alarming results. Cordelia Fine recounts how simply reminding yourself what gender you are (by ticking a box on a form, unbelievably) has been shown to affect how you go on to perform in a maths test: girls score lower than control groups when reminded that they are female, since the all-pervasive stereotype is that boys are better at maths. This is just one horrifying example of the way stereotypes can affect all of us for the worse.

We are shown the many ways that we all treat boys and girls differently, even subconsciously. Fine doesn't prove that there are no differences between male and female brains but she provides a fantastically sarcastic commentary on the literature which aims to prove the opposite. She articulates her concern that some teachers and parents are deliberately treating boys and girls differently, because of bad-science claims in pop-culture books that suggest that the sexes must be treated differently to achieve equality. She urges caution in making assumptions about different abilities or preferences in boys and girls, demonstrating there is not enough evidence to warrant it.

The first part of the book shows us the damage that can be done by our different treatment of girls and boys, and the last part proves to readers that they too do this themselves, even though they don't mean to. Fine has added a valuable contribution to this debate. You may agree with her, or you may disagree, but I guarantee you will be shocked at some of the issues she highlights. She speaks with a passionate voice in an extremely funny and enjoyable book, and has galvanised me, for one: this book has changed the way I speak and act towards children and adults of both sexes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences
Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences by Cordelia  Fine (Paperback - 3 Feb. 2011)
£6.74
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews