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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this.
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.
Published 13 months ago by vegan cowgirl

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126 of 194 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 A. Drummond


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent read, 21 Mar 2013
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Reviews of this book seem to be producing some highly inflamed debate, so I will limit myself to the following comments:

1) This book is well written and well researched. An excellent read which I found enriching as a student of Neuroscience and Medical degrees.
2) Read 'The Essential Difference' first... then read this. Then make up your own mind, as is your right!
3) Science does not equal truth. Scientists are more than capable of bending or exaggerating results or using sloppy methods to obtain those results. Sadly people feel they have to operate this way to get published. It is unfortunate - but do take everything you read or here with lashings of salt, as this book suggests.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Book: thank you for raising our consciousness, 22 Oct 2012
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A much needed book that speaks to us ordinary women and men to become more aware of how our thoughts, actions and decisions are inseparable from our sexist environment. Cordelia brilliantly shows that to be truly gender neutral is a feat that is virtually impossible without a drastic change in culture. Also, what I love about the book is that with all our talk about equality we started believing that we are equal, but the reality is diagonally opposed: we still think, act and behave pink and blue.
An invitation to look much harder at how we view ourselves as girls and boys men and women. Thank you for an awesome book.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delusions of Gender: Teh Real Science Behind Sex differences, 2 Jan 2012
This critical review on stereotype gender research - mostly brain and cognitive research - is giving an important and highly valuable lesson in decoding manipulative research results.
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5 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Much more formal and scientific than expected., 26 Jun 2012
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H. Whitehead (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Delusions of Gender looks like one of those popular science book that simplifies complicated theories for the common reader i.e. us. Cordelia Fine's book claims to examine the scientific reasons for sex differences to discover whether neuroscience or society is responsible for our different behaviours. Kind of a nurture v nature type thing. Unfortunately it actually comes across as a repetitive, stodgy and frankly boring scientific analysis of gender differences.

The basic point of this one is that both women's brains and men's are exactly the same, but society's expectations forces them into a playing particular role subconsciously. For example, men are said to outperform women in mathematics, but when tested for this study both genders did approximately as well. However, when instructed to tick a box at the start of the test to note their gender, women suddenly started doing less well. So the general idea is that women subconsciously think they should do less well, and so they do. Trust me you can't miss the message - if Cordelia Fine appeared on my doorstep with a sledgehammer, it wouldn't surprise me.

A lot of the reviews on Amazon claim the science is incorrect and wishy-washy, but I wouldn't know about that - my degree really doesn't help with this kind of thing. I think it says a lot about Delusions of Gender that the people who read it are the people who already know the science behind it, if that makes any sense.

It's much, much more formal than I expected - Cordelia Fine herself has a phD in Psychology and it shows. Unfortunately she tends to assume that everybody else in the world does too. It's pretty much just list after list of different studies and their results, without much attempt at her own opinion or analysis. It's so very repetitive - she lectures about Math test results a lot, and cites four different (identical) studies when just one would do. Yes, the bibliography and notes sections are huge, but that's because she seems to have just regurgitated all of those other books.

So yes, I hate to admit it, but it did occasionally go over my head. It's a simple concept really - men and women are only different because of society's expectations - but it's explained in a way that only confuses the layperson. Or this layperson, at any rate. It's just not what I expected and I don't really agree with the hypothesis. For me, it's an unavoidable truth that men and women think differently and Cordelia Fine doesn't really say much to change my mind.
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16 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pop journalism with an axe to grind, 21 April 2011
author presents herself as a scientist but behaves like a journalist. she has already decided that there is no difference between men and women. she also dances around inconvenient evidence in more than one place. still two stars for being well-written and for making the attempt
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29 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars wishful thinking?, 10 Sep 2010
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This is an interesting book, it is advertised as being 'scientific' in it's treatment of the issues, the problem is that 'pure' scientists (of which the author does not seem to be an example) have found various 'stumbling blocks' which have to be overcome if you wish to dismiss brain differences between male & female. The essential question is "would evolution have produced two such physically different forms of a species (caused by the action of hormones on foetuses which start off very similar) & not have made their brains (& patterns of thought) different in order to best fit them to their gender roles?"
The author does not seem to address this issue in an adequate way, so the answer must be to read the contributions of other writers if you wish to obtain a balanced perspective.
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19 of 82 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading critique, 11 Nov 2010
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I admit that when I bought the book I already knew it was no good. The reviews (Hilary Rose) and blurbs were very informative in this respect. The basic tenet of the book is that the new research on gender differences is all wrong and mistaken. It is based on sloppy data and misleading conclusions. Reading Fine, the conclusion I drew was actually the opposite: her arguments are so weak and superficial that the gender (I prefer sex-) difference thesis becomes actually stronger. Men and women are different in many important respects and the science which tries to deny this is comparable to the flat earthers. It is still possible to claim seriously that the earth is flat as our senses tell us, and deny all the research that proves otherwise, and it is possible to claim that the differences between men and women are small and inconsequential, but it is just not the case. Sorry Cornelia!
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