Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences Hardcover – 2 Sep 2010
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In 'Delusions of Gender' Cordelia Fine does a magnificent job debunking the so-called science, and especially the brain science, of gender. If you thought there were some inescapable facts about women's minds - some hard wiring that explains poor science and maths performance, or the ability to remember to buy the milk and arrange the holidays - you can put these on the rubbish heap. Instead, Fine shows that there are almost no areas of performance that are not touched by cultural stereotypes. This scholarly book will make you itch to press the delete button on so much nonsense, while being pure fun to read. --Emeritus Professor Uta Frith FBA, FMedSci, FRS, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, Research Foundation Professor, University of Aarhus
Cordelia Fine has a first-rate intellect and writing talent to burn. In her new book, 'Delusions of Gender', she takes aim at the idea that male brains and female brains are "wired differently," leading men and women to act in a manner consistent with decades-old gender stereotypes. Armed with penetrating insights, a rapier wit, and a slew of carefully researched facts, Fine lowers her visor, lifts her lance, and attacks this idea full-force. Whether her adversaries can rally their forces and mount a successful counter-attack remains to be seen. What's certain at this point, however, is that in 'Delusions of Gender' Cordelia Fine has struck a terrific first blow against what she calls "neurosexism." --William Ickes, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington Author of 'Everyday Mind Reading'
Fine turns the popular science book formula on its head -- USA Today, August 2010
Fine is fun, droll yet deeply serious. Setting a cracking pace, 'Delusions' tackles the power of implicit association (those unconscious associations we make about men and women) and of negative stereotyping, plus the empathising/systematising theory proposed by psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, and the messy world of brain scans and genetic research. Her conclusion: we are in thrall to "neurosexism". --New Scientist 1 September 2010
The author, Cordelia Fine, who has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from University College London, is an acerbic critic, mincing no words when it comes to those she disagrees with. But her sharp tongue is tempered with humor and linguistic playfulness, as the title itself suggests.... It's too late to tell that to Dr. Sax, a proponent of single-sex education, who cited the Connellan study as evidence that "girls are born prewired to be interested in faces while boys are prewired to be more interested in moving objects." But it's not too late to read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.
--New York Times, 24 August 2010
`In a book that sparkles with wit, which is easy to read but underpinned by substantial scholarship and a formidable 100-page bibliography, Cordelia Fine attacks the ready generalisations on sexual differences made by neuroscientists and their media exegetes.' - Hilary Rose
--THE, 30th September, 2010
About the Author
Cordelia Fine is a Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne. She is the author of much-acclaimed A Mind of Its Own (Icon, 2006) and Testosterone Rex (Icon, 2017).
Top customer reviews
The sheer amount of misinterpreted or completely fabricated results was a real eye-opener. And the instant willingness to believe claims when they are backed by apparent neuroscience was scary too.
Although quite dense to get through in parts, the whole neuroscience section was very educational. I, as it seems most of the world, had no idea that neuroscience is still very much in its infancy and all the fancy brain scans in the world still haven't allowed us to fully understand how and where the brain does what it does (never mind how it might, or might not, be done differently between the sexes).
I never usually read much nonfiction or science, but I still found this a very accessible read. I recommend it to absolutely everyone, whether male or female, parent or child-free, whatever! The sheer impact of overtly or subconsciously perceived gender roles or stereotype threat is greater and more insidious than I could have ever imagined, but the more people know about it the more we can (hopefully) start to combat it.
The book does not purport to have the solutions. How do we raise our children to be happy and effective people instead of always putting so much emphasis on being boys and girls, men and women? I don't know, but at least now I have a lot more information on taking the first steps.
The middle section is a little hard going but either side of it are some very illuminating chapters on what women and girls are up against in society and refreshingly, the pressure also put on boys to conform to what is an entirely arbitrary set of values and stereotypes.
It is written with a great deal of humour and openness and I highly recommend it - in fact I intend to buy the printed copy for my wife!
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