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Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society and Neurosexism Create Difference


Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society and Neurosexism Create Difference

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    Available in PDF Format | Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society and Neurosexism Create Difference.pdf | English
    Cordelia Fine(Author)
A brilliantly researched and wickedly funny rebuttal of the pseudo-scientific claim that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender.

Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.

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, author of "Everyday Mind Reading: Understanding What Other People Think and Feel"

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Book details

  • PDF | 338 pages
  • Cordelia Fine(Author)
  • W. W. Norton & Co.; 1 edition (14 Sept. 2010)
  • English
  • 7
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle
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Review Text

  • By NotYourAmelie on 9 May 2013

    Incredibly well written, well researched and insightful book. This will really make you think. Should be required reading!I intend to go back to it as often as possible.

  • By sashaknits on 15 September 2015

    A fascinating and somewhat terrifying debunking of the so-called science behind claims that men and women have different brains and different minds, causing different preferences and abilities between the sexes.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.

  • By BubbleBee on 27 June 2014

    I bought this when I was studying gender at university and it is a real eye opener. If you're interested in gender differences or want to look further into what makes us who we are, I would recommend it. It is an easier read than most academic text, but it still gets the point across in an educated, intelligent way. Quite scary reading it and being able to identify with so many of the gender-congruent claims!

  • By Rob on 3 February 2015

    Bought this book following some discussions my wife and I had been having about gender stereotyping of toys, games and toys particularly where girls are concerned. I consider myself an enlightened male but feel a hell of a lot more enlightened now.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!

  • By linda on 31 January 2016

    great reading for insomniacs.

  • By AZ on 8 September 2017

    To see how very little difference there really is between men and women as measured psychologically, read 'Men and Women: How Different are They?' by John Nicholson, Oxford Paperbacks; 2nd Revised edition edition (1 Mar. 1993). I am only sorry that his work seems to have been forgotten, as it was a mainstay for debunking the rubbish being talked in those days about how men were supposedly more this and women suposedly more that. I am certain that the test results which he presented, showing such things as Gaussian disstributions for measures of women's and men's intellectual abilities which overlap almost completely, would be found again today, and that any stupid claims that men are more ABC than women because of slight differences in the mean value of the two distributions would be shown again to be nonsense in the real world. Even in such non-psychological measures as height, where the mean for, say, the UK, really DOES differ somewhat beween men and women, it is not anywhere near true that (all) UK men are taller than (all) UK women. Such arguments are both spurious and sexist, and will remain so.

  • By Geraldine Gallacher on 9 November 2016

    I loved this book. I think the author does a great job of examining the existing neuro-scientific research on gender and pointing out when it's flawed. She completely convinced me that gender is much more of a social construct than a genetic inheritance. We may be born with certain genitalia but the way we behave is hugely influenced by nurture. If young ladies are told to be quiet, competent and polite then they will struggle with a "masculine leadership" style which is all about pushing, competing and standing out. Definitely worth reading

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