It's like there is something going on which we might call 'extreme pop science'. For instance, when pointing out that the widespread use of strip clubs in corporate hospitality excludes women from important networking, she weakens her outrage imo, by suggesting that female colleagues fake a headache and stay home. These are the right questions to be asking. Where gender is concerned, if we prime people to think of gender e. I was expecting something else. Rebecca Solnit is the author of fourteen books about civil society, popular power, uprisings, art, environment, place, pleasure, politics, hope, and memory, most recently The Faraway Nearby, a book on empathy and storytelling. Also, the author explores how men in more female-like jobs are under a lot of pressure to escalate to a more male-like type of jobs, which usually involves a higher responsibility and are better paid.
The section on the notorious spatial rotation task was particularly startling. Fine makes good and important points, but she makes the sames ones again and again and again. Being wrong in the past does not imply claims in the present are false. She links these ideas to much older ideas about sex and gender. This is not a book without faults. Brizendine moved next to brain imagining studies that supposedly demonstrate that a participant can activate similar brain patterns in the observer and that females are especially good at emotional mirroring.
Instead of looking to ourselves and our society to explain inequality, we can just blame the brain. Supppose, for example, you're a neuroscientist interested in what parts of the brain are involved in mind reading. I do not think, however, that that would be true to the deeper spirit of the book. Some scientists got a bit more creative about experiments. So far, so good, in terms of my enjoyment of the book and our areas of agreement. 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.
Chapters 12-13 address real vs. What are the chances that such diverse cultures would have developed similar gender roles if they do not have some biological basis? Learning is complex and disentangling historical, cultural, social, physiological and neurological strands in the process is at present a pipe dream. Gender is a social construct, it's not something in our genetic code, our epigenome, our brains or elsewhere. Fine has tackled an immense and largely thankless task. Like when she talks about a study that found gender differences in babies who are only one day old. I like nothing better than to discover that I was completely and utterly mistaken about something.
Gender roles in society are supposedly natural and pre-ordained and we should learn to like them and love them. The neuroscience 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. The book gets more interesting when the author talks about one of the main psychological studies to test gender differences in the brain, the Mental Rotation Performance test. And occasionally the scientific terms get a tad bit overwhelming, but if you want a readable academic book about neurosexism, you aren't going to find a better, more interesting, more readable book. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. She then followed up by beating Meier, a normally very solid German grandmaster, and drawing with World Champion Carlsen.
Instead, Fine shows that there are almost no areas of performance that are not touched by cultural stereotypes. So Fine hasn't convinced me that men and women really do think alike at the deepest level; I believe it will be a long time before we understand what's going on there. But before this happens, speculation becomes elevated to the status of fact, especially in the hands of some popular writers. Gender norms are reinforced all around the child: none of Dr. It is both amusing and infuriating to read how sexist scientists and journalists try angle after angle, and when one is debunked say, no, brain size does not actually matter , they find another, even more dubious claim. They found that boys were more likely to be given names that began with the paternal first initial than the maternal initial, but girls were equally likely to share a first initial with their mother or father.
That damn mainstream media dropped the ball again, by refusing to expose the perfidy of people fighting for basic human rights. It's brilliant and authoritative and she loathes bad science reporting just as much as I do, so of course I love it. There are many, many examples of our gendered culture in this strongly argued but easily read book. Throughout the book, Cordelia Fine investigates how different males and females really are. This applies to most things in life a crucial consideration in angry online grammar debates! This is a must - listen! Shockingly, the media often compound the problem with poor reporting and cluelessness about junk science.
Fine is incisive in her discussion and criticism of studies around the effect of testosterone, including play differences, but she is damning when it comes to the shocking dishonesty and misrepresentation employed by 'neurosexist' popular 'science' books. There are several hundred accepted chess openings, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have been invented by women. Fine is equally scathing about other writers of popular, pseudoscientific books about sex difference. The possibility of getting significant results by chance is a problem in any area of research, but it's particularly acute for sex differences research. If you like this book, please read.