Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

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Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences

Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences characters ✓ 7 Erent 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 socie. If I had a dollar for every time someone friend reuested me on Goodreads because of my gender a guy who reads wow I would probably have enough money to buy a new Kindle As a male who loves books and aims for a career in clinicalcounseling psychology a and female dominated field part of me has always wondered whether I just lack the typical male brain Are girls biologically geared toward the humanities and males toward the hard sciences Do women really empathize than men because of their brain chemistryCordelia Fine offers a clear answer no In Delusions of Gender she unravels the myth that we can chalk up gender differences to our neurology With a keen and unrelenting eye she examines scientific theories and misconceptions like the role testosterone plays in the fetus She dedicates a large portion of the book to knocking down neurosexism In recent years several individuals have boasted about experiments that use fMRI and PET scans to detect differences in the brain Fine makes sure to reveal the flaws associated with those studies and why we should be skeptical of the conclusions they espouseInstead of relying on faulty science Fine approaches gender differences from a psychological and sociological perspective As a psychology major I loved her incorporation of self fulfilling prophecy and stereotype threat such as including a study about how women who had to check a gender box either male or female performed worse on an exam than women who took the test without marking their gender The section about gender neutral parenting stood out to me too It s not enough to just offer our children toys stereotypically associated with the opposing gender especially when gender distinctions arise so soonHighly recommended for those interested in feminism neuroscience psychology or gender studies In contemporary society we often cling to claims made by people with scientific backgrounds even though some of those claims have no legitimate support I didn t go into too much depth about all of Fine s arguments in this review but she invested a laudable amount of effort into Delusions of Gender the book has about 100 pages of citations and her writing conveys her passion as well

review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences

Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences characters ✓ 7 Es even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains and the result is often than not a validation of the status uo Women it seems are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for houseworkDrawing 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 diff. Truly a brilliant book And laugh out loud funny in uite a few places It s a book so full of interesting information it s very tempting to write a review in which one relates one s favorite experiments factoids or statistics But I will mostly resist What I d like to highlight are two featuresWe have all heard and perhaps told stories like the following I wanted to bring up my children in a gender neutral way but at a certain point the boy naturally took to smashing up trucks and the girl naturally took to worshipping pink princess paraphernalia So I guess these things must be innate after all This phenomenon is known to sociologists as the biology as fallback position In one particularly grating and smug riff on this theme Steven Pinker is uoted as saying there is a technical term for people who believe that little boys and little girls are born indistinguishable and are molded into their natures by parental socialization The term is childless And Fine goes on to comment The frustration of the naively nonsexist parent has become a staple joke An all but obligatory paragraph in contemporary books and articles about hardwired gender differences gleefully describes a parent s valiant but always comically hopeless attempts at gender neutral parenting 190 1 But then Fine tells us about the Bems psychologists who in the 1970s decided to try gender neutral parenting seriously And what a lot it involved They would doctor all their children s books whiting out beards lengthening hair and adding breasts to some of the illustrations no doubt to rectify the fact that in the illustrations of children s books even today males are represented at a ratio of 21 relative to females oops a factoid just slipped out deleting or altering sections of the text that described females or males in a sex stereotyped manner 215 and so on They also taught their children only to allocate people to a gender on the basis of their anatomy and reproductive functions In an amusing story the 4 year old son decided to wear barrettes in his hair to kindergarten He tried to correct his classmate s misconception by saying that he wasn t a girl because he had a penis not a vagina The other boy retorted Everyone has a penis but only girls wear barrettes As Fine points out the moral of this story is not to elicit admiration or contempt for the Bems but to illustrate just how hard it is to raise a child in a gender neutral way The best efforts of the comically frustrated liberal parents who find their kids acting according to stereotype do not show that differences in gender behavior are innate As Fine describes gendering of children is ubiuitous in the culture and intense to an almost unimaginable degree Not even the Bem children could avoid it altogether And children are acutely sensitive to the multiple instructions they receive in the very air they breathe about how to conform to their genders Children randomly assigned at preschool to a red group or a blue group and wearing the appropriate colored T shirts to school each day after three weeks with no further reinforcement will find themselves conforming to what they take to be the norms for their respective groups One needs little imagination to see how much intrusive the pressures on gender conformity will be even if the parents are like the BemsThis brings me to the second point I want to emphasize A host of brain researchers now present themselves as radical iconoclasts because they claim that the evidence of fMRIs etc prove that there are innate differences between male and female brains forcing them to buck the prevailing norms of political correctness in the starry eyed gender neutral utopias of which they would so much love to believe Boo hoo As Fine s book makes amply clear science has always alighted on the newest thing brain size spinal chord strength nerve fragility energy sapping ovaries to show why gender ineualities that always accord greater status and power to men are natural Seen in this light fMRIs are just the latest fad Of course that doesn t prove that the claims made about what they show are false Fine has plenty to say about how shoddy a lot of the research is how biased the interpretations of it and so on But this history is certainly salient enough that anyone presenting themselves as providing scientific evidence for gender differences in psychology and behavior risks looking somewhat ridiculous And it places a burden on such researchers to be doubly careful about extrapolating from their results This is even true in light of the fact that the existence of the claims made for what brain scans show itself influences how well people perform In tests women do less well at male stereotypical tasks when asked to read some scientific claims about women s innate inferiority in such tasks than if asked to read something else first These irresponsible and popular interpretations of neurological evidence neuro bollocks as they have been called do not just support the status uo they reinforce itFine s book packs a huge punch In a funny and easy to read way she explodes so much neuro bollocks she ought to get a prize for it

read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine

Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences characters ✓ 7 “Fine’s sharp tongue is tempered with humor Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is” The New York TimesIt’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 sometim. A detailed but informal look at the pervasive power of gender stereotypes backed by science Sounds good doesn t it Not for me though My reading of this included International Women s Day that wasn t intentional but it felt like undeserved penance for such a day The 2 rating indicates how interesting and enjoyable this book was for me Were I rating in purely objective terms it would be a solid 3 maybe even 4 given the importance of the intended messageIn a NutshellFine debunks the deterministic views of gender that are often based on brain structure and organisation She seems to believe there are NO innate differences between the sexes which is a bit of a stretch to me However she clearly shows the impossibility of investigating possible brain differences without overestimating the multiple and often subtle effects of culture You can t raise or measure children in a societal vacuum She ridicules poorly designed experiments that assume too much from too little but presents less in her own defence It was better at giving concrete examples of how research can be misinterpreted examples below than it was at revealing anything much about genderProblems I had with This Book It doesn t know what it is it s too self consciously jokey for a serious text but with 100 of 350 pages being notes bibliography and index it s thorough than one expects in pop sci The jovial tone makes it a uick casual read but the exhaustive references would be suited to following up with one s own investigation It is painfully repetitive Fine makes good and important points but she makes the sames ones again and again and again I ve summarised them below Fine is angry about bad and misinterpreted research Such things need pointing out but sometimes she picks very easy targets papers by 18th century doctors for instance or lays into one or two individuals at excessive length principally Simon Baron Cohen and Louann Brizendine Conversely she is utterly sure of her own rightness even when using anecdotal cases rather than proper studies to back up her points She criticises others for lazy stereotyping and in the next sentence suggests that men are not so keen on attending male dominated conferences because there s less opportunity for sex I am left unsure how much I trust her or those she criticises The important points she makes got lost in the haze of my mounting irritation It is narrowly about malefemale gender roles rather than the broad spectrum of gender identity which is what I am interested in However that s a fault of my expectations rather than the book itself I don t feel I learned much I read plenty of examples of experiments and studies and how to judge their validity but people like Ben Goldacre have long covered that ground very well The gender angle was the context of the debunking but largely confirmed what I already believed Key MessagesMost of these are probably familiar to the sort of people who read a book like this Stereotypes they re pervasive and powerful Even so than you think They start before birth and imbue our life as self fulfilling prophesies however much we try to go against them Even pre schoolers extrapolate beyond what they ve been told seeing pointy shapes as inherently masculine than rounded ones like the boubakiki effect often used in synaesthesia studies Gender matters to them because it s the main social grouping they have other than adultchild no geeks sporty types arty divisions yet Context is all This applies to most things in life a crucial consideration in angry online grammar debates Where gender is concerned if we prime people to think of gender eg a maths exam that has a MF tick box people are likely to conform strongly to gendered expectations Neuroplasticity very little behaviour is hard wired in our brains Even if something is typical that doesn t mean it s necessary or inevitable Look carefully at psychology research Is it testing what it claims to test Comparisons based on different levels of foetal testosterone use a variety of proxies of dubious accuracy the amount found in amniotic fluid mother s blood baby s digit length Is there unconscious bias or knowledge in the testers If testers know the sex of a baby as they usually will that may skew how they interact Are the results borne out by the numbers Just under 50% of women have what Baron Cohen classes as a female brain Are the assumptions fallacious When testing toy choice are the toys really gendered the way the testers assume Why is a pan feminine to a monkey Reporting bias it s interesting to report a difference Studies that fail to find one may not be published Various sorts of brain imaging are sexyThey use expensive euipment to produce scientific pictures But they don t necessarily show what we think they do Beware of using biology as a fall back explanationIf a little girl loves pink despite her parents best efforts to the contrary surely huge marketing hype and peer pressure are at least as much of a factor as hormones As for the mother who couldn t understand why her daughter swaddled cuddled and put to bed her toy hammer perhaps the reason was that it was always her mother and never her father that put her to bed Gender neutral parenting is almost impossible to achieve Yet until a century ago it was normal for all under 5s to be dressed similarly white dresses and when colours became common it was strong red or pink for boys and pretty blue for girls When we read picture books we tend to use male pronouns for all the unspecified characters human or animal Female leads are remarkably rare in junior fiction none in 42 Dr Seuss but although there are occasional tomboys you never get a sissy boy There s a glass ceiling for ambitious women and a glass escalator for men in traditionally female dominated jobs Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar When are a few dirty cups a symbol of the exertion of male privilege and when are they merely unwashed dishes Having it all never meant doing it all Gloria Steinem Men aren t from Mars and women aren t from Venus We re probably all from the moonSmilesSome have enjoyed the humour of this It certainly raised a couple of smiles for me but most of the witty asides struck me as rather sarcastic or just cheap uses of the sort of stereotypes she purports to hate 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 homeI want to end on a positive note so here are the two best ones In a passage explaining that after about 7 children tend to become slightly flexible in their thinking about gender she adds that those who don t end up with successful careers writing books based on rigid gender stereotypes with a footnote The footnote says This is a joke rather than a scientific fact Yep that really was the second best one imo Following on from caveats about over reliance on neuroimaging Fine cites an empathy study performed on salmon that were dead It produced pretty pictures of brain activity thoughSee Also Bongiovanni and Jimerson s A uick Easy Guide to TheyThem Pronouns which I reviewed HERE It s a comic book that is mainly about non binary and genderfluid people who don t identify fully and consistently as either male or female so prefer non gendered nouns and pronouns Sally Hines Is Gender Fluid which I reviewed HERE It also has a very youthful funky format though not comic book Alex Iantaffi and Meg John Barker s Life Isn t Binary which I reviewed HERE It starts with sexualities and genders but goes on to relationships bodies emotions and thinking Barker likes they because I experience myself as pretty plural Robert Webb s autobiography How Not to be a Boy which I reviewed HERE He cites this book as an influence on his ideas about gender preferences not being innate


10 thoughts on “Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

  1. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine This is a remarkably good book and anyone who's remotely interested in claims that there might be inherent differences in mental function between men and women should read it It's insightful carefully researched well written and often very funny And if it doesn't make you change your mind about at least a few things in this area you are either a remarkably knowledgable person or an incurable bigotI had read a few books and articles that to

  2. says: review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine Didn't realise Cordelia was Australian This is a lovely video of her views ’s say you have read a couple of books on the ‘science’ that ‘explains’ the differences between the sexes So just what are you likely to have been told? Well one thing would be that men have brains that are built to be logical and mathematical than women’s

  3. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences A detailed but informal look at the pervasive power of gender stereotypes backed by science Sounds good doesn't it? Not for me though My reading of this included International Women's Day; that wasn't intentiona

  4. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine I decided to take a break from being girlishly bad at math and reading people's minds with my lady empathizing skills to read this book and I sure am glad I did Because it is hilarious And fascinating Cordelia Fine goes through all the old lines that I'm sure you've heard a thousand times I know I have that men's brains are just better at b

  5. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences Things I have never seen1 A male harpist Well alright there was this guy But in an orchestra?2A female bishop in the Church of England3A female angler4A male nursery school teacher 5A female truck driver I'm not saying they don't exist and I'm certainly not saying they shouldn't exist it's just that I've never seen one Actually number 2 really doesn't exist which is odd as women may be ordained in the C of EThings I have

  6. says: Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences

    read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download Truly a brilliant book And laugh out loud funny in uite a few places It's a book so full of interesting information it's very tempting to write a review in which one relates one's favorite experiments factoids or statistics But I will mostly

  7. says: read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine If I had a dollar for every time someone friend reuested me on Goodreads because of my gender a guy who reads? wow I would probably have enough

  8. says: review Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download Let me boil the book down for the busy reader whenever someone chooses to ignore all the documented evidence of

  9. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine I really think all educators need to read this book Fine's target is the new gender essentialism the reconstructed sexism that attempts to put women back in their traditional roles as 'unbenders of husbands' brows' and caregivers to

  10. says: Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine

    read & download × eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ü Cordelia Fine Cordelia Fine Ü 7 download Free Delusions of Gender The Real Science Behind Sex Differences author Cordelia Fine This nature vs nurture debate is getting oldThis book argues against the claim that women and men have different brains and that this difference causes women to be significantly better or worse at some things and men significantly better or worse at others As far as I knew few legitimate scientists today make this claim which is clearly sexist and would justify discrimination so I was pretty surprised and so

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