Delusions of Gender

Delusions of Gender A vehement dismantling of the latest pseudo scientific claims about the differences between the sexes Sex based discrimination is supposedly a relic of the distant past Yet popular books magazines a

  • Title: Delusions of Gender
  • Author: Cordelia Fine
  • ISBN: 9780393340242
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Paperback
  • A vehement dismantling of the latest pseudo scientific claims about the differences between the sexes Sex based discrimination is supposedly a relic of the distant past Yet popular books, magazines, and even scientific articles increasingly defend continuing inequalities between the sexes by calling on immutable biological differences between the male and the female braiA vehement dismantling of the latest pseudo scientific claims about the differences between the sexes Sex based discrimination is supposedly a relic of the distant past Yet popular books, magazines, and even scientific articles increasingly defend continuing inequalities between the sexes by calling on immutable biological differences between the male and the female brain Why are there so few women in science and engineering, so few men in the laundry room Well, they say, it s our brains Drawing on the latest research in developmental psychology, neuroscience, and education, Delusions of Gender rebuts these claims, showing how old myths, dressed up in new scientific finery, help perpetuate the status quo This book reveals the brain s remarkable plasticity, shows the substantial influence of culture on identity, and, ultimately, exposes just how much of what we consider hardwired is actually malleable, empowering us to break free of the supposed predestination of our sex chromosomes.

    One thought on “Delusions of Gender”

    1. 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 bigot.I had read a few books and articles that touched on the subject of inherent gender difference [...]

    2. Didn't realise Cordelia was Australian - This is a lovely video of her views: fora/2010/10/02/Cordelia_FiLet’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 more logical and mathematical than women’s brains (this is due to men’s better spatial rotational abilities that are a consequence of right brain localisati [...]

    3. 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*) A NUTSHELLFine debunks the deterministic views of gender that are often b [...]

    4. Things I have never seen*:1) A male harpist. Well, alright there was this guy:But in an orchestra?2)A female bishop in the Church of England3)A female angler4)A male nursery school teacher 5)A 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 E.Things I have heard, which I really wish I hadn't:1)An Austrian mother wh [...]

    5. 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 building stuff and making money while women are just natural nurturers, they just want to nurture the shit out of everything, because FEELINGS. Anyways, [...]

    6. Truly a brilliant book. (And laugh-out-loud funny in quite 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 features.We 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 an [...]

    7. I'm impressed with this book. It addresses multiple points of human psychology and has 100+ pages of citations, but still has an accessible and darkly witty style. Fine's target in this book is what she calls 'neurosexism' - misinterpretations of modern neuroscience which supposedly justify stereotypes and perpetuate discrimination against women in society. Women are supposedly more empathetic, men are more analytic, women can't lead, men can't raise children, etc etc. The roots of these beliefs [...]

    8. If I had a dollar for every time someone friend requested me on 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 clinical/counseling psychology - a more and more 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 more than men be [...]

    9. Let me boil the book down for the busy reader: whenever someone* chooses to ignore all the documented evidence of discrimination in favor of just-so stories about biology, in order to keep right on discriminating, you can take their evidence as having all the validity of the presenter's good intentions to end discrimination.Sorry, that was a long and awkward summation. In justice to the book, I'd prefer to be pithy, funny, and understandable. Fine has tackled an immense and largely thankless tas [...]

    10. Cordelia Fine, a psychologist, decided to write this book after discovering her son's kindergarten teacher "reading a book that claimed his brain was incapable of forging the connection between emotion and language."The first section of the book was slow reading for me. Fine engages in occasional snark, which was a little tiresome, followed by a lot of discussion of studies in which subjects are either told or not told statements about gender and then asked to perform certain tasks, to see if a [...]

    11. 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 children, and to keep them out of politics, mathematics and the sciences, by asserting that they are fitted for their place by essential female abilities and incapacities. In 1869 the philosopher John Stuart Mill, in his book The Subjection of Women, was severe on [...]

    12. 18 Sept Update: some stories reading Karen's review brought to mind from my childhood.eteaalittlechat.wordpres-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Message on my secret diary. See that lock? That means if you read my diary you'd dead. I mean, not really dead. I'm a girl, it's not like I mean dead dead. But.My secret diary while reading Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine. Day one.I was going to read lots of this book today, but Manny said we had to [...]

    13. We’ve all encountered those pop science books, the ones that claim “hardwired” differences between male and female minds. Cordelia Fine has seen them too, but instead of simply accepting their assertions because they sound scientific, she delved into the research, tracking down the studies that purportedly establish these claims, as well as the substantial body of research showing quite the opposite. The result is this book. It is not pop science – there is nothing dumbed-down about it, [...]

    14. I like nothing better than to discover that I was completely and utterly mistaken about something. The deeper the rotten belief sits, the more satisfying the pop when it is wrenched out.This book changed my mind in ways few books ever do. I had a cavalier belief that psychological differences between men and women were "innate" and "biological." I had no idea how scant the evidence was for this idea.I highly recommend this book.

    15. It can be incredibly frustrating to argue against someone who is convinced by the idea of preformed gender roles in society because they feel that "scientists have proven that male/female brains are different" and that to think otherwise somehow flies in the face of common sesne. Gender roles in society are supposedly natural and pre-ordained and we should learn to like them and love them.It's so easy to believe in the myth and Cordelia Fine does an excellent job of outlining why this is a myth [...]

    16. Nearly 20 years ago I studied sociology at a feminist, Marxist university. I’m pretty much disposed to accept the argument that culture heavily influences behaviour, i.e. I’m on the nurture side of the nature versus nurture debate. So I thought reading “Delusions of Gender” would simply be a matter of nodding as new data supported that view.Oh boy (pun intended!) was I deluded.Well-researched, well-argued, wittily written, Cordelia Fine hits hard at the wide spread (and I’d argue, lazy [...]

    17. This nature vs. nurture debate is getting old.This 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 somewhat skeptical to discover this immense sexist contingent among brain scientists [...]

    18. Cordelia Fine is a scientist, feminist, and a mom. Her book debunks studies that purport to be solid science, but ultimately just support gender stereotypes. She discusses how gender neutral parenting is nearly impossible in today’s society. And how this, along with neuroplasticity, mean that brains cannot possibly be hard-wired by gender. (Neuroplasticity = brain’s ability to change.) Many more details in my review at TheBibliophage.

    19. Cordelia Fine attempts to refute the popular idea that men and women have an innate neurological difference which results in different brains. I read this book after "The Essential Difference" by Simon Baron-Cohen. I recommend reading them in that order because Fine's book refutes many of the points made in Baron-Cohen's. Fine makes a good case that many of the differences we see in gender could readily be traced back to cultural or sociological phenomena, and that it is too early to declare tha [...]

    20. This is not what I'd call a "popular science" book -- it's aimed at an intellectual audience with some understanding of science and a willingness to deal with academic language. That makes it less accessible than a lot of the talk show-fodder books it's debunking, like all those ridiculous "Why Men Are Insensitive Horndogs Who Suck at Housework (Surprise! It's Biology!) and Women Are Born Loving Ponies and High Heels" books. Fine takes on pretty much the entire field of neuroscience, or rather, [...]

    21. A spirited debunking of the perennial claims that women are different (and usually, it so happens that this difference is in truth inferiority) from men because SCIENCE. 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. This is not a book without faults. Firstly, the author veers to the verbose side, and secondly, the book pays [...]

    22. How gratifying to find authors who know their stuff, have the necessary tools to analyse and critique, and who take the time to pick holes in the commercial follies of these pseudo-scientific wanna-be-never-could-so-better twist-everything-to-please-myself-and-make-a-fast-fbuck-simultaneously authors.Should dovetail quite nicely with Sex at Dusk: Lifting the Shiny Wrapping from Sex at Dawn.

    23. God damn! This book actually changed the way I see the world!! I shall do it justice with a worthy review! Just way till I get my hands on a computer!

    24. Warning: ranty.I was hoping for a balanced examination of the scientific evidence of biological/brain gender differences or the lack thereof. What I got was, firstly a heavy handed review of the sociological and cultural explanations for gender differences in society, and second a condescending and clearly biased review of the scientific evidence for biological/brain gender differences as an explanation for cultural gender differences.I did learn some interesting things. One study showed a clear [...]

    25. Delusions of Gender is an enjoyably acerbic and eloquent takedown of evolutionary psychologists and their neuroscientist collaborators—those practitioners of Bad Science, whose work is often repeated uncritically in tabloid newspapers or used to shape educational curricula. Cordelia Fine examines a number of supposedly scientific studies, together with the books and newspaper articles which have popularised them for a general audience (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and their odious i [...]

    26. I’ve been meaning to review this book for ages, but whenever I attempt to write something, I’m lost at what to include and what to leave out. All of it was so important in shaping my understanding of gender and I don’t know how to write a review convincing enough to get other people to read it. That being said, I’ve raved about this book to enough friends to know that it’s made an impact on me, and so I will sit down and attempt this for the fifth time and hope that I will finally be a [...]

    27. Many of the general ideas presented in this book were familiar to me: claims of true neurological basis for differences between the sexes are bunk; areas in which people seem to be 'deficient' are often socially created rather than biological; current conceptions of binary gender essentialism must be abandoned. However, for all that the conclusions Cordelia Fine drew were hardly surprising to me, reading this book had a significant impact. It felt almost like an out of body experience, to read a [...]

    28. Just when it looked like neuroscience was justifying our current worldview that innate differences are somehow “hardwired” into the brains of little boys and little girls author Cordelia Fine comes along and checks out the scientific studies. What she exposes and describes in detail are poorly designed experiments, blind leaps of faith and convoluted circular reasoning. In scientists! According to what Fine uncovered we have mutable brains, continuously influenced and changed by our cultural [...]

    29. In my other, non-blogging life, I work as a scientist and every so often you’ll see a review popping up on my blog about a non-fiction book I’ve read that has more than likely been science-y. I’m also a firm believer in gender equality and women’s rights so Delusions of Gender seemed like the perfect mix of science and feminism which encouraged me to pick it up. I found it to be a fascinating read which I learned a lot from and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the differ [...]

    30. "Delusions of Gender" is an engaging read, well-written and incisive. Cordelia Fine makes a convincing argument that gender differences in performance assessed through various metrics are to a large extent the result of social cues, reactions to internalized stereotypes, and unconscious priming. Her critique of studies of gender differences in psychological experiments is comprehensive, and her depiction of the current state of sexism is both convincing and often horrifying.Unfortunately, her fi [...]

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