Alex 's Reviews > Delusions of Gender: The Real Science behind Sex Differences

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine
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it was amazing
bookshelves: non-fiction

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 and why the scientific methodologies and experiments behind studies that supposedly prove that men and women are inherently different are so often flawed. She's done her research thoroughly and come up with good counters to the conclusions of popular experiments, and what's more she writes with confidence and persuasiveness both scientifically and sociologically putting forth plenty of alternative reasons as to why Women might be seen as more caring, or why that female baby supposedly reared in a gender neutral fashion is still reaching for pink barbie dolls to play with.

Skeptically you could argue that Fine has an agenda, but then her argument that male scientists and popular writers on gender also have an agenda and I think it's pretty fair to get all sides of this story. Tjere were a few moments where I felt that Fine was less inclined to talk deeply about the conclusions of studies that seemed to support her viewpoints althouh this may in part be to keep the writing fluid and readable, since neuroscience can be a damn boring topic. Thankfully her wit, sarcasm and brisk pace stop the book from ever getting dry. Ultimately, too, she's not concluding that there's absolutely nothing in
these scientific studies, merely that the work being done doesn't warrant such massive conclusions being drawn. I'm certainly convinced of that.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
June 7, 2011 – Shelved
June 7, 2011 – Finished Reading
January 23, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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