Robin's Reviews > Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference

Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine
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Jul 08, 2011

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Read in July, 2011

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 that brain differences in men and women are innate. She does an excellent job of pointing out the flaws in many of the studies cited by the other side. This book is a much-needed dose of caution in the rush to say men and women just are innately different. She does a great job of reminding us that the reinforcement for gender roles is all around us in ways we can't even see.

One weakness in the book is that she doesn't adequately address the cross-cultural studies. If gender-based tendencies in brains are not inherent, then how come some appear in cultures world-wide? What are the chances that such diverse cultures would have developed similar gender roles if they do not have some biological basis?
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