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Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society,…
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Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create… (original 2010; edition 2011)

by Cordelia Fine (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9784715,146 (4.11)37
Drawing 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 different 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.--From publisher description.… (more)
Member:seanrowden
Title:Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
Authors:Cordelia Fine (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference by Cordelia Fine (2010)

  1. 00
    "Love of Shopping" is Not a Gene: Problems With Darwinian Psychology by Anne Innis Dagg (bluepiano)
  2. 00
    Myths Of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men by Anne Fausto-Sterling (themulhern)
    themulhern: Both books are from the same genre that debunks myths the scientific establishment, or some part of it, likes to spawn about women. They span a quarter century. The earlier one is better written, but the more recent is stronger and snappier.
  3. 00
    The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both about science being used to shore up the status quo, and unexamined bias tilting what should be objective query into the brain
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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
I didn't finish this book, but it was mostly ok. I think it would be good for someone unfamiliar with sexism in society and for someone who needs evidence, but it's also somewhat problematic when it comes to it's brief mention of trans folks and is very binary in it's argument. ( )
  0xreid | Jul 4, 2020 |
18 Sept 2013 Update: some stories reading Karen's review brought to mind from my childhood....

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/more-on-delusions-of-gende...

----------------------------------------------

My mother spent a year or so teaching at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, one of the posh boys schools, at a time when women didn't do that (perhaps they still don't?). It was the early seventies and she was a huge hit with the boys - big tits and sexy legs - and the teachers - big tits, sexy legs...arrhh, no, I mean great mind, they all admired her mind no end. They admired the way it went all the way up to her breasts. I mean the top of her head. All the way up there. One of the reasons she left was because they were all so very kind to her. 'Monica,' they'd kindly say to her, 'you don't have to bother going to staff meetings.' The fact that she protested and insisted she wanted to go to staff meetings was of no avail. It is one of those things, isn't it? Nobody wants to go to staff meetings, every man there must have rather envied the idea that femininity could excuse her, and yet my mother had to insist on her innate right to go to the darn things. To be fair, my mother's the exception, one of those who really did like doing stuff like that, a trait I have most certainly neither inherited nor acquired.

So she left and went to Methodist Ladies College, the posh girls equivalent. At some point two of the kind male teachers from PAC happened to be visiting MLC, so she took them to the staff room for a cuppa. Afterwards she washed her cup and said to them 'If you are wondering why I don't wash yours, I happen to believe that men are just as good as women at washing up.' 'Oh, better,' said one of them to her, 'Much better.'

And that is pretty much the point of this guide to the literature on the brain differences between men and women. If there were some reason why men suddenly thought that washing teacups was a desirable occupation, there would be an academic redefinition of the brain to fit this. In fact for now it is the other way around. The desirable occupations in life, the ones that are seen as the plums, must be taken up by men rather than women because they have the right brain composition. Depending on how good your sense of humour is, it is either discomforting or hilarious to discover that neuroscience is not above redefining what is 'necessary' depending on how their business of deciphering the brain develops.

This explains the choice of word in the subtitle - neurosexism - but it is the sort of thing that irritated me as I read this - I don't like the current style of pop science where impartiality is a positive defect. It's like there is something going on which we might call 'extreme pop science'. You have to outdo the last writer in outrageousness. But while I was aghast at some of the ways she put things, I imagine the reader at large would not have noticed, let alone taken umbrage. Fine probably thinks it was acceptable to do so because all that mattered was getting her very important point across. I couldn't disagree more. Her material spoke for itself, the relentless mass of it which she brings to bear. She didn't need to be spurious on top of it. She should have left that for her publicly disgraced subjects. As it is, by waving the flag of her partiality - which she somehow attempts to do whilst claiming that this is the issue with the other side - right in our faces, she left me wondering if she is as trustworthy as she wants to be. Having the longest bibliography in the world doesn't cut the mustard if the reader is left gasping at the shamelessness with which she prejudicially discusses her data. Take this, for example:

rest here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/delusions-of-gender-by-cor... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
18 Sept 2013 Update: some stories reading Karen's review brought to mind from my childhood....

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/more-on-delusions-of-gende...

----------------------------------------------

My mother spent a year or so teaching at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, one of the posh boys schools, at a time when women didn't do that (perhaps they still don't?). It was the early seventies and she was a huge hit with the boys - big tits and sexy legs - and the teachers - big tits, sexy legs...arrhh, no, I mean great mind, they all admired her mind no end. They admired the way it went all the way up to her breasts. I mean the top of her head. All the way up there. One of the reasons she left was because they were all so very kind to her. 'Monica,' they'd kindly say to her, 'you don't have to bother going to staff meetings.' The fact that she protested and insisted she wanted to go to staff meetings was of no avail. It is one of those things, isn't it? Nobody wants to go to staff meetings, every man there must have rather envied the idea that femininity could excuse her, and yet my mother had to insist on her innate right to go to the darn things. To be fair, my mother's the exception, one of those who really did like doing stuff like that, a trait I have most certainly neither inherited nor acquired.

So she left and went to Methodist Ladies College, the posh girls equivalent. At some point two of the kind male teachers from PAC happened to be visiting MLC, so she took them to the staff room for a cuppa. Afterwards she washed her cup and said to them 'If you are wondering why I don't wash yours, I happen to believe that men are just as good as women at washing up.' 'Oh, better,' said one of them to her, 'Much better.'

And that is pretty much the point of this guide to the literature on the brain differences between men and women. If there were some reason why men suddenly thought that washing teacups was a desirable occupation, there would be an academic redefinition of the brain to fit this. In fact for now it is the other way around. The desirable occupations in life, the ones that are seen as the plums, must be taken up by men rather than women because they have the right brain composition. Depending on how good your sense of humour is, it is either discomforting or hilarious to discover that neuroscience is not above redefining what is 'necessary' depending on how their business of deciphering the brain develops.

This explains the choice of word in the subtitle - neurosexism - but it is the sort of thing that irritated me as I read this - I don't like the current style of pop science where impartiality is a positive defect. It's like there is something going on which we might call 'extreme pop science'. You have to outdo the last writer in outrageousness. But while I was aghast at some of the ways she put things, I imagine the reader at large would not have noticed, let alone taken umbrage. Fine probably thinks it was acceptable to do so because all that mattered was getting her very important point across. I couldn't disagree more. Her material spoke for itself, the relentless mass of it which she brings to bear. She didn't need to be spurious on top of it. She should have left that for her publicly disgraced subjects. As it is, by waving the flag of her partiality - which she somehow attempts to do whilst claiming that this is the issue with the other side - right in our faces, she left me wondering if she is as trustworthy as she wants to be. Having the longest bibliography in the world doesn't cut the mustard if the reader is left gasping at the shamelessness with which she prejudicially discusses her data. Take this, for example:

rest here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/delusions-of-gender-by-cor... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
18 Sept 2013 Update: some stories reading Karen's review brought to mind from my childhood....

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/more-on-delusions-of-gende...

----------------------------------------------

My mother spent a year or so teaching at Prince Alfred College in Adelaide, one of the posh boys schools, at a time when women didn't do that (perhaps they still don't?). It was the early seventies and she was a huge hit with the boys - big tits and sexy legs - and the teachers - big tits, sexy legs...arrhh, no, I mean great mind, they all admired her mind no end. They admired the way it went all the way up to her breasts. I mean the top of her head. All the way up there. One of the reasons she left was because they were all so very kind to her. 'Monica,' they'd kindly say to her, 'you don't have to bother going to staff meetings.' The fact that she protested and insisted she wanted to go to staff meetings was of no avail. It is one of those things, isn't it? Nobody wants to go to staff meetings, every man there must have rather envied the idea that femininity could excuse her, and yet my mother had to insist on her innate right to go to the darn things. To be fair, my mother's the exception, one of those who really did like doing stuff like that, a trait I have most certainly neither inherited nor acquired.

So she left and went to Methodist Ladies College, the posh girls equivalent. At some point two of the kind male teachers from PAC happened to be visiting MLC, so she took them to the staff room for a cuppa. Afterwards she washed her cup and said to them 'If you are wondering why I don't wash yours, I happen to believe that men are just as good as women at washing up.' 'Oh, better,' said one of them to her, 'Much better.'

And that is pretty much the point of this guide to the literature on the brain differences between men and women. If there were some reason why men suddenly thought that washing teacups was a desirable occupation, there would be an academic redefinition of the brain to fit this. In fact for now it is the other way around. The desirable occupations in life, the ones that are seen as the plums, must be taken up by men rather than women because they have the right brain composition. Depending on how good your sense of humour is, it is either discomforting or hilarious to discover that neuroscience is not above redefining what is 'necessary' depending on how their business of deciphering the brain develops.

This explains the choice of word in the subtitle - neurosexism - but it is the sort of thing that irritated me as I read this - I don't like the current style of pop science where impartiality is a positive defect. It's like there is something going on which we might call 'extreme pop science'. You have to outdo the last writer in outrageousness. But while I was aghast at some of the ways she put things, I imagine the reader at large would not have noticed, let alone taken umbrage. Fine probably thinks it was acceptable to do so because all that mattered was getting her very important point across. I couldn't disagree more. Her material spoke for itself, the relentless mass of it which she brings to bear. She didn't need to be spurious on top of it. She should have left that for her publicly disgraced subjects. As it is, by waving the flag of her partiality - which she somehow attempts to do whilst claiming that this is the issue with the other side - right in our faces, she left me wondering if she is as trustworthy as she wants to be. Having the longest bibliography in the world doesn't cut the mustard if the reader is left gasping at the shamelessness with which she prejudicially discusses her data. Take this, for example:

rest here:

http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2013/09/08/delusions-of-gender-by-cor... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Not what i expected. It debunks the studies claiming there are hardwired differences between boys and girls: their innate talents, interests and emotional capacity, and it does so in an accesible snarky yet professional tone that i appreciated. It did not, however, launch into the fluid queer world of gender diversity. It uses the sexual binary framework to diconstruct the gender binary. This feels incomplete to me. ( )
  aezull | Mar 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Can we stop talking about brains now? Those who can’t, and anyone else who would like to know what today’s best science reveals about gender differences – and similarities – could not do better than read this book.
 
As Fine argues in this forceful, funny new book, the notion that gender accounts for differences in minds and behavior through some biological, brain-based process is an idea as popular as it is unproven.
added by zhejw | editBoston Globe, Kate Tuttle (Sep 5, 2010)
 
“Delusions of Gender” takes on that tricky question, Why exactly are men from Mars and women from Venus?, and eviscerates both the neuroscientists who claim to have found the answers and the popularizers who take their findings and run with them.

The author, Cordelia Fine, who has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from University College London, is an acerbic critic, mincing no words when it comes to those she disagrees with. But her sharp tongue is tempered with humor and linguistic playfulness, as the title itself suggests.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Katerine Bouton (Aug 23, 2010)
 
Fine's book is a remarkably researched and dense work that, even while tackling highly complex subject manner, retains a light, breezy touch.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cordelia Fineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Castilla Plaza, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Held, SusanneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hendriks, FredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Of all difficulties which impede the progress of thought, and the formation of well-grounded opinions on life and social arrangements, the greatest is now the unspeakable ignorance and inattention of mankind in respect to the influences which form human character. Whatever any portion of the human species now are, or seem to be, such, it is supposed, they have a natural tendency to be: even when the most elementary knowledge of the circumstances in which they have been placed, clearly points out the causes that made them what they are.
—John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women (1869)
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For my mother
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Drawing 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 different 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.--From publisher description.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393068382, 0393340244

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