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Sexing the Brain by Lesley Rogers

Sexing the Brain (1999)

by Lesley Rogers

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It is a very biased book. Maybe it is biased towards the right answer, I don't know, it is quite possible, but the thing is: it is written in a "biased way". The author does not try to tell you the story, she doesn't invite you to think together; she does not compare different claims, looking for their strong and weak sides. She is not engaged in a process of looking for an answer, and she doesn't engage you. She knows the answer, and everybody who don't adhere to her views are wrong. And it is annoying.

I hoped to read this short book to become more versed in the problem, but it is exactly the sort of book that can put somebody off from even trying to read about this subject. It turns this potentially very interesting and important subject in a barren and angry minefield, with author as a sniper on a tree, ready to shoot you immediately the moment you even think that there could be some differences between boys and girls. "The nature is more complex than it seems" she writes repeatedly, but then essentially simplifies it to one possible answer.

Also, as another reviewer mentioned, the intended audience is unclear. It is too boring for a layperson, as it has too many unexplained technicalities in it, but it is also boring for a specialist, as it rarely goes into details of the claims. It sits there in this no-mans-land (to be honest, most popular scientific books do), but it's really a shame considering, again, how potentially interesting and important, and universally loaded this question is.

I'll have to stay waiting for another book about sex and brain. ( )
  Arseny | Jun 24, 2015 |
This was really interesting I especially found the chapters, Gay Genes and Hormones, Sex and Gender very informative. The author writes in an easy to understand way, presents a lot of facts and shows the flaws of previous research. ( )
  celticstar | Aug 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0231120109, Hardcover)

The question of free will versus predestination is an old one in theology. It is a commonplace of science as well, emerging in recent years in claims that human sexuality is an expression of biological inheritance alone, that sexual orientation is genetically encoded and thus immutable.

In this slender, provocative book, a volume in the series Maps of the Mind, neuroscientist Lesley Rogers examines the evidence for and against gene-deterministic views of sex differences, ranging from 19th-century attempts to prove that women are intellectually inferior because their brains, on average, weigh 10 percent less than men's ("There is no difference between the sexes," Rogers observes, "when brain weight is adjusted for body size") to more recent efforts to isolate a "gay gene." Such research, Rogers holds, fails to take into account cultural reasons for sex differences in brain function, which "are manifestations of social values held at a particular time." Among those values are an apparent educational segregation that produces boys with superior mathematical and spatial abilities and girls with superior verbal skills--a differentiation that has no proven biological basis, just as, Rogers argues, "sexual preference is not likely to depend on a single gene, a single neurotransmitter, or a single place in the brain." Rogers's book is certain not to be the last word on the subject, but those who consider nurture to be at least as important as nature in shaping the self will find fuel for their arguments in Rogers's antireductionist views. --Gregory McNamee

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:59 -0400)

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