In Delusions of Gender the psychologist Cordelia Fine exposes the bad science, the ridiculous arguments and the persistent biases that blind. Delusions of Gender has ratings and reviews. Cordelia Fine, a psychologist, decided to write this book after discovering her son’s kindergarten. Delusions of Gender. How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference. Cordelia Fine (Author, University of Melbourne, Australia). Sign up for the.

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Delusions of Gender

The science of gender differences turns out to be very bad science indeed; it seems that everyone has an agenda, and is willing to do whatever it takes to advance it. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. For example, after discussing subtle ways social cues and whether one feels they belong can influence people to prefer and perform differently, all very reasonable, the book concludes: We have been primed by society to perform according to our genders, and this process starts early.

In recent years several individuals have boasted about experiments that use fMRI and PET scans to detect differences in the brain; Fine makes sure to reveal the flaws associated with those studies and why we should be skeptical of the conclusions they espouse.

In contemporary society we often cling to claims made by people with scientific backgrounds, even though some of those claims have no legitimate support. Do they really hardwired in our brains? Fine also indicts sexist work practices such as entertaining clients in strip-clubs. Firstly, the author veers to the verbose side, and secondly, the book pays 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.

Even more so than you think. I would like to make it clear that I am in no way saying that women cannot be chessplayers, mathematicians or computer scientists: As a psychology major, I loved her incorporation of self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotype threat, such as including a study about how women who had to check a gender box either “male” or “female” performed worse on flne exam than women who took the test without marking their gender.

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Delusions of Gender – Wikipedia

Biology itself is socially influenced and defined; it changes and develops in interaction with and in response to our minds and ifne, as our behaviours do. 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.


All we get to see are the blobs of colour lighting up — and we assume someone smarter than us has worked out that those blobs mean something significant. Fine also demonstrates how already weak neuroscientific conclusions are then grossly overblown by popular writers. She selects some choice quotes to show us how little the new sexism differs from the old this is a very funny bookthen proceeds to dismantle it with a three-pronged attack.

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

Consider the facts that are not in dispute. I recommend reading them in that order because Fine’s book refutes many of the points made in Baron-Cohen’s. Homosexuality is innate in some individuals.

Science and nature books Health, mind and body books Society books reviews. Then pages later, in a study intended to offer an alternate explanation would be a phrase like, “Mothers of infants report May 03, Alissa Thorne rated it it was ok Shelves: Biology of Sex Differences.

Lists with This Book. When school-age children are told that they are being given a test to see how good they would be at mechanics, the girls do less well on the same test than they do if they are told they are being given a test to see how good they would be at sewing. Fine has plenty more to say about how shoddy a lot of the research is, how biased the interpretations of it, and so on.

But the presentation of these studies often seemed to exaggerate them. Cordelia Fine – – Neuroethics 5 3: 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.

All in all, I have benefited greatly from this book. Nov 27, Scribble Orca marked it as to-be-consideread Recommended to Scribble by: Fine has tackled an immense and largely thankless tas Let me boil the book down for the busy reader: This book spends most of its pages presenting psychological studies showing that people are suggestible, that messages from the culture can influence one’s confidence and feeling of belonging, even their very identity and personality, and that this can impact their abilities to perform or their interest in a subject.

View all 7 comments. Then she went through the references of these many works and actually looked at the studies, to show where they were bad, and more often, where they just plain don’t say what the authors claim they do. Norton’s privacy policy and terms of use. She dedicates a large portion of the book to knocking down neurosexism.


In one particularly egregious example, an author drew gender differences from a study with only female participants. Fine is hilarious when exposing the loaded survey questions that have been used to find gender differences.

For anyone who knows what I mean They look at coarse measures of activation in parts of the brain whose functions are still largely unclear and mysteriously deduce general cognitive principles, relying on the fact that few people know how to interpret a brain scan.

Smiles Some have enjoyed the humour of this. 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 ilkwhich seek to explain gender difference and inequality through neurological differences.

Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences by Cordelia Fine

This challenges the common belief of fien that they tried gender-neutral parenting, but it didn’t work. There are a few reasons for this: The books are good ammunition for arguments with people who think science has incontrovertibly shown biological bases for gender differences such as mathematical ability.

It sounds suspiciously like the “delicate flower” argument of traditionalists.

Similarly, if she is told that girls normally perform better than boys delusionz this type of exam, then she will do better, regardless of her skill level. Well, they say, it’s our brains. As Fine describes, gendering of children is ubiquitous in the culture, and intense to an almost unimaginable degree.

Oh, and if you don’t manage to read this book, please take it from me here and now, that cordelka trying to persuade you of a gender difference on the basis of pictures from brain scans is to be scornfully ignored.