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



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It's the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children-boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks-we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important hardwired differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework. Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between menrs"s and womenrs"s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as menrs"s brains arenrs"t wired for empathy and womenrs"s brains arenrs"t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between menrs"s and womenrs"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. Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that menrs"s and womenrs"s brains are intrinsically different-a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.

Author Biography

Cordella Fine is a senior research associate at the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics at Macquarie University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne's Department of Psychology. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xv
"Half-Changed World," Half-Changed Minds
We Think, Therefore You Arep. 3
Why You Should Cover Your Head with a Paper Bag if You Have a Secret You Don't Want Your Wife to Find Outp. 14
"Backwards and in High Heels"p. 27
I Don't Belong Herep. 40
The Glass Workplacep. 54
XX-clusion and xxx-clusionp. 67
Gender Equality Begins (or Ends) at Homep. 78
Gender Equality 2.0?p. 90
The "Fetal Fork"p. 99
In "the Darkness of the Womb" (and the First Few Hours in the Light)p. 107
The Brain of a Boy in the Body of a Girl ... or a Monkey?p. 118
Sex and Premature Speculationp. 131
What Does It All Mean, Anyway?p. 141
Brain Scamsp. 155
The "Seductive Allure" of Neurosciencep. 168
Unraveling Hardwiringp. 176
Recycling Gender
Preconceptions and Postconceptionsp. 189
Parenting with a Half-Changed Mindp. 197
"Gender Detectives"p. 207
Gender Educationp. 214
The Self-Socializing Childp. 226
Epilogue: And S-t-r-e-t-c-h!p. 233
Acknowledgmentsp. 241
Author's Notep. 243
Notesp. 245
Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 329
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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