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on July 23, 2016
This is an excellent study of the differences in gender and the now accepted cultural factor not biological aspect of gender.
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on June 28, 2016
Daughter enjoyed the book. Arrived quickly.
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on June 27, 2016
Required reading for a college course. I found nothing humorous about it. In fact, I had a hard time figuring out when Ms. Fine was being serious or sarcastic - and I get sarcasm and find it funny, but not this. I also felt she was extremely biased in choosing what reviews to pick apart...then offered no studies to support the opposing POV she backed! The main purpose of this book, it seems, is to explain how some scientific studies are flawed. Ok fine (no pun intended)....but then explain examples of what UN-flawed studies are to support your own POV?! No, Ms. Fine provides none. I find this book irrelevant to college students today, who understand and learned already how to distinguish between reputable and non-reputable sources since high school. This book would be better for an older generation.
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on June 8, 2016
Fascinating. Interesting wording but still factual and engaging. Highly recommend.
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on May 25, 2016
The concepts are first rate, and the writer is a recognized authority in the subject matter. However, her ability to express her ideas is sometimes frustrating. Still, it's very worthwhile to read it, for the viewpoint the puts forth.
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on May 13, 2016
This book definitely is a must read for everyone interested in women's rights in our world - to grasp where that terrible discrimination had started from. Unfortunately sexism and misogyny are still with us today. As wonderfully put by another powerful book I've recently read "Beasts of Prey: The Hard Truth about Men, some men use their powers to cheat on women, trick, and manipulate them to gain their control in society and culture. Such men have not progressed from the situation discussed by the "The Second Sex."

Some men, like the misogynist Donald Trump Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, still believe that stereotyping women (like what he did with Megyn Kelly when he mentioned her menstruation in an interview) and denigrating them (like what he did with Hillary Clinton when he compared her with a barking dog in his ads) is the right way to go!

Just because such manipulators have money and power in their hands, they strike hard to stop those beautiful, intelligent and influential women from gaining control on the same resources in society they assume to be their own!
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on March 24, 2016
To what extent are males and females different and to what extent do those differences depend on nature and nature? Though it is not my field of expertise, I have read a fair amount about brain differences between the sexes as well as the resulting behavioral differences. I have read The essential difference by Simon Baron-Cohen, as well as several books by Steven Pinker, who likes to discuss sex differences as and what causes them. I have also skimmed through the wildly popular “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus…” by John Gray (a book that is very unscientific and overrated). If you have also read these books and, like me, believe that there are essential differences between the sexes, then you should read this book. Cordelia Fine takes on John Gray as well as the academic heavyweights, Baron-Cohen (Cambridge University) and Pinker (Harvard), and though I did not think so when I picked up the book, would argue that she comes out on top.

Cordelia Fine did not change my mind completely; I still believe that when you average things, there are differences between the sexes, both regarding the neural architecture and the behavior. I don’t think Cordelia Fine would disagree with this position, but the point of this book is to correct all the wrongs that have been done in the name of (assumed) gender differences. In doing so, Cordelia has provided me with a healthy dose of skepticism about such claims, and she is very convincing in arguing that many of the differences we do see between the sexes are not ‘in our genes’, but rather are due to environmental factors such as socialization and stereotype threat.

Moreover, Cordelia is also stringent in her approach. When she criticizes authors such as Simon Baron-Cohen, she goes back to the studies on which his claims rest and shows why the studies do not support his claims. This is the proper way to criticize scientific publications, but many others still fail to do so. Having said that, Cordelia Fine also frequently uses the less scholarly strategy of sarcasm in the book, so much so that you have to be on guard not to confuse her sarcasm with her actual views. Still, the sarcasm helps spice up the book a little and helps keep the book interesting even while going into such detail (describing the scientific methodology and retaining someone’s attention is usually a challenge).

Fine's argument is basically that often we cannot tell whether a difference in behavior between men and women reflects innate, hard-coded, differences or if that difference is due to either socialization or stereotype threat, i.e. nurture. In the past, we usually have misattributed differences to nature in a way that seems quite preposterous today. People used seriously think that women did not have the constitution to do anything besides rearing children and cooking. Cordelia argues, and I think she is right, that we still do this today, albeit to a lesser degree. For example, she points to many studies showing that girls and women's performance on math tests and mental rotation tests depend to some extent on whether they believe that they are innately inferior, equal or superior on such tasks. Girls who believe that girls are poor in math also get worse results. In other words, it makes a lot of sense to be very careful when asserting that one sex is inferior to the other, no matter which task it is. Again, Cordelia never argues that there are no differences between the sexes, she merely muddies the water for those who claim that such differences are easily detectable and due entirely to nature.

For me, this book was one of those rare books that caused a significant switch in my thinking. The fact that it achieved this while also being entertaining is an impressive feat! I highly recommend this book.
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on March 11, 2016
Finally. I've been saying this stuff as an armchair psychologist for years. Years! My parents didn't treat me as a specific gender they just raised me. I was the oldest and my Father wanted to shoot hoops I shot hoops. I played football and thought skirts were cool. I'm female in case you are wondering. I always got along better with guys and they have been my friends my entire life. Some of the most macho acting guys are the most sensitive. I feel sorry for guys, they aren't allowed to express a feminine side but I am allowed to be both masculine and feminine and just seen as cool. It's too bad we see feminine traits as negative. It's s***ty when you think about it. Caring is weak? That's just dumb. It takes more strength to show your vulnerability than to hide it. We make men into cowards by shaming them into hiding who they truly are.
P.S. of course the brain size thing is bs. Hello? Asians aren't large people and smart as hell. Also, women can kick ass at martial arts, again, Asians.
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on February 3, 2016
It came in mint condition and is a brilliant book.
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on February 2, 2016
I wasn't sure exactly what to expect when I ordered this book. I'm amazed with how well and thoroughly researched this book is. For those saying this book isn't based on scientific findings...the author is very specifically quoting and referring to scientific research done by nuero scientists. She's not simply writing about her opinions based on her own observations and feelings. She also does not dismiss neuroscience as a field. She admits clearly that there are biological differences in the sexes, but that the strength of these physical differences may not be the cause of the extreme behavior differences/stereotypes that are being touted as "facts" via articles in the media. Telling girls that they are inherently not good at math has a damaging effect on their confidence, which in turn causes many girls and women to turn away from those fields, and vice versa- telling men they are not good at caring for others can cause them to turn their noses up at the idea of entering "girlish" fields. There are layers here, and this is a subject that deserves close attention, not black and white conclusions.
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