Start reading Delusions of Gender on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
Start reading this book in under 60 seconds
Read anywhere, on any device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference [Kindle Edition]

Cordelia Fine
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $16.95 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.96 (41%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $3.99 after you buy the Kindle book. Learn More

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $3.34  
Kindle Edition, August 8, 2011 $9.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $14.52  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $21.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times


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 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.



Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’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.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In a methodical and devastatingly effective manner, Fine eviscerates the recent trend in attributing society’s gender-based differences to biology. The sheer girth of her analysis is staggering as she addresses everything from scientific studies going back more than a century to the latest assertions of “Mars and Venus” author John Gray. Fine pivots from studies on gender-based clothing and toys to a discussion of education, and reviews recent Caldecott Award-winning children’s books, noting that one gender is consistently described as “beautiful, frightened, worthy, sweet, weak and scared.” (Guess which one.) Fine also explains how experiments are manipulated to provide desirable results and how results are presented without necessary caveats (such as the fact that men were not part of the study). This is social science at its hard-working best as Fine uses solid references to refute the notion that biology trumps pervasive stereotyping, and offers a sterling rebuttal to agenda research and the lure of pseudo-science. --Colleen Mondor

Review

'We are all in [Fine's] debt. She has the expertise to check the research references cited by academic as well as popular books on the subject, and she has the clarity and wit to impart her findings to the lay reader. She exposes shockingly lightweight research that is taken seriously and nuanced research that is misreported.' -- Guardian "Delusions of Gender' ... carefully and with great precision demolishes the nonsense that pervades the popular and technical literature pretending to be scientific fact, exposing it as truthiness which is nowhere close to truth. ... When I first heard about this book it was clear, even before reading it, that this is the book we've been waiting for. Now, having read it, I can assure you that it is even better than I thought it could be. ... Buy it. Get your friends, your colleagues, your family members to buy it, or buy it for them. Get it to your local school board. Make it required reading, not only in gender studies, but in freshman sociology, biology, education and business courses. Get it on the New York Times bestseller list. ... Our culture is saturated with sloppy self-reinforcing non-thinking about gender. It will take a monumental effort to get it off those tracks. 'Delusions of Gender' is an excellent place to start.' -- Professor Judy Roitman, Association for Women in Mathematics Newsletter 'The hard data is illuminating, and engaging, but Fine manages a light touch throughout. This is a truly startling book.' -- Independent on Sunday 'A fascinating subject. A bracing argument.' -- Evening Standard 'The result of Fine's irritation is a witty and meticulously researched expose of the sloppy studies that pass for scientific evidence in so many of today's bestselling books on sex differences... 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.' -- Carol Tavris, TLS '['Brain Storm' and 'Delusions of Gender' are] well-informed, well-argued and (for science books, perhaps unusually) well-written interventions in ... one of the most important debates in current sexual politics.' -- Trouble and Strife Journal 'Two books came out this year (2010) which, in the long-term, could change how we view gender for ever. ... Cordelia Fine's 'Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences' (Icon Books) finally debunked the myth that men and women's minds are significantly different ... Both books were favourably reviewed and hotly discussed. Over time their conclusions could have far-reaching consequences as significant as 'The Female Eunuch." -- Viv Groskop, Guardian 'If you believe that the tide of blue and pink that greets children whenever they walk into a toy or children's clothes shop is just about colours ... think again.' -- Working Mums 'This is a book with such a large scope that it's near-impossible to overestimate its importance. Much like 'The Spirit Level' did for socio-economics, this book ropes together decades' worth of studies on gender differences and casts a cool, calm eye (and an arched brow) over them all... This book will cast a light on gender assumptions you didn't know you had, and it's hilarious - with chapter titles such as 'We Think, Therefore You Are' and 'Sex and Premature Speculation,' Dr Fine is a brilliant tour guide - making light, fun and engaging work of the research. By debunking the rubbish, this book opens up possibilities for a (slightly) clearer vision of the future. Not to be missed.' -- Fat Quarter 'In 'Delusions of Gender' Cordelia Fine does a magnificent job debunking the so-called science, and especially the brain science, of gender. If you thought there were some inescapable facts about women's minds - some hard wiring that explains poor science and maths performance, or the ability to remember to buy the milk and arrange the holidays - you can put these on the rubbish heap. Instead, Fine shows that there are almost no areas of performance that are not touched by cultural stereotypes. This scholarly book will make you itch to press the delete button on so much nonsense, while being pure fun to read.' -- Emeritus Professor Uta Frith, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, Research Foundation Professor, University of Aarhus 'Cordelia Fine has a first-rate intellect and writing talent to burn. In her new book, 'Delusions of Gender,' she takes aim at the idea that male brains and female brains are 'wired differently,' leading men and women to act in a manner consistent with decades-old gender stereotypes. Armed with penetrating insights, a rapier wit, and a slew of carefully researched facts, Fine lowers her visor, lifts her lance, and attacks this idea full-force. Whether her adversaries can rally their forces and mount a successful counter-attack remains to be seen. What's certain at this point, however, is that in 'Delusions of Gender' Cordelia Fine has struck a terrific first blow against what she calls 'neurosexism.' -- Professor William Ickes, author of 'Everyday Mind Reading: Understanding What Other People Think and Feel.' 'Fine turns the popular science book formula on its head.' -- USA Today 'Fine is fun, droll yet deeply serious. Setting a cracking pace, 'Delusions' tackles the power of implicit association (those unconscious associations we make about men and women) and of negative stereotyping, plus the empathising/systematising theory proposed by psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen, and the messy world of brain scans and genetic research. Her conclusion: we are in thrall to 'neurosexism'.' -- New Scientist '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... It's too late to tell that to Dr. Sax, a proponent of single-sex education, who cited the Connellan study as evidence that 'girls are born prewired to be interested in faces while boys are prewired to be more interested in moving objects.' But it's not too late to read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.' -- New York Times 'So both sexes should rejoice at Cordelia Fine's new book, Delusions of Gender, a vitriolic attack on the sexism masquerading as psychology that is enjoying a renaissance.' -- Rosamund Irwin, London Evening Standard '...impeccably researched and bitingly funny.' -- Rosamund Irwin, London Evening Standard 'Fine's tone is witty but the citations are detailed and the bibliography extensive...This book is an entertaining weapon in that fight (for education and social justice) and will make a nice 'thwok' sound bouncing off the heads of sexists.' -- Sarah Ensor, Socialist review 'Fine's conclusions provide a timely warning against taking too seriously the deluge of books and articles that would have us believe that men are biologically advantaged when it comes to mathematics, racing, driving or map reading - and that women are naturally more intuitive and nurturing, so better at childcare and multitasking.' -- Claire Jones, Guardian 'In 'Delusions of Gender' the psychologist Cordelia Fine exposes the bad science, the ridiculous arguments and the persistent biases that blind us to the ways we ourselves enforce the gender stereotypes we think we are trying to overcome.' NB - this article goes on to claim that Fine does not go far enough nor give us any solutions. The subtitle of the article is 'Terri Apter wishes that a study of genes and gender had gone further.' -- Terri Apter, Guardian 'Fine eviscerates both the neuroscientists who claim to have found the answers and the popularisers who take their findings and run with them.' (NB quote referenced in the Guardian article 11th September - ) -- Katherine Bouton, Deputy Editor of New York Times Magazine. 'Timely and provocative, her argument is also excellent at debunking oversimplified theories, for instance, that biology is destiny.' -- Metro "well-stocked armoury that includes extensive research, sharp whit and a probing intelligence, and which refuses to be satisfied with the delusional myth-making that often passes for popular science." -- Metro 'Fine offers persuasive proof that many of the claims we commonly swallow about male and female brains are based on very bad science indeed. Her entire book ... is worth a read, and perhaps should be taught in high school and college science classes. Maybe if young women were exposed to the truth about their brains, they'd no longer feel like they had to chuck their gender overboard in order to pursue their dreams.' -- Anna North, Jezebel 'With 'Delusions of Gender,' we welcome a brilliant feminist critic of the neurosciences ... In a book that sparkles with wit, which is easy to read but underpinned by substantial scholarship and a formidable 100-page bibliography, she attacks the ready generalisations on sexual differences made by neuroscientists and their media exegetes ... every page of Fine's brilliant, spiky book reminds us that science is part of culture and that the struggle against sexism in the neurosciences and the struggle against sexism in society are intimately linked. Read her, enjoy and learn.' -- Hilary Rose, THES 'Popular science writing at its best ... beautifully and accessibly written ... It is a cracking good read, by turns witty, passionate and learned.' -- National Childbirth Trust Journal 'An excellent introduction to the scientific method ... mind-opening ... prepare to be a relative expert on the subject.' -- British Neuroscience Association Bulletin '[a] brilliant debunking of 'neuro-sexism' ... a powerful case that who we are is much more closely attuned to the culture that surrounds us, than to the biology of our brains.' -- Mslexia 'A pinnacle piece of feminist literature, which I thoroughly recommend and could quote all day.' -- Fran Hall, Huffington Post 'Fine draws together research that shows people who pride themselves on their lack of bias persist in making the stereotypical associations just below the thre...

Product Details

  • File Size: 547 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (August 8, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YJEXL6
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #193,580 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
100 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A myth-busting, incisive, mind-changing delight August 28, 2010
By Kristin
Format:Hardcover
This is an excellent book. It is witty and absorbing and just about impossible to put down. It is packed with the results of a multitude of studies. It is a myth-busting, incisive, mind-changing delight. It deals with the "delusions" that many people have concerning gender differences, and how these delusions have a powerful (though often unconscious) effect on people's lives.

The central myth that the author confronts is that men and women have widely different sets of ability that are mostly innate, hard-wired, and unchangeable. The author argues that this has not been demonstrated. In fact, it is not even clear that these differences in ability exist.

Take empathy. If you test people's empathy by asking them how empathetic they think they are (and yes, some scientists actually do this), then women test much higher than men. But if you actually test their abilities (by, for instance, asking what emotions are being expressed in a particular face), women do only a tiny bit better than men. And if you design the study to get rid of gender biases (the author shows how researchers do this), then women do no better than men.

Or take the ability to mentally rotate objects in space which, for a long time, has been considered to be necessary for success in math and engineering. Usually men do better than women. But if you fib and tell a group of test-takers that "women perform better than men in this test, usually for genetic reasons," then women perform as well as the men.

And on it goes. The author shows how subtle cues in our environment affect our identities and thus our behaviors and thus our life course. And how our implicit beliefs are often diametrically opposed to our explicit beliefs and how this can wreak havoc in our societies.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
63 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The trouble with neuro- (and evolutionary) sexism January 31, 2011
Format:Paperback
Below is an excerpt from a forthcoming review in Skeptical Inquirer. I am a philosopher of science and former evolutionary biologist, and I highly recommend this book to anyone seriously interested in the biology and social science of gender.

It is nowadays commonly accepted knowledge that there are profound innate differences between genders. I'm not talking about the obvious anatomical ones, but about the allegedly (radically) different ways in which male and female brains work. It seems that at every corner we hear statements to the effect that gender XX or XY is better or more capable or more attracted to a litany of tasks and behaviors, from spatial abilities to mathematics, from aptitude toward science to liking the color pink. When prominent figures -- like former Harvard President Larry Summers -- get in trouble for talking about behavioral gender differences as if they were established facts backed by the power of evolutionary and neuro-biology, a chorus of defenders rises up to decry political correctness and to present the Summers of the day as a valiant fighter for rationality in the face of relativism and demagoguery.

Not so fast, says Cordelia Fine in her Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference. Fine is an academic psychologist and freelance writer, and her book ought to be kept side by side with the likes of the (antithetical) The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker, to provide a bit of balance to what has become common and yet largely unfounded knowledge about gender differences. Let us be clear at the outset that nobody is seriously suggesting that genetics and evolution have nothing to do with human behavior, including gendered differences.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
62 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning amount of research August 27, 2010
Format:Hardcover
found this book stunning. All around you see all this stuff about 'Men's brains' and 'Women's brains', and it always struck me as odd that a sex that has, for example, written so much brilliant literature should be deemed semi-autistic, etc etc. So here comes this brilliantly researched book (just take a look at the pages and pages of notes at the end - this author knows her onions backwards and forwards and sideways) - and she points out how shoddy it all is.
And she's funny!
No one will ever again have to sit through a dinner party with some parent going on about how 'I thought that too, but you only have to LOOK at my two children to see there are innate differences... bleh bleh'. She unpicks it all and shows how social pressures are so important and the brain differences that are so often claimed are, essentially, neurotosh, aka neurosexism. I think I shall carry a copy round with me.
Was this review helpful to you?
81 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, insightful, and flawed December 11, 2010
Format:Hardcover
Delusions of Gender focuses in particular on the brain and media coverage, whereas Brainstorm is a synthetic evaluation of the theory that prenatal exposure to hormones has a long lasting impact in organizing the mind. The former is also much more geared towards the general public. Although both focus a great deal on methodology, Brain Storm is actually focused on the question of the etiology of gender differences, whereas the message of Delusions of Gender is focused on flaws in interpretation and use of neuroscience research.
While I admire Fine's questions, I think she makes some researchers and conclusions out to be more unreasonable than they actually are. She points out that researchers often make much of small studies and highlights two claims that originated in studies with a limited number of participants: the idea that males are more lateralized for language than females and that they have larger corpus callosums. Fine contends that when meta-analyses are done, it becomes apparent that this is not the case. It's not that clear cut. Daniel Voyer conducted a meta-analysis and concluded that there are sex differences in lateralization (Voyer, 1996). Similarly, the corpus callosum claims often depend on how the measurement is done. It's important to take into account study quality as well ( Holloway 1998). She downplays the ambiguity on these questions. Also, even Hyde's Gender Similarities Hypothesis documented sex differences in some language-related skills(Hyde, 2005). Girls outperform boys on standardized reading and writing tests (Program for International Literacy 2006, US Department of Education 1997). Moreover, Fine's discussion of the mental rotation and math relationship does not note some compelling findings that might alter a reader's impression.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars it's a thorough review of the literature and Fine makes some very...
Overall, it's a thorough review of the literature and Fine makes some very important points.

It does not get 5 stars because there is a clear bias in her discussions, a... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Barbara A. Drescher
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is amazing, just read it and learn for yourself
This book is amazing, just read it and learn for yourself. Explore the ideas of gender and its societal construction on us an individuals.
Published 8 days ago by logan vournas
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
A must read. Fine is sometimes repetitive but that only serves to drive home the amount of evidence in her favor. Read more
Published 25 days ago by E.Roddy
5.0 out of 5 stars What a jewel of a book!
This book changed my view. It is an easy read, but provides so much valuable information and insights.
Highly recommended for men and women!
Published 1 month ago by Henriette prast
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic Debunk
This is the most effective debunking I've ever seen. It was like watching Bruce Lee fight an actual potato.
Published 1 month ago by Giles D. Bowkett
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on gender inequality
One of the best books I've read about gender. Cordelia Fine dispells the common myth that women and men are fundamentally different on a cognitive level. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars More sour grapes rhetoric than scientifically reproducable counter...
If you’re looking for an intellectually honest dialogue and counter argument on recent studies and reproducible research in neuroscience, this is the wrong book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Persuasive Debunking of Neurosexism
Delusions of Gender: The Real Science Behind Sex Differences by Cordelia Fine

“Delusions of Gender” is an outstanding book that compels you to take a closer look at... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Book Shark
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done
A thorough look through much of the research done on gender differences. She all but left out trans people, which I think was more due to the fact that the studies did as well and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars an informative and entertaining read
Like me you've probably heard a lot of neuroscience packed into sound bytes on the news and daytime tv. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Maryanna Kraft
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category