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Myths Of Gender: Biological Theories About Women And Men, Revised Edition Revised Edition

11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0465047925
ISBN-10: 0465047920
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Are men smarter than women, better at math, inherently more aggressive? Are women verbal, subject to monthly emotional storms, and doomed without hormone intervention to a sexless deteriorating old age? Do studies by sociobiologists shed light on gender behavior in humans? Fausto-Sterling, an associate professor of medical science at Brown University, considers all these questions, concentrating on the scientific studies on which popular assumptions are often based. She presents complicated ideas clearly and knowledgeably and is devastatingly critical of the scientific validity of much of the work she cites. Her own opinions unavoidably (and admittedly) color her judgment subtly, but she does great service in exposing the faultiness of many gender studies and presenting the complexity of this important topic. Margery C. Coombs, Zoology Dept., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Anne Fausto-Sterling is professor of biology and medicine at Brown University.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Revised edition (September 30, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465047920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465047925
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Ame Hunter on September 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm not surprized that more people haven't read this book,because it gives the human being a maze of possiblities and HUMAN potential not limited by gender,which maybe to frightening for the Mars and Venused public to accept,since it leaves the door wide open for limitless potential and variations among persons atributed to individuality and not gender. I found other gender related books to be very limiting,which lead me to take some tests on spatial and verbal ability,let's just say,under the narrow Brain Sex mode,I would have a completely male brain in a female body!..after my test,my suspicions increased and I did some further reading and found this book. The writer explains how researchers may not be entirely ojective, how you cannot in any way base all gender behavior on a limited amount of subjects,since we of course have over a billion persons roaming the planet with many different individual abilites,and how there is an agenda against women's advancement in science and math,which of course demand sound logic and spatial reasoning. Expand your possibities,get the gender limits off your minds, and soar!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bonam Pak on June 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read the second edition of 1992. It includes 48 additional pages to the 1985 original: a preface; a new chapter on brain anatomy concerning sex differences and homosexuality; an afterword. The author explains that the book is imcomplete in so far as it does NOT include the topics women and depression, mothering instincts and transsexuality.

Instead she tackles most of all the questions of wether men are really smarter, genes and gender, hormonal hurricanes (menstruation, menopause, female behavior) and how women are put in their evolutionary place (by patriarchy).

The central theme is wether there is any scientific merit to the popular perceptions of the myriad sex differences. Anne Fausto-Sterling exposes various past sexist theories by patriarchal scientists, which the latter dropped as soon as they found out that on a closer, updated look, they would actually FAVOR women. Only to be replaced by new misogynous theories. The entire field of sociobiology is unmasked as an illusion.

I would like to mention though that races among humans are yet another illusion, as she uses this term all too often according to the times she was writing in.

You may be interested in the more elaborate complementing Mismeasure of Women: Why Women Are Not the Better Sex, the Inferior Sex, or the Opposite Sex. Also of interest are
...Read more ›
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By CC on June 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read the book a few years ago and have ever since been helped
along the way as I wind myself down the path of endless
"sex difference" books.
I read it before I read "Brain Sex" so I wasn't at all able to
be programmed into a set of beliefs so common these days.
Gender studies are flawed,they involve the subjectivity of the
"researcher" and bias.If the "researcher finds a woman to
have a road map and blueprints in her mind,she's said to have
been exposed to male hormones,as though a woman cannot have these
gifts without being somehow a "misfit" according to most
"researchers".And what of the man who has great writing and
memory but poor spatial and math ability? He is neating fitted
into a catagory of male who was exposed to female hormones.
Anyway the writer debunks these myths with straightforward
writing and objective conclusions to confusing answers other
writers come up with to explain a man with a female brain and
a woman with a male brain.
The "researchers" have assigned a very narrow set of abilities
to males and females,and they use the hormone theory to
perperuate it.
Hormones are cousins,and esrtogen,androgens,testostrone,progestrone are found in both
sexes and in individual amounts.This in turn gives little
truth to the notion of hormones playing a part in male or female
brain wiring.
Brains are not fixed,a spatial brain can be in a female and
a verbal in a male.
Read the book and find out how subjective and bias gender
research actually is.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rachel on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
I was always puzzled when it came to these gender studies.

Anee Fausto Sterling tells us about how these studies are

subjective and misleading.How and why we find a continual stapple of books proclaiming 'innate sex differences".

From my own experiences,none of the sex difference books hold

water when it comes to the reality of everyday life.We see

such differences in individuals as to say it's not sex which

is the cause behind them.Everyone should read her book.It is

time to stop reinforcing sterotypes on people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LLLT on September 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thought provoking and it makes us wonder why still to this day these crazy gender myths are still perpetuated in neuroscience. Glial cells is one example.
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