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Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It Paperback – September 2, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—Margaret Talbot, Staff Writer, The New Yorker
“I wish that Pink Brain, Blue Brain had been available when my children were small. It’s smart about our biology, smart about our culture—and genuinely thought-provoking in considering the way the two intersect. Read it if you’re a parent seeking some savvy insight on child rearing, as a teacher looking to help students—or just read it for the pleasure of understanding yourself a little better.”
—Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Sex on the Brain: The Biological Differences Between Men and Women
“Lise Eliot surveys the real science of sex differences in a way that is clear and careful as well as entertaining, and her advice on everything from public policy to parenting is sensible and scientifically grounded.”
— Mark Liberman, University of Pennsylvania
“Lise Eliot covers a wealth of the best scientific work on gender in an accessible and engaging style. The suggestions she offers for raising and teaching children are well grounded in research and readily implemented in practice. Pink Brain, Blue Brain is an excellent resource for parents, educators, and anyone else interested in how boys and girls develop.”
—Lynn S. Liben, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Penn State University
“I can’t stop talking about Pink Brain, Blue Brain. Every time I see a toddler on a playground, or walk into a toy store, I remember some remarkable new fact I learned from Lise Eliot. This book will change the way you think about boys, girls, and how we come to be who we are.”
—Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist
“[a] sharp, information-packed, and wonderfully readable book” —Mother Jones
“This is an important book and highly recommended for parents, teachers, and anyone who works with children.” —Library Journal
“(a) refreshingly reasonable and reassuring look at recent alarming studies about sex differences in determining the behavior of children....Eliot’s work demonstrates a remarkable clarity of purpose.”
“Read [this] masterful book and you'll never view the sex-differences debate the same way again.”
“eye-opening...[a] masterful new book on gender and the brain...Eliot’s contribution in Pink Brain, Blue Brain is to explain, clearly and authoritatively, what the research on brain-based sex difference actually shows, and to offer helpful suggestions about how we can erase the small gaps for our children instead of turning them into larger ones.”—Washington Post
“refreshingly evenhanded...Written in a readable style and organized in chapters ordered by age level, this makes some scientific concepts about brain development accessible to laypeople...Anyone interested in child development and gender studies will be enlightened.” —Booklist
"Considering the nonsense already in print (much of it erroneously presented as scientific fact), Pink Brain, Blue Brain should be required reading for anyone who wants a more thoughtful consideration of how the brains of boys and girls do—but mostly do not—differ." —Science
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Top Customer Reviews
The one thing that really sticks with me after finishing the book is a feeling that the author spent an awful lot more time pointing out studies that have been disproved or discredited, rather than making any positive arguments or citing any validated results. It becomes almost formulaic: she'll discuss a study in some length, including the methods, the results, and the implications, and then pontificate on how this explains observational or anecdotal information. Then she'll tell you that no further studies duplicated the results, so it's all just back to square one. I do appreciate that this is how science goes sometimes, but it's an awfully long book just to say that precious few studies have shown anything at all worth believing.
A lesser complaint is that the author seemed to have trouble deciding what kind of book she was writing. At times, it was a moderately dense scholarly work, with studies and statistics and name-dropping. Other times, it's pure anecdotal accounts, suggesting a vastly less academic target audience. There were also numerous references to her own children, done in such a way as to make it seem briefly like a memoir instead of research.
There are some things i did like about this book. First, the organization. Rather than just being a heap of studies and discussion thereof, it's parsed into age groups.Read more ›
Eliot emphasizes we can't make cut-and-dry declarations about human male and female brains unless we go into fetal studies or newborn studies, which are few and far between. Besides the interesting discussion of science, at the end of each chapter Eliot lists a few things parents and teachers can do to make sure children can live up to their capabilities. The chapters are divided easily into age groups. This book is very helpful to anyone interested in the differences between males and females and wanting a little more scientific oomph than screaming headlines.
I have to add to this review. This book is not a difficult read if taken in little steps as I did. I wouldn't try to sit down and read it through; it's about neuroscience and includes lots of information and data. The author's point is that we shouldn't believe everything we're told about male and female brains, not without understanding how that data was acquired.
Now fast forward 42 years. Today no chemistry teacher would dare to make that kind of boldly sexist statement. However, many well-educated people still believe that boys have a natural edge in math and science, and treat their female daughters or students accordingly. While Dr. Eliot tells us there are subtle differences in the brains of girls and boys, these differences are magnified through "plasticity", a term used to describe the fact that the brain changes in response to its own experience. So parents who buy dolls for little girls and Lego's for little boys are offering experiences which will later help to mold each child's brain.
Perhaps it is time for your children to select a college and career. Just as I did so many years ago, most girls gravitate toward what comes easiest to them and away from technical and quantitative fields. Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
People interested in the left wing fallacy that there are no differences in the sexes other than environments could read the Blank Slate by Steve Pinker. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Steven
In her book Pink Brian Blue Brian Lise Eliot tries to tackle one of the world’s hardest questions: are woman really from Venus and boys from Mars? Read morePublished 9 months ago by Josselin Lopez
Determined to figure out how much of my toddlers’ divergent behavior is based upon innate gender difference, I read Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender and the first 100 pages of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Ready Mommy
There is a large and ever-growing body of scientific research on the differences between the male and female brain, all of which author Lise Eliot conveniently chooses to ignore. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Stewart Coffin
[this is a long review intended for those who want to get a sense for what this book has in it -- fair warning]
This book was nothing short of excellent. Read more
Thoughtful, thought-provoking, good recommendations. I highly recommend it to parents of small chidren and anyone who is interested in gender relationsPublished 22 months ago by Roxanne Murrell
I love how this book gives you the science as well as real life examples of how the brain works.Published 23 months ago by Megs
I really enjoyed reading this book! very well written and has an overall "calmed down" approach. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Sarits