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Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences Paperback – February 14, 2006
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More About the Author
Dr. Sax has spoken on issues of child and adolescent development not only in the United States but also in Australia, Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, Spain, and Switzerland. He has visited more than 380 schools since 2001. He has appeared on the TODAY Show, CNN, National Public Radio, Fox News, PBS, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, New Zealand Television, and many other national and international media.
Dr. Sax now lives with his wife and daughter in Chester County, Pennsylvania. He returned to clinical practice, in Pennsylvania, in 2013. His favorite activities are hiking in the woods, and making music with his wife and daughter (he plays piano). You can reach Dr. Sax directly, or visit his Facebook page, via his web site leonardsax.com.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is more than just informative about gender differences in children - he relates this information to such parenting topics as disciplining your child, gender specific education strategies, dealing with problem children, kids and drugs (both the legal and non-legal kind), and teenage sex.
Even if you don't agree with everything the author says, I think you'll learn a lot by reading this book.
The science is explained on a very basic level, no prior knowledge necessary. Although, sometimes the thoughts are not extended to a logical conclusion. For example, throughout the book Sax assumes that the closer parts of the brain are the better communication among them. Even though this seems reasonable, some supportive evidence would have been useful. And what if girls' math processing in prefrontal cortex simply means that talking about math comes easier to them than to boys?
Still, that male and female brains are different on average and react differently to the same stimuli seems fairly commonsensical. In this context, Sax's argument for single-sex education sounds convincing.Read more ›
Why Gender Matters does an excellent job of presenting taboo subject mater with well laid out arguments backed by evidence. The premise of the book is summed up well in this passage from one of the appendages: "A central argument for this book is that for the past three decades, the influence of social and cognitive factors on gender traits has been systematically overestimated while the innate factors have been neglected."
This is a difficult subject to tackle without coming across as a sexist and a bigot. But I was consistently impressed with Sax's ability to approach these topics delicately but unambiguously. His careful phrasing effectively disarmed the knee-jerk defensive reaction, and unapologetically delivered his points in the most reasonable tone.
The writing was pleasant to read, and the content thought-provoking, enlightening and challenging.
Sax mixes in a lot of his personal views on morality and proper child rearing. There are whole pages which hardly reference gender at all, which instead serve as a soapbox for Sax to rant about the need for discipline or rail against mushy liberal parenting approaches.
I have little basis on which to judge his parenting advice, being a topic I have little knowledge of or interest in. Even so, it came off as prudish and overbearing, and I think the book suffered for it.
In the chapter six, titled "Sex", a sensationalist and thoroughly debunked myth, "Rainbow Parties" (wikipedia it) is cited as evidence for the moral decline of our society and the outrageous activities that kids these days engage in. This glaring factual error lends serious doubt to the credibility of the author as an unbiased man of evidence.Read more ›
The problems start later in the book. Once the facts are presented, I found myself disagreeing with the conclusions he drew from those facts quite often. He believes that parents who "consult" with their children, "inform" them about available choices, and "make suggestions" are equivalent to "overly permissive" parenting. He cites an example of parents who allow their children to "choose" soda and chips to eat every day. No doubt, that's no way to allow your child to grow up, but he makes no mention of allowing your child a choice of acceptable options. What about allowing him to choose between broccoli or a spinach salad with dinner? There's lots of evidence to support that listening to your child and allowing him freedom within limits that you set is beneficial to self esteem.
There's a lot of grey area between the authoritarian style of parenting he advocates and being a pushover to your child due to fear of not being liked by him. He's dismissed the idea of working out a plan with a child due to some very poor compromises some parents have made. (A heavy 8 year-old girl is allowed to spend a month with grandparents who let her eat nonstop junk food. Then she's hard to deal with when she returns home. Girl doesn't want to go to a no-junk-food camp instead of Gramma's, so mom doesn't do anything different.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This, and the sequel, Boys Adrift, are critical to understanding what is happening to our boys today.Published 1 day ago by J. GILDELAMADRID
Really enjoyed this book from cover to cover. Lots of great information by a reliable source. Would recommend it as a good read.Published 21 days ago by Andrea Zammit
This is not all correct. And is seen as a very conservative and close minded approachPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A very good and timely exploration of the actual brain-based differences between the 'sexes', as opposed to the socially-constructed notions of gender'. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ava Collopy Books
Book is good, but the later part of the book deals with some gross subjects that may offend the sensitive.Published 1 month ago by M. Ballou
One of the best reads I had on understanding my children and the world around me!Published 1 month ago by Lauren Bohman
This book offers up an old argument about essential gender differences, dressed up as if new. It is also outdated; the most recent research on the sex and brain suggests very... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jane Ward