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The Female Brain Paperback – August 7, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
1) The author begins the book by emphasizing her credentials and her influences in the acknowledgements section. The academic pedigree is impressive: UC Berkeley, UCSF, Harvard Med School, Yale Med School, University College, London. She thanks a long list of great scientists, teachers and students who have influenced her thinking. It is an impressive collection of names and places.Read more ›
In The Female Brain, Brizendine, a San Francisco Bay area psychiatrist, who runs a clinic she started to help women who think their mental problems are caused by their hormones, describes the life cycle of a contemporary American educated, neurotic, urban, privileged professional in a culture in which science is just another option, as if she had discovered Lucy, the mother of all mankind. Behavior familiar to many of us only from the wonderful bad Heather literature is presented as hard-"wired" into the female brain. Brizendine's description of the hard-"wired" cervix and brain-softening, uncontrollable urge to mate with one's newborn baby, which makes wholesale desertion of the work place is as irresistible as the law of gravity, is the closest thing to soft porn I've seen emerging from the San Francisco Medical Center in a long time. For the many women who would find Brizendine's transparently autobiographical description of the stages of a woman's life almost entirely unfamiliar, the possibility that the book is false seems immediately obvious. If it were true, The Female Brain would be a scary book indeed. But of course it's not.
Insecure readers might coubt their own sanity when reading the thing, because the short book is supplemented by mind-numbing pages of citations to scientific journals. But happily as far as I know the articles Brizendine cites bear essentially no relationship to the propositions in the text of the book.Read more ›
"The Female Brain" does have a nice, breezy style common in many pop-science works; Dr. Brizendine writes well. This makes it all the more unfortunate, however, that she bases many of her arguments on "facts" and statistics that are not backed up by scientific literature.
Sadly, this is yet another in a long line of books that trumpet the neurological basis of gender differences with little attention to the complexity of the issues. Yes, innate gender differences almost certainly exist, but the truth is that we don't yet know enough about how the brain works to really tease out such differences. I am always disappointed when authors, especially scientists, gloss over these difficulties in an attempt to draw more attention to their work. I realize that it's more exciting to claim "I know how the female brain works! Women think this way!" rather than to admit that one has some preliminary findings and hypotheses about male vs. female tendencies, and that individual differences are often greater than male vs. female differences. But it's also disheartening to think that many people will believe Dr. Brizendine's claims without realizing that they are principally overgeneralizations, peppered with outright inaccuracies.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very scientific, doesn't give a whole lot of insight into how a woman is thinking. just goes on an on about brain chemistry....gets old fastPublished 12 days ago by Brian
great and wish I had all this info. raising four daughters. also excellent reading for school teachers, counselors, administrators too.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book explains so much about the dynamics between men and women. Wish i would have had this information much earlier in life.Published 23 days ago by kelmag
Great book. Explains the differences between male and female brains nicely. Feminism has been lying to everyone for years.Published 1 month ago by Dan Burke
This is a fascinating book to read ..and fun ... Not hard science- so anyone can read and enjoy ..always enlightening to learn about how men and women think differently ... Read morePublished 1 month ago by sarah