- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (January 6, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199214476
- ISBN-13: 978-0199214471
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.8 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,009,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? 1st Edition
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"Throughout the book, Cameron's examination of everything from childhood development to evolutionary psychology to Mars and Venus myths in the workplace is insightful, incisive, and enlightening. For those who have ever felt discomfort with stereotypes about gendered communication, this book is a breath of fresh air. The skeptic, the egalitarian, and the doubter of pseudo-science will relish this book, which is full of facts to tuck away for later use in dismantling the arguments of gender-determinists." --Aiko Ayers, The Hipster Book Club
"In this wonderfully refreshing new book, Cameron precisely reviews myths and candidly points out, that they are myths. Her work here is a brilliantly detailed review of where and when different and incompatible stories are made to fit our culture." --Feminist Review
About the Author
Deborah Cameron is Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at the University of Oxford. An internationally known researcher in the field of language and gender studies, she is the author or editor of several academic books on the subject, as well as many articles.
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The excerpt is an excellent critique of the Mars/Venus gendered communication styles, with an instructive discussion of an investigation of a sexual assault case at a university. Incisive and insightful analysis and writing.
edit of July 29, 2013: I had posted an excerpt from the book that was apparently removed by Amazon and replaced by the [...]; oh well...
The "Mars and Venus" trope accepts this premise, and the idea that men and women are by our very natures utterly incomprehensible to each other.
This book proves them wrong, in a short, very readable, and generously documented way. Although succinct, it is also quite thorough, which I (having taken a class in rhetoric and sex roles over 35 years ago) appreciated.
Cameron points out that despite the brouhaha around gender differences in communication, in actuality there is far, far more overlap between the genders than differences. men and woman not only do understand each other almost all the time, but can be proven to do so.
Personally, I found it interesting to learn which of the studies I read in that long-ago class were supported by more recent work, and which were not.
Not only is this relevant to most of our personal lives, but also to public policy when it comes to dealing with sexual violence and other sexual harassment.
I can see this book as having a wide target audience--from the average lay person who wants an entertaining and informative read, to the avid linguist. The only regret I had at the end of the book was that it was over, and I couldn't read more of it!
My absolute favorite passage was when the author debunked that fallacy that men don't "hear" when women are asking them for help. Paraphrasing: "Is there a man alive who upon hearing his wife ask him if he can take out the trash ACTUALLY thinks that she is asking if it is physically possible for him to do so in the most abstract of inquiries." HA!