"Brains reflect the lives they have lived, not just the sex of their owners." Scientists have long tried to prove that men and women are inherently different because we have biologically different brains. The author reviews both the history and current-state research on sex differences, mainly in the field of neuroscience – the author's field of expertise – but also endocrinology and psychology. What we are now learning is that our brains are more plastic than previously thought and are profoundly shaped by experiences and messages they are exposed to. These findings imply that biological sex is just one of the variables that influence our brains, with the kind of toys we play with or praise we receive as children having a much more critical role than biology.
However, what research is showing is that gender stereotypes have a negative influence on performance and self-esteem for women, and possibly even mental health. The author doesn't dismiss sex differences but instead suggests that it might be time to move beyond the binary categorization of sex and gender – which even genetically isn't as binary as we like to think – and challenge gender stereotypes to unleash the full potential of all humans.
I imagine this book will be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of people, but I appreciated the level of detail and references it provides in terms of reviewing past and current research and theories. It also doesn't shy away from asking big questions that challenge our gender stereotypes. This book isn't the final destination; it's a starting point to a discussion that's still very much needed, even in the 21st century.
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: JONATHAN CAPE & BH - TRADE (19 March 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 184792476X
- ISBN-13: 978-1847924766
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.3 x 23.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 662 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)