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Pink Brain, Blue Brain – tekijä: Lise…
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Pink Brain, Blue Brain (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 2009; vuoden 2010 painos)

– tekijä: Lise Elliot

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1919109,127 (3.8)10
A neuroscientist shatters the myths about gender differences, arguing that the brains of boys and girls are largely shaped by how they spend their time, and offers parents and teachers concrete ways to avoid reinforcing harmful stereotypes.
Jäsen:mollymolo
Teoksen nimi:Pink Brain, Blue Brain
Kirjailijat:Lise Elliot
Info:One World (2010), Paperback, 432 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Teoksen tarkat tiedot

Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do About It (tekijä: Lise Eliot) (2009)

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Eliot takes a much debated issue - are girls and boys fundamentally different? - and sets out with a well restrained heart. Eliot painstakingly goes thru all available scientific research and popular culture books to sort out the truth. Are men from Mars and women from Venus? In a nutshell, no.

What Eliot does is walk us thru the research, data and the facts about the differences. I say painstakingly because this 315 page tome has almost 40 pages of endnotes and 45 pages of bibliography and zero fluff. Some might find this book too much - to that I say, read the sections you want to read. Even a paragraph is worthy of your time. Take small bites if you must, you won't be disappointed.

By now I hope you get the idea that Eliot has given us a book that puts all the research in perspective. She's not far left nor far right. As the mom of two boys and one girl, she has personal interest in each side of the debate.

Eliot does a great job at taking the popular culture literature that tells us that boys and girls are so different they can't be taught together and rips it to shreds WITH DATA! Yet, she also acknowledges the boy crisis as a real phenomena WITH DATA!

And this is where I think the book is genius. Eliot gives us so much data to prove her conclusions that you find yourself nodding along with one idea, then she switches over to the "counter" issue and you nod along. Here's what I mean:

Prenatal testosterone does make a difference to how boys and girls act and think, but not as much as we think. There are biological differences to the hormone levels, but it is not the end all be all reason why boys are more aggressive, better at math or whatnot.

Eliot shows us that nature does give boys and girls their own small advantages in life, but it is our socialization that exasperates them to such an extreme that we think that bravery is masculine and the need for emotional attention is feminine. Example: In an experiment where moms were asked to guess how steep an incline their infants can climb down - face first - the moms underestimated the girls by 9 degrees. This suggests that even at infancy moms already believe that girls can't be as brave or agile at such a young age. "Girls attempted and successfully descended slopes ranging in angle from 10 degress to 46 degress, while boys attempted slopes between 12 and 38 degree (pp 66-67)." Thus no difference in performance, but a big difference in expectation. Does this mean that moms are holding back their girls?

Eliot also points out that boys are, on average, larger at birth than girls. We usually think about how tough this might had been on the woman pushing an extra few pounds of baby out, but Eliot reminds us that this is tough on the newborn too. This could be why boys are fussier babies. Where our gender ideas come into play is that Eliot points to research that shows that parents are more willing to let baby boys cry longer than baby girls. This is the beginning of toughening our boys out AND where they start to learn that expressing their emotions doesn't pay. Are we shushing our boys into their un-emo ways?

Eliot covers the gamut from in utero thru the teen years, from emotions to math skills.

What I learned here is simple and honestly pretty much what I've been saying for years too. Yes, girls and boys are different, they have biological differences, but most of the differences we see are created. Eliot shows us the research that proves over and over that there are bigger differences within genders than between them. That the differences that are there are small. SMALL!

But it also challenged me to reexamine my views of gender and how we are socializing our kids. This book didn't just reaffirm my beliefs, but it taught me a lot about how we see gender.
  roniweb | May 30, 2019 |
A look at just what we can demonstrate about the innate differences between men and women. The author is a neuroscientist, and started looking at the brain expecting to find large differences; this is not what she found. She discusses many different studies that have found differences between boys and girls at very young ages, and parses them to discover just when the differences show up, how strong they are, and whether a noted difference actually results in any decreased functionality. She also gives tips on ways to raise boys and girls that won't maximize the small differences that do exist, and that will allow them to explore their own interests rather than being pushed in a certain direction by pre-existing expectations. That was one of the lesser parts of the book for me, perhaps because I have already raised my son, so the tips would be too late for me (but it did provide positive affirmation, since I had done most of the things she talked about). These might have been better presented in an appendix to help make a rather long book more readable. Also, it probably would have helped to go into more depth about the more subtle pressures on girls, the open and/or covert misogyny, that has little to do with physical differences or with parenting, but with messages sent by society as a whole. She directs only a couple of paragraphs to what may be one of the biggest issues. Other than that, an excellent book, and should be read by anyone who is preparing to get up and start spouting about innate differences - it would be nice if more people were better informed. ( )
  Devil_llama | Nov 23, 2015 |
I was deeply disappointed by this book. Repeatedly, the author tells us that some difference between girls and boys is insignificant compared to variation within each group -- then goes on to discuss at length how parents and teachers should accommodate these important differences. WTF? If the differences are that small, then parents of boys do not, in fact, need to talk to them more in order to make up for their naturally poorer language skills (for example). I fail to see how encouraging this kind of stereotyping is supposed to be helpful.

Let alone the other crap the author puts forth without examining her own stereotypes: Boys like science fiction! Girls would buy more Legos if only they were pink!

Oh, and the author makes repeated statements that gender differences (at least in adults) are actually a Good Thing. Because... I don't know, something about romance being more exciting. I guess opposite-gender romance is more exciting?

Other things that bothered me: Misgendering trans people (except in one example late in the book). Typical ableist language about autistic people. Support for school uniforms because they "keep teen girls from turning themselves into sex objects every morning".

I'll end this review with one gem of a quotation from the book:

"But this display was a refreshing reminder of males' wonderful strength, ambition, and keen ability to build things." ( )
1 ääni lavaturtle | Dec 31, 2014 |
This was a very interesting and well-written book. The author (who is a neuroscientist and also a mother of 2 boys and 1 girl) goes through the current scientific studies about the differences between the brains and hormones of girls and boys from inside the womb through the teenage years. As the mother of a one year old boy, I found it beneficial to separate the hype from the actual science. She points out that many of the studies that some psychologists and authors use to "prove" that boys and girls are innately different are based on very small differentials and not backed up by later studies. Certainly boys and girls are different in many ways, but they don't have to be quite as different as they sometimes end up. At the end of each chapter she lists practical ways to help counteract some of the tendencies of each sex that may be troublesome (such as slower grasp of language in boys, shying away from competitiveness in girls, etc.), in an effort to not let "small differences grow into troublesome gaps". ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 23, 2014 |
Dieses Buch über die Geschlechtsunterschiede zwischen Mädchen und Jungen ist wissenschaftlich fundiert und anspruchsvoll. Dabei ist es trotzdem gut und unterhaltsam zu lesen.
Als Fazit kurz zusammengefasst: Es gibt Unterschiede, doch sie sind kleiner als man denkt. Vieles ist sozialisationsbedingt. Und gerade wegen der Unterschiede soll man darauf achten, die "andere Seite" des jeweiligen Geschlechts zu ermöglichen. Dafür gibt die Autorin auch jede Menge Tipps und lockert mit Anekdoten aus dem eigenen Familienleben den Lesefluss auf. Toll: Eine dreifache Mutter, die anscheinend eine hervorragende Wissenschaftlerin ist und super schreiben kann. Mir hat das Buch gefallen, trotz der langen Zeit, die ich dafür gebraucht habe. ( )
  Wassilissa | Jul 12, 2013 |
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A neuroscientist shatters the myths about gender differences, arguing that the brains of boys and girls are largely shaped by how they spend their time, and offers parents and teachers concrete ways to avoid reinforcing harmful stereotypes.

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