Thursday, 14 March 2013

Stanford: Gender Orientation: IS Conditions Within The TS Brain

46 comments:

dentedbluemercedes said...

A quick correction, this was from Robert Sapolsky at Stanford.

Thanks for posting it!

Nikola Kovacs said...

I love Professor Sapolsky Zoe. You put me onto him last time you posted something of his ...

Thanks

sillyolme said...

Unfortunately, this prof is repeating, uncritically, what the researchers SAID that their data represented and their conclusions, not what the data itself was, and what reasonable conclusions were. That data says that this effect was an "activational" effect, not an "organizational" effect. That is to say, that HRT, or more specifically, the lack of male hormones, caused this area of the brain to shrink to female dimentions. They did not start out that way. The researchers made two mistakes. First, they included data points that they shouldn't have (null results as "zero" size) and they didn't bother to run a time series plot, which when I used their data, clearly showed that the longer one was on HRT, the smaller this neural feature. For the detailed analysis, read my essay on this paper: http://sillyolme.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/the-incredable-shrinking-brain/

--Kay Brown (aka: Cloudy)

Anonymous said...

I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

They also show that surveys show that boys are overwhelimingly prefered over girls,(sadly nothing has changed and sexist Tee shirts that say( I'm Too Pretty For Homework So I Let My Brother Do It For Me) (and other sexist anti-female ads,pornography,etc do too) like these both reflect and contribute to this injustice.They also explain that when people guess if a pregnant woman is having a girl or a boy,and they list a whole bunch of false unproven old wives tales,that assign all negative characteristics to a woman if they think she's having a girl,and the imagined girls or given all of the negative characteristics.


For example they say that author Elana Belotti(1977) explained these examples, The man and woman each take hold of one end of a wishbone and pull it apart.If the longest part comes away in the man's hand,the baby will be a boy. If you suddenly ask a pregnant woman what she has in her hand and she looks at her right hand first ,she will have a boy;if she looks at her left hand it will be a girl.If the mother's belly is bigger on the right-hand side a boy will be born,and also if her right breast is bigger than her left,or if her right foot is more restless.

If a woman is placid during pregnancy she will have a boy,but if she is bad-tempered or cries a lot,she will have a girl.If her complexion is rosy she's going to have a son;if she is pale a daughter. If her looks improve,she's expecting a boy;if they worsen,a girl.If the fetal heartbeat is fast,it is a boy;if it is slow it is a girl.If the fetus has started to move by the fortieth day it will be a boy and the birth will be easy,but if it doesn't move until the ninetieth day it will be a girl.( Belotti 1977,pp.22-23)

Dr.Brooks-Gunn and Wendy Schempp Matthews then say, now rate each of the characteristics above as positive or negative. A woman expecting a girl is pale,her looks deteriorate,she is cross and ill-tempered,and she gets the short end of the wishbone,all negative characteristics. They then say,furthermore ,a girl is symbolized by the left-the left hand,the left side of the belly,the left foot,the left breast. They say,left connotes evil,a bad omen,or sinister,again the girls have all of the negative characteristics. They then say,that sex-role stereotypes about activity also characterize Belotti's recipes:boys are believed to be active from the very beginning and girls have slower heartbeats and begin to move around later.They then say,the message although contradictory(girls cause more trouble even though they are more passive) is clear in that it reflects the sex-role stereotype that boys "do" while girls "are" and the belief that boys are more desirable than girls.


I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that's due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.











Randie

Anonymous said...

I know that many(the good responsible ones) scientists know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different enviornments too and Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen told this to me too when I spoke to her 13 years ago.Christian psychology professor. Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen also said that humanbeings don't have sex fixed in the brain and she told me that humans have a unique highly developed cerebral cortex that allows us to make choices in our behaviors and we can learn things that animals can't.




There was another case in Canada that I read about online some years ago about another case in which a normal genetic male baby's penis was destroyed when he was an infant and in this case he was raised as a girl from the much younger age of only 7 months old,not as late as 21 months as was David Reimer,and research shows that the core gender identity is learned by as early as 18 months old.



In this other case,it was reported in 1998 he was still living as a woman in his 20's but a bisexual woman. But I'm not sure if he still is now. With David Reimer they raised him as a girl too late after he learned most of his gender identity as a boy from the moment he was born and put into blue clothes, treated totally differently, given gender stereotyped toys, perceived and treated totally differently than girls are in every way(in the great book,He and She:How Children Develop Their Sex Role Identity it explains that a lot of research studies and tests by parent child psychologists found that they give 3 month old babies gender stereotyped toys long before they are able to develop these kinds of preferences or ask for these toys. They also found that when adults interacted with the same exact baby they didn't know was a girl or boy who was dressed in gender neutral clothes,they decided if they *believed* it was a girl or boy. And those adults who thought the baby was a boy,always handed the baby a toy foot ball,but never a doll and were asked what made them think it was a girl or boy and they said they used characteristics of the baby to make the judgement . Those who thought the baby was a boy described characteristcs such as strength,those who thought the baby was a girl described the baby as having softness and fragility,and as the Dr.Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Wendy Schempp Mathews explain,Again remember that the same infant was being characterized as strong or soft,the actual distinction by sex characteristics being only in the minds of the adults.


They also explain that in the toy preference studies,girl toddlers often show an intitial interest in the trucks,but eventually abandon them for a more familiar type of toy. Also check out Kate Bornstein's books,Gender Outlaw and My Gender Workbook,and recently a co-written book,Gender Outlaws. Kate used to be a heterosexual married man who fathered a daughter and then had a sex change and became a lesbian woman who now doesn't idenity as a man or a woman. I heard Kate interviewd in 1998 on a local NPR show and she totally debunks gender myths,and rejects the "feminine" and "masculine" categories as the mostly socially constructed categories that they really are.She even said,what does it mean to feel or think like a woman(or man) she said what does that really mean.




Randie

Anonymous said...

Public release date: 4-Nov-1999

Print E-mail Share

Contact: Penny Burge or Sharon Snow
burge@vt.edu or ssnow@vt.edu
Virginia Tech

20-year-old sex-role research survey still valid
BLACKSBURG, Va. ­ In the late 1970s, Penny Burge, director of Virginia Tech's Women's Center, was working on her doctoral dissertation at Penn State University researching the relationship between child-rearing sex-role attitudes and social issue sex-role attitudes among parents. As part of her research, Burge designed a 28-question survey in which respondents were asked to mark how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: "Only females should receive affectionate hugs as rewards," "I would buy my son a doll," and "I would be upset if my daughter wanted to play little league baseball."

Hard-hitting questions, many of them. But Burge carried on. She received her degree in 1979, and in 1981 her research findings were published in the Home Economics Research Journal.

Among her findings were that respondents who named the mother as their child's primary caretaker held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes than respondents who named both parents. In addition, those respondents who held more traditional child-rearing sex-role attitudes also held more traditional social issue sex-role attitudes, and fathers were more conventional than mothers with respect to the issue of whether or not boys and girls should be raised differently.

"We found that parents do cling to traditional sex-role attitudes," Burge said. "It was more pronounced with male children where pressure to achieve was more intense."

Over the years, Burge occasionally received requests from other researchers for permission to use her survey in their own research. Burge always granted permission, but had redirected her research focus to gender equity in education. She had moved on in her career, serving on the faculty in Virginia Tech's College of Human Resources and Education from 1979 to 1994 when she became director of the Women's Center.

But a recent request from a researcher at New Mexico State University sparked her interest. The researcher, Betsy Cahill, had used Burge's survey (with some modifications and additions) to conduct research on early childhood teachers' attitudes toward gender roles. After the results of Cahill's research were completed and published in The Journal of Sex Roles in 1997, some unexpected events occurred.

The Educational Testing Service, a national resource that makes research instruments more widely available to other researchers, requested permission to use the Burge and Cahill survey tools in its upcoming Test Collection, a reference publication for future researchers. "I was honored," Burge said. "It was nice to have another researcher include my survey instrument in her own. And the request from the Educational Testing Service gave an additional sanction to my survey. It's amazing to me that the same type of social questions are still valid after 20 years."

And no one can dispute the past two decades have brought enormous social changes in the world, which leads to the second unexpected occurrence.

Cahill found that many of the findings from Burge's research were still very much the same. For example, teachers who espoused traditional gender role beliefs for adults also did for children. For those who were more accepting of cross-gender role behaviors and aspirations, they were more accepting of these behaviors from girls than boys.

Enter Sharon Snow, newly hired assistant director of the Women's Center at Virginia Tech, and the third coincidence regarding Burge's survey tool. As part of a survey research class Snow took while working on her graduate degree at Texas Woman's University, she cited Burge's study in her literature review.

Randie

Anonymous said...






Contact: Penny Burge or Sharon Snow
burge@vt.edu or ssnow@vt.edu
Virginia Tech


"As part of the class, we conducted a survey of students to determine their attitudes about gender roles in children," Snow said. "We found that parents do indeed drive gender-based behavior. It's not something that just happens naturally."

So 20 year later, researchers find that parents still have a profound influence on their children's gender roles.

"The most amazing finding is that despite tremendous societal change over the past two decades, many parents still hold fast to raising their children with traditional sex-roles," Burge said.

Randie

Anonymous said...

Below is part of a presentation by Eastern College Gender and Christian Scholar,Psychology Professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen.

Trinity 2007

Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes?
C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and
the Psychology of Gender
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen


Gender and Modern Social Science
C. S. Lewis was no fan of the emerging social sciences. He saw practitioners of the social sciences mainly as lackeys of technologically-minded natural scientists, bent on reducing individual freedom and moral accountability to mere epiphenomena of natural processes (See Lewis 1943 and 1970 b). And not surprisingly (given his passion for gender-essentialist archetypes), aside from a qualified appreciation
of some aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis (See Lewis 1952 (Book III, Chapter 4) and 1969). “Carl Jung was the only philosopher [sic] of the Viennese school for whose work [Lewis] had much respect” (Sayer 102).
But the social sciences concerned with the psychology of gender have since shown that Sayers was right, and Lewis and Jung were wrong: women and men are not opposite sexes but neighboring sexes—and very close neighbors indeed. There are, it turns out, virtually no large, consistent sex differences in any psychological traits and behaviors, even when we consider the usual stereotypical suspects: that men are more aggressive, or just, or rational than women, and women are more empathic, verbal, or nurturing than men. When differences are found, they are always average—not absolute—differences. And in virtually all cases the small, average—and often decreasing—difference between the sexes is greatly exceeded by the amount of variability on that trait within members of each sex. Most of the “bell curves” for women and men (showing the distribution of a given psychological trait or behavior) overlap almost completely. So it is naïve at best (and deceptive at worst) to make even average—let alone absolute—pronouncements about essential archetypes in either sex when there is much more variability within than between the sexes on all the trait and behavior measures for which we have abundant data.

This criticism applies as much to C. S. Lewis and Carl Jung as it does to their currently most visible descendent, John Gray, who continues to claim (with no systematic empirical warrant) that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (Gray 1992).


And what about Lewis’s claims about the overriding masculinity of God? Even the late Carl Henry (a theologian with impeccable credentials as a conservative evangelical) noted a quarter of a century ago that:

Masculine and feminine elements are excluded from both the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of deity. The God of the Bible is a sexless God. When Scripture speaks of God as “he” the pronoun is primarily personal (generic) rather than masculine (specific); it emphasizes God’s personal nature—and, in turn, that of the Father, Son and Spirit as Trinitarian distinctions in contrast to impersonal entities... Biblical religion is quite uninterested in any discussion of God’s masculinity or femininity... Scripture does not depict God either as ontologically
masculine or feminine. (Henry 1982, 159–60)

Anonymous said...

However well-intentioned, attempts to read a kind of mystical gendering into God—whether stereotypically
masculine, feminine, or both—reflect not so much careful biblical theology as “the long arm of Paganism” (Martin 11). For it is pagan worldviews, the Jewish commentator Nahum Sarna reminds us, that are “unable to conceive of any primal creative force other than in terms of sex... [In Paganism] the sex element existed before the cosmos came into being and all the gods themselves were creatures of sex. On the other hand, the Creator in Genesis is uniquely without any female counterpart, and the very association of sex with God is utterly alien to the religion of the Bible” (Sarna 76).


And if the God of creation does not privilege maleness or stereotypical masculinity, neither did the Lord of redemption. Sayers’s response to the cultural assumption that women were human-not-quite-human has become rightly famous:
Perhaps it is no wonder that women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being
female; who had no axe to grind or no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is not act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel which borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about women’s nature. (Sayers 1975, 46)
It is quite likely that Lewis’s changing views on gender owed something to the intellectual and Christian ties that he forged with Dorothy L. Sayers. And indeed, in 1955—two years before her death, Lewis confessed to Sayers that he had only “dimly realised that the old-fashioned way... of talking to all young women was v[ery] like an adult way of talking to young boys. It explains,” he wrote, “not only why some women grew up vapid, but also why others grew us (if we may coin the word) viricidal [i.e., wanting to kill men]” (Lewis 2007, 676; Lewis’s emphasis). The Lewis who in his younger years so adamantly had defended the doctrine of gender essentialism was beginning to acknowledge the extent to which gendered behavior is socially conditioned. In another letter that same year, he expressed a concern to Sayers that some of the first illustrations for the Narnia Chronicles were a bit too effeminate. “I don’t like either the ultra feminine or the ultra masculine,” he added. “I prefer people” (Lewis 2007, 639; Lewis’s emphasis).

Dorothy Sayers surely must have rejoiced to read this declaration. Many of Lewis’s later readers, including myself, wish that his shift on this issue had occurred earlier and found its way into his better-selling apologetic works and his novels for children and adults. But better late than never. And it would be better still if those who keep trying to turn C. S. Lewis into an icon for traditionalist views on gender essentialism and gender hierarchy would stop mining his earlier works for isolated proof-texts and instead read what he wrote at every stage of his life.

Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

This essay originally was presented as the Tenth Annual Warren Rubel Lecture on Christianity and Higher Learning at Valparaiso University on 1 February 2007.

Anonymous said...


The Cresset

Bibliography
Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989.
Gray, John. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Hannay, Margaret. C. S. Lewis. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1981.
Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Vol. V. Waco, Texas: Word, 1982.
Lewis, C. S. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.
_____. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1964.
_____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. I: 1905–1931. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
HarperSanFrancisco, 2004a.
_____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II: 1931–1949. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
HarperSanFrancisco, 2004b.
_____. “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,”[1952] Reprinted in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, ed., Walter Hooper, 22–34. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.
_____. “Priestesses in the Church?” [1948]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 234–39. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970a.
_____. “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,”[1954]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 287–300. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970b.
_____. “Psychoanalysis and Literary Criticism,”[1942]. Reprinted in Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper, 286–300. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1969.
_____. [N. W. Clerk, pseudo.] A Grief Observed. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.
_____. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960.
_____. Till We Have Faces. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1956.
_____. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. London: Collins, 1955.
_____. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1952.
_____. That Hideous Strength. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1945.
_____. The Abolition of Man. Oxford: Oxford University, 1943.
_____. A Preface to Paradise Lost. Oxford: Oxford University, 1942.
The Cresset
_____. Perelandra. London: The Bodley Head, 1942.
Martin, Faith. “Mystical Masculinity: The New Question Facing Women,” Priscilla Papers, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 1998), 6–12.
Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. New York: St. Martins, 1993.
Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel. New York: Schocken, 1966.
Sayer, George. Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
Sayers, Dorothy L. “The Human-Not-Quite-Human,”[1946]. Reprinted in Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women
Human?, 37–47. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1975.
Sayers, Dorothy L. Gaudy Night. London: Victor Gollancz, 1935.
Sterk, Helen. “Gender and Relations and Narrative in a Reformed Church Setting.” In After Eden: Facing the Challenge of Gender Reconciliation, ed., Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 184–221. Grand Rapids:

Eerdmans, 1993.
Copyright © 2007 Valparaiso University Press www.valpo.edu/cresset


Randie

Anonymous said...

There is an excellent online article that I printed out 12 years ago,by Jungian psychologist Dr.Gary S.Toub,called,Jung and Gender:Masculine and Feminine Revisted. On his site it now only has part of this article and it says you have to register to read the full article. I emailed Dr.Toub years ago and he wrote me back several nice emails,in one he said he really liked my letter,and that it was filled to the brim with excellent points and references.

In this article he talks about what parts of Jungian thought he finds useful and what he finds problematic. The first thing he says he finds useful is, In the course of Jungian analysis, he often assists female clients to discover traditionally,masculine qualities in their psyche and that he likewise frequently assist male clients to recognize traditionally feminine qualities in their psyche. He says this process frees each gender from the straight-jacket of stereotyped sex roles and expands his clients identities. He then said that the process also mirrors and furthers the breakdown of male-female polarization in our culture,and the cultural shifts towards androgyny.

He also says that most importantly, his practice of Jungian analysis places the greatest emphasis on facilitating his clients individuation process. He says this means that he tries to assist clients,male or female,to search for their authentic self-definition,distinct from society's gender expectations.He also says that many Jungian definitions of masculine and feminine are narrow,outdated and sexist.

He also says that he has found that generalizing about what is masculine and what is feminine is dangerous,often perpetuating gender myths that are discriminatory and damaging.He says while there is some research supporting biological roots to personality differences,the majority of studies suggest that much of what is considered masculine or feminine is culture determined.

He also says that viewing masculine and feminine as complementary opposites,while useful at times,is problematic. He then says as his gay,lesbian, and transexual clients have taught him,gender is more accurately viewed as encompassing a wide-ranging continumm. He then says that likewise,the more people he sees in his practice,the more he is impressed at the great diversity in human nature. He says he has seen men of all types and varieties,and women of all kinds. He then says,he is hard-pressed to come up with very many generalizations based on gender.He says he knows that there are some statistical patterns,but how useful are they when he works with individuals and in a rapidly changing society? He says if each person is unique,no statistical norm or average will be able to define who my client is.

He then says,from a psychological perpespective,men and women are not, in fact,opposite. He says his clinical experience is that they are much more psychologically alike than different,and the differences that exist are not necessarily opposing.

Randie

Anonymous said...



List Price: $27.00
ISBN: 0262720310
ISBN-13: 9780262720311
Pub. Date: February 1999
Publisher: MIT Press

Why So Slow?: The Advancement of Women
by
Virginia Valian

Overview

Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige? Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women. According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences — gender schemas — that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women. Those small imbalances accumulate to advantage men and disadvantage women. The most important consequence of gender schemas for professional life is that men tend to be overrated and women underrated.Valian's goal is to make the invisible factors that retard women's progress visible, so that fair treatment of men and women will be possible. The book makes its case with experimental and observational data from laboratory and field studies of children and adults, and with statistical documentation on men and women in the professions. The many anecdotal examples throughout provide a lively counterpoint.

What People Are Saying
The MIT Press
Editorial Reviews

Publisher's Weekly

Social psychologist Valian thinks that the Western world has gotten gender all wrong. "As social beings we tend to perceive the genders as alternatives to each other, as occupying opposite and contrasting ends of a continuum," she writes, "even though the sexes are not opposite but are much more alike than they are different." Indeed, despite nearly three decades of feminism, "gender schema"the assumption that masculine and feminine characteristics determine personality and abilitycontinue to influence the expectations and thinking of most Americans. Just about everyone, Valian writes, assumes that men are independent, task-oriented and assertive, while women are tagged as expressive and nurturing. As such, women lag behind in many professions and continue to do the lion's share of housework and child-rearing. Girls remain less attentive in math and science, while even women who attend medical school tend to steer themselves into "gender appropriate" slots such as family practice or pediatrics. Valian bases her findings on research conducted by social scientists in fields as disparate as psychology, education, sociology and economics, and the result is a work that is both scholarly and anecdotally rich. But it also posits concrete suggestions for changing the way we view the sexes, from stepped-up affirmative action programs, to timetables for rectifying gender-based valuations. Accessible and lively, Why So Slow? is a breakthrough in the discourse on gender and has great potential to move the women's movement to a new, more productive phase. (Jan.)
Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780262720311
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 2/5/1999
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 421
Sales rank: 726,586
Table of Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments
A Note on Method and Scope
1 Gender Schemas at Work 1
2 Gender Begins - and Continues - at Home 23
3 Learning About Gender 47
4 Biology and Behavior 67
5 Biology and Cognition 81
6 Schemas That Explain Behavior 103
7 Evaluating Women and Men 125
8 Effects on the Self 145
9 Interpreting Success and Failure 167
10 Women in the Professions 187
11 Women in Academia 217
12 Professional Performance and Human Values 251
13 Affirmative Action and the Law 277
14 Remedies 303
Notes 333
References 353
Author Index 385
Subject Index 393





© 1997-2013 Barnesandnoble.com llc

Anonymous said...

Men and Women: No Big Difference

Studies show that one's sex has little or no bearing on personality, cognition and leadership.

The Truth about
Gender "Differences"

Mars-Venus sex differences appear to be as mythical as the Man in the Moon. A 2005 analysis of 46 meta-analyses that were conducted during the last two decades of the 20th century underscores that men and women are basically alike in terms of personality, cognitive ability and leadership. Psychologist Janet Shibley Hyde, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, discovered that males and females from childhood to adulthood are more alike than different on most psychological variables, resulting in what she calls a gender similarities hypothesis. Using meta-analytical techniques that revolutionized the study of gender differences starting in the 1980s, she analyzed how prior research assessed the impact of gender on many psychological traits and abilities, including cognitive abilities, verbal and nonverbal communication, aggression, leadership, self-esteem, moral reasoning and motor behaviors.

Hyde observed that across the dozens of studies, consistent with the gender similarities hypothesis, gender differences had either no or a very small effect on most of the psychological variables examined. Only a few main differences appeared: Compared with women, men could throw farther, were more physically aggressive, masturbated more, and held more positive attitudes about sex in uncommitted relationships.

Furthermore, Hyde found that gender differences seem to depend on the context in which they were measured. In studies designed to eliminate gender norms, researchers demonstrated that gender roles and social context strongly determined a person's actions. For example, after participants in one experiment were told that they would not be identified as male or female, nor did they wear any identification, none conformed to stereotypes about their sex when given the chance to be aggressive. In fact, they did the opposite of what would be expected - women were more aggressive and men were more passive.

Finally, Hyde's 2005 report looked into the developmental course of possible gender differences - how any apparent gap may open or close over time. The analysis presented evidence that gender differences fluctuate with age, growing smaller or larger at different times in the life span. This fluctuation indicates again that any differences are not stable.

Learning Gender-Difference Myths

Media depictions of men and women as fundamentally "different" appear to perpetuate misconceptions - despite the lack of evidence. The resulting "urban legends" of gender difference can affect men and women at work and at home, as parents and as partners. As an example, workplace studies show that women who go against the caring, nurturing feminine stereotype may pay dearly for it when being hired or evaluated. And when it comes to personal relationships, best-selling books and popular magazines often claim that women and men don't get along because they communicate too differently. Hyde suggests instead that men and women stop talking prematurely because they have been led to believe that they can't change supposedly "innate" sex-based traits.

Hyde has observed that children also suffer the consequences of exaggerated claims of gender difference -- for example, the widespread belief that boys are better than girls in math. However, according to her meta-analysis, boys and girls perform equally well in math until high school, at which point boys do gain a small advantage. That may not reflect biology as much as social expectations, many psychologists believe. For example, the original Teen Talk Barbie ™, before she was pulled from the market after consumer protest, said, "Math class is tough."

Anonymous said...



As a result of stereotyped thinking, mathematically talented elementary-school girls may be overlooked by parents who have lower expectations for a daughter's success in math. Hyde cites prior research showing that parents' expectations of their children's success in math relate strongly to the children's self-confidence and performance.

Moving Past Myth
Hyde and her colleagues hope that people use the consistent evidence that males and females are basically alike to alleviate misunderstanding and correct unequal treatment. Hyde is far from alone in her observation that the clear misrepresentation of sex differences, given the lack of evidence, harms men and women of all ages. In a September 2005 press release on her research issued by the American Psychological Association (APA), she said, "The claims [of gender difference] can hurt women's opportunities in the workplace, dissuade couples from trying to resolve conflict and communication problems and cause unnecessary obstacles that hurt children and adolescents' self-esteem."

Psychologist Diane Halpern, PhD, a professor at Claremont College and past-president (2005) of the American Psychological Association, points out that even where there are patterns of cognitive differences between males and females, "differences are not deficiencies." She continues, "Even when differences are found, we cannot conclude that they are immutable because the continuous interplay of biological and environmental influences can change the size and direction of the effects some time in the future."

The differences that are supported by the evidence cause concern, she believes, because they are sometimes used to support prejudicial beliefs and discriminatory actions against girls and women. She suggests that anyone reading about gender differences consider whether the size of the differences are large enough to be meaningful, recognize that biological and environmental variables interact and influence one other, and remember that the conclusions that we accept today could change in the future.

Cited Research
Archer, J. (2004). Sex differences in aggression in real-world settings: A meta-analytic review. Review of General Psychology, 8, 291-322.

Barnett, R. & Rivers, C. (2004). Same difference: How gender myths are hurting our relationships, our children, and our jobs. New York: Basic Books.

Eaton, W. O., & Enns, L. R. (1986). Sex differences in human motor activity level. Psychological Bulletin, 100, 19-28.

Feingold, A. (1994). Gender differences in personality: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 116, 429-456.

Halpern, D. F. (2000). Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities (3rd Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, Associates, Inc. Publishers.

Halpern, D. F. (2004). A cognitive-process taxonomy for sex differences in cognitive abilities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13 (4), 135-139.

Hyde, J. S., Fennema, E., & Lamon, S. (1990). Gender differences in mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 139-155.

Hyde, J. S. (2005). The Gender Similarities Hypothesis. American Psychologist, Vol. 60, No. 6.

Leaper, C. & Smith, T. E. (2004). A meta-analytic review of gender variations in children's language use: Talkativeness, affiliative speech, and assertive speech. Developmental Psychology, 40, 993-1027.

Oliver, M. B. & Hyde, J. S. (1993). Gender differences in sexuality: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 29-51.

Spencer, S. J., Steele, C. M. & Quinn, D. M. (1999). Stereotype threat and women's math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 4-28.

Voyer, D., Voyer, S., & Bryden, M. P., (1995). Magnitude of sex differences in spatial abilities: A meta-analysis and consideration of critical variables. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 250-270.


American Psychological Association, October 20, 2005

Find this article at:
http://www.apa.org/research/action/difference.aspx

Randie

Anonymous said...

Think Again: Men and Women Share Cognitive Skills

Research debunks myths about cognitive difference.

What the Research Shows

Are boys better at math? Are girls better at language? If fewer women than men work as scientists and engineers, is that aptitude or culture? Psychologists have gathered solid evidence that boys and girls or men and women differ in very few significant ways -- differences that would matter in school or at work -- in how, and how well, they think.

At the University of Wisconsin, Janet Shibley Hyde has compiled meta-analytical studies on this topic for more than 10 years. By using this approach, which aggregates research findings from many studies, Hyde has boiled down hundreds of inquiries into one simple conclusion: The sexes are more the same than they are different.

In a 2005 report, Hyde compiled meta-analyses on sex differences not only in cognition but also communication style, social or personality variables, motor behaviors and moral reasoning. In half the studies, sex differences were small; in another third they were almost non-existent. Thus, 78 percent of gender differences are small or close to zero. What's more, most of the analyses addressed differences that were presumed to be reliable, as in math or verbal ability.

At the end of 2005, Harvard University's Elizabeth Spelke reviewed 111 studies and papers and found that most suggest that men's and women's abilities for math and science have a genetic basis in cognitive systems that emerge in early childhood but give men and women on the whole equal aptitude for math and science. In fact, boy and girl infants were found to perform equally well as young as six months on tasks such as addition and subtraction (babies can do this, but not with pencil and paper!).

The evidence has piled up for years. In 1990, Hyde and her colleagues published a groundbreaking meta-analysis of 100 studies of math performance. Synthesizing data collected on more than three million participants between 1967 and 1987, researchers found no large, overall differences between boys and girls in math performance. Girls were slightly better at computation in elementary and middle school; in high school only, boys showed a slight edge in problem solving, perhaps because they took more science, which stresses problem solving. Boys and girls understood math concepts equally well and any gender differences narrowed over the years, belying the notion of a fixed or biological differentiating factor.

As for verbal ability, in 1988, Hyde and two colleagues reported that data from 165 studies revealed a female superiority so slight as to be meaningless, despite previous assertions that "girls are better verbally." What's more, the authors found no evidence of substantial gender differences in any component of verbal processing. There were even no changes with age.

What the Research Means
The research shows not that males and females are - cognitively speaking -- separate but equal, but rather suggests that social and cultural factors influence perceived or actual performance differences. For example, in 1990, Hyde et al. concluded that there is little support for saying boys are better at math, instead revealing complex patterns in math performance that defy easy generalization. The researchers said that to explain why fewer women take college-level math courses and work in math-related occupations, "We must look to other factors, such as internalized belief systems about mathematics, external factors such as sex discrimination in education and in employment, and the mathematics curriculum at the precollege level."

Where the sexes have differed on tests, researchers believe social context plays a role. Spelke believes that later-developing differences in career choices are due not to differing abilities but rather cultural factors, such as subtle but pervasive gender expectations that really kick in during high school and college.

Anonymous said...

In a 1999 study, Steven Spencer and colleagues reported that merely telling women that a math test usually shows gender differences hurt their performance. This phenomenon of "stereotype threat" occurs when people believe they will be evaluated based on societal stereotypes about their particular group. In the study, the researchers gave a math test to men and women after telling half the women that the test had shown gender differences, and telling the rest that it found none. Women who expected gender differences did significantly worse than men. Those who were told there was no gender disparity performed equally to men. What's more, the experiment was conducted with women who were top performers in math.

Because "stereotype threat" affected women even when the researchers said the test showed no gender differences - still flagging the possibility -- Spencer et al. believe that people may be sensitized even when a stereotype is mentioned in a benign context.

How We Use the Research
If males and females are truly understood to be very much the same, things might change in schools, colleges and universities, industry and the workplace in general. As Hyde and her colleagues noted in 1990, "Where gender differences do exist, they are in critical areas. Problem solving is critical for success in many mathematics-related fields, such as engineering and physics." They believe that well before high school, children should be taught essential problem-solving skills in conjunction with computation. They also refer to boys having more access to problem-solving experiences outside math class. The researchers also point to the quantitative portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which may tap problem-solving skills that favor boys; resulting scores are used in college admissions and scholarship decisions. Hyde is concerned about the costs of scientifically unsound gender stereotyping to individuals and to society as a whole.

Sources & Further Reading
Hyde, J. S., & Linn, M. C. (1988). Gender differences in verbal ability: A meta- analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 104, 53-69.

Hyde, J.S., Fennema, E., & Lamon, S. (1990). Gender differences in mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 107, 139-155.

Hyde, J.S. (2005) The gender similarities hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60(6), 581-592.

Spelke, Elizabeth S. (2005). Sex differences in intrinsic aptitude for mathematics and science?: A critical review. American Psychologist, 60(9), 950-958.

Spencer, S.J., Steele, C.M., & Quinn, D.M. (1999) Stereotype threat and women's math performance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 35, 4-28.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

American Psychological Association, January 18, 2006
Research in Action
Education

Testing and Assessment

Gender Issues

Randie

Anonymous said...



Sword between the Sexes?, A: C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates - Page 188 - Google Books Result
books.google.com/books?isbn=1441212671
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen - 2010 - Religion
C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen ... indicates that women and men, boys and girls, are overwhelmingly more alike than different











Anonymous said...

Below is an email I wrote to Oxford University Gender communication professor Deborah Cameron author of the great important book,The Myth Of Mars and Venus.


Dear Deborah,

I recently read your great important book, The Myth Of Mars & Venus. I read a bad review of the book, The Female Brain on Amazon.com US by psychologist David H.Perterzell he called it junk science.

I also thought you would want to know that John Gray got his "Ph.D" from Columbia Pacific University which was closed down in March 2001 by the California Attorney General's Office because he called it a diploma mill and a phony operation offering totally worthless degrees!

Also there is a Christian gender and psychology scholar and author psychology professor Dr. Mary Stewart Van Leewuen who teaches the psychology and Philosophy of Gender at the Christian College Eastern College here in Pa. She has several online presentations that were done at different colleges from 2005- the present debunking the Mars & Venus myth.

One is called , Opposite Sexes Or Neighboring Sexes and sometimes adds, Beyond The Mars/Venus Rhetoric in which she explains that all of the large amount of research evidence from the social and behavorial sciences shows that the sexes are very close neighbors and that there are only small average differences between them many of which have gotten even smaller over the last several decades and in her great even longer article that isn't online anymore called,What Do We Mean By "Male-Female Complentarity"? A Review Of Ronald W.Pierce,Rebecca M.Groothuis,and Gordon D.Fee,eds Discovering Biblical Equality:Complentarity Without Hierarchy, which she says happened after 1973 when gender roles were less rigid and that genetic differences can't shrink like this and in such a short period of time, and that most large differences that are found are between individual people and that for almost every trait and behavior there is a large overlap between them and she said so it is naive at best and deceptive at worst to make claims about natural sex differences. etc.


She says he claims Men are From Mars & Women are From Venus with no emperical warrant and that his claim gets virtually no support from the large amount of psychological and behavioral sciences and that in keeping in line with the Christian Ethic and with what a bumper sticker she saw said and evidence from the behavioral and social sciences is , Men Are From,Earth ,Women Are From Earth Get Used To It. Comedian George Carlin said this too.

She also said that such dichotomous views of the sexes are apparently popular because people like simple answers to complex issues including relationships between men and women. She should have said especially relationships between them.

Anonymous said...

She also said that humanbeings don't have sex fixed in the brain,she said humanbeings adapt to their environments,and they develop certain characteristics in response to those environments but they are not fixed and unchangeable. Dr.Van Leeuwen also said that I'm correct that the human female and male brain is more alike than different and she said the brain is plastic and easily molded and shaped throuout life by different life experiences and environments.She said humans have a unique highly developed cerebal cortex which ani,als don't and this enables people to learn things and make choices that animals can't.

Sociologist Dr.Michael Kimmel writes and talks about this also including in his Media Education Foundation educational video. And he explains that all of the evidence from the psychological and behavioral sciences indicates that women and men are far more alike than different.



Yet Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen says that there are no consistent large psychological sex differences found.

I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that's due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.

I know that many scientists know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different enviornments too and Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen told this to me too when I spoke to her 12 years ago.Dr.Van Leeuwen said that humanbeings don't have sex fixed in the brain,humanbeings adapt to their environments and they develop certain characteristics in response to those envirornments,but they aren't fixed and unchangeable.She also said that I'm correct the human female and brain are more alike than different.


Also there are 2 great online rebuttals of the Mars & Venus myth by Susan Hamson called, The Rebuttal From Uranus and Out Of The Cave: Exploring Gray's Anatomy by Kathleen Trigiani.

Also have you read the excellent book by social psychologist Dr.Gary Wood at The University of Birmingham called, Sex Lies & Stereotypes:Challenging Views Of Women, Men & Relationships? He clearly demonstrates with all of the research studies from psychology what Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen does, and he debunks The Mars & Venus myth and shows that the sexes are biologically and psychologically more alike than different and how gender roles and differences are mostly socially created.

Anyway, if you could write back when you have a chance I would really appreciate it.

Thank You

Anonymous said...

Women’s Activism and Oral History Project Smith College
Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College
Northampton, MA

LETTY COTTIN POGREBIN
Interviewed by
ALLISON PAYNE
November 6, 2008
New York, NY

© Sophia Smith Collection 2008
Women’s Activism and Oral History Project Smith College

Narrator

Letty Cottin Pogrebin is a writer and journalist. She was born in 1939 in Jamaica, Queens. She graduated high school early and entered Brandeis University at the age of sixteen. She graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in English. After she graduated, she worked for the publishing company Bernard Geis Associates for ten years. She was soon promoted as an executive. Her first book, How to Make it in a Man’s World, reflected her experience in the company. Because it was extremely well-received, she was able to support herself as a full-time writer, first of a column in the Ladies Home Journal. She is one of the co-founders of Ms. Magazine and was a frequent contributor to it. Her articles covered a number of observations on women’s places in modernAmerican society, from the idea of motherhood to competition among women to short stories for children.

Interviewer

Allison Payne is a student at Mount Holyoke College.

This oral history covers various aspects of Pogrebin’s life but specifically focuses on her experiences at Ms. Magazine and her work on nonsexist childrearing.

Letty Cottin Pogrebin. Transcript has been reviewed and approved by Letty Cottin Pogrebin.


Bibliography: Pogrebin, Letty Cottin. Interview by Allison Payne. Tape recording, November 4,
2008. An Activist Life Oral History Project, Sophia Smith Collection.


Transcript of interview conducted November 6 2008, with:
LETTY COTTIN POGREBIN
New York City

by: ALLISON PAYNE

PAYNE We’ll start from the beginning then, and then we’ll see where we can
go.

POGREBIN OK.

PAYNE Let’s see…can you tell me about what it was like growing up in
Jamaica, Queens with your family, um…how did you grow up as a girl,
were you treated differently from boys, by you parents, or…?

POGREBIN I never noticed anything.

PAYNE You never noticed?

POGREBIN Did you read Deborah, Golda and Me?

PAYNE Yeah.

POGREBIN OK. Um…I don’t think there was that kind of consciousness. I mean, I
was born in 1939, my earliest memories of anyitng political was the
second world war, I was very aware that jews were suffering, I was
aware that my family was sending food and clothing overseas, I knew
about Hitler—I didn’t notice anything else. I don’t even think I was
aware of the inequities in Judaism until I thought back on it, until I was
excluded from the memorial minyin for public prayer. When I was
excluded I registered this isn’t fair, because I had had a full Hebrew
school education and I had had a botmitzvah. Are you Jewish?

PAYNE Uh…not exactly. But…so, yeah, my family on my mom’s side is
Jewish, but my grandmother lost her faith at some point so it never got
handed down to my mother, and it never got handed down to me.
POGREBIN It happens. But I’m just saying, you can stop me if you don’t recognize any of these terms—you know what a botmitzvah is…

PAYNE Yeah, sure.

POGREBIN So, I didn’t really register anything until then. I thought it was extremely
unfair because my mother, she was dead, and I was 15, and why didn’t I
count, and so on—So that was my first recognition of inequality—well,
not really. When I was in Hebrew school the boys were given
privileges and the girls weren’t, and they weren’t smart when some of
the girls were.

PAYNE What kind of privileges?

POGREBIN Well, they could run the service—the junior congregation service—they
could go up and have blessings….It was just clear that there were
favored positions for boys. I graduated very early from high school,
from college, and I was one of the youngest—was the youngest person
ever to go to Brandeis. I was 16 when I entered and 19 when I
graduated. So that was a very good experience because I sort of you
know without my mother sort of raised myself

Zoe Brain said...

From one of the references:

But there is also considerable evidence for sex-related biological influences. The prenatal hormones
that shape a fetus’s developing genitals also influence the develop-
ment of the fetus’s brain in a female or male direction. Research has shown that cognitive abilities vary systematically over the menstrual cycle for women and over the daily and annual testosterone cycles for men (Kimura, 1996). Female-to-male transsexuals show changes in their results on cognitive tests from typical female patterns to typical male patterns soon after beginning cross-hormone treatments to prepare them for life as a man (Van Goozen, Cohen-Kettenis, Gooren,Frijda, & Van De Poll, 1995). Estrogen has a cumulative effect over a lifetime such that women who had greater exposure to estrogen (early
menarche and late menopause) have higher scores on selected bat-
teries of (mostly verbal) cognitive tasks than women with shorter ex-
posures to estrogen (Smith et al., 1999), and gay men frequently show
cognitive patterns that are more similar to those of females than to
those of heterosexual men (Gladue, Beatty, Larson, & Staton, 1990).
These effects have been confirmed using methodologically strong
experimental designs with nonhuman mammals.


Halpern, D. F. (2004). A cognitive-process taxonomy for sex differences in cognitive abilities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13 (4), 135-139.


As for the pop-sci books, they are of limited use. Something of a straw-man, none of the claims there have any relevance to this article.

I would agree with Dr Van Leewuen that male and female brains are more similar than different. I also agree there is no empirical evidence for what's in the "Men are from Mars" etc popsci books. This isn't "junk science", it's not science at all.

Her conclusion though that there are therefore no inherent differences, and that sex is mutable, can't possibly be supported by the evidence. There is much empirical evidence (that she herself quotes) against it. She's guilty of attacking a straw-man she herself has erected, while ignoring empirical evidence as inconvenient to her religiously inspired preconceived ideas.

Nonetheless, your posts have been very valuable, as not only do they provide an alternate view I can test my own ideas against, but you've given me even more empirical evidence - such as the reference above - to put on my site.

My thanks.

Anonymous said...

[CANT

UNDERSTAND] And when I graduated I don’t think I noticed very
much then either because there was no feminist movement, there was
nothing sort of raising my consciousness. I went to work because I
couldn’t have afforded not to, and, uh, I wasn’t surprised when I was
hired to be a secretary when the boys who graduated got distinct jobs.
You took that for granted in those days. That was just the way the
world worked. I knew that there was a gross unfairness in salary, I
knew that. There was a limit on how much girls would be paid, 80
dollars a week at the publishing company. I remember hearing that the
most they’ll pay women is 80 dollars a week, and you better get used to
that. And that was a lot of money to me then, to be hired at 55 dollars
week. So 80 sounded like a lot.

But when I got to that point where I couldn’t go any further, I
knew that I wasn’t fair. But I didn’t make a fuss, we didn’t make a fuss
back then. So, I...I kind of went through my 20s as a career woman and
as a mother and as a wife, and didn’t really pay attention to anything,
um, about equality or not equality, cause I advanced fairly quickly in
book publishing, and uh I became an executive, and eventually I was
paid a lot of money, cause I moved from the publishing company to
[CAN’T UNDERSTAND]… And uh, when I was uh 29 years old, I
think it was, I started writing the book How to Make it in a Man’s
World, about my career. Um…that made me sort of how to think about
my life a little more analytically. When that book was published my
editor said, You know, you’re going to be attacked by women’s lib. I
said, “Who’s that?” She said, “It’s a movement, and they’re gonna look
at your book and it’s gonna be all about you and how you made it and
how, you know, you’re a Queen B.” I said, “What’s that?” (laughter)
I’d never heard of any of those things. And then my editor—you know,
this is when the manuscript had just been handed in—and she gave me
all this stuff to read, and one of the things she gave me to read was the
manuscript for Kate Millet’s book, Sexual Politics. And it just blew my
mind.


PAYNE So was that, like, your first awareness of feminism then?


POGREBIN Mm, no. My first awareness of feminism was after my book was
published, when I had be to be forewarned that I would go on radio and
television shows and that I would probably be put on in kind of an
adversarial situation with a women’s libber, and by the time I had read
all the material that my editor had given me—because she knew all
about this stuff because she was publishing Kate—by the time I was
done reading all of that stuff I had converted myself and my husband.
PAYNE (laughs) Just out of curiosity, how was your book received, did you get
the response that your editor—

POGREBIN Uh-huh

PAYNE --anticipated?

POGREBIN Well I got, you know, perfectly pleasant and unchallenging response
from most people, most women, because you had to be ahead of the
curb to know what was going on in the radical sort of circles. But I did
have some women’s liberation people challenge me on the grounds did I
think that my career as described in How to Make it in a Man’s World,
if that was something anyone could do? And at that time I knew of
course…no. ‘Cause I had read all of these analysis, I had become
awakened to the fact that there were some places where women were
limited to 80 dollars a week, you know, and that equivalent. So…I was
sort of, um, self-educated at that point, and I knew enough to place my
experience in a context.

PAYNE Mm-hmm. OK. Um…so, how has your attachment to feminism—this is a
very broad question—how has your attachment to feminism changed
over time, if at all?

Anonymous said...

POGREBIN Well I should first probably tell you about how I got involved in the
women’s movement. From my career in publishing to my becoming an
active feminist on a day-to-day basis was a, a sort of a giant step. When
my first book was published, I left my job in publishing to become a
full-time writer. Why? Because I got asked to write a column for the
Ladies Home Journal called “Working Woman,” and I also got many
assignments from them. That’s not how it works, usually. Writers
scrounge and claw and I was just very fortunate that I got a good review
for my first book. People reached out to me, so I started writing on
women’s issues, and next thing you know I get a call from Betty
Freidan. I don’t remember if this is in Deborah…

PAYNE I don’t think so.

POGREBIN I got a call from Betty Freidan, and um she said we’re gonna be starting a
National Women’s Political Caucus and we’re having a conference in
Washington, and I want you to come down and help me. So that was
the sort of way Betty Freidan operated—“You will do this, you will do
that,” and you did it! And when I got down there to this conference I
met Gloria Steinem, and I found that I was much more compatible with
her and her kind of feminism, which was more inclusive and less white
middle-class.

PAYNE Yeah. That’s a good point.

POGREBIN So then I got friendly with Gloria, and she asked if I wanted to help start
Ms., and so that how I got into kind of professional feminism.

PAYNE: About Ms. Magazine, um…What was the environment like in the early
days among the founders and the writers?

POGREBIN: Well, very…ultra-egalitarian. In other words, everyone was assumed to
have authority and everyone was assumed to be equal and of course that
wasn’t true, it was idealized because who were incapable of doing
things were given jobs on the grounds that women have been suppressed
and if you give them a chance they can do it—and they all were not able
to be editors or writers. So that took us a while to sort out. We were
using shoestrings, my desk was the carton from a dishwasher that
somebody had thrown out. I cut a little hole in the carton for me knees,
put my typewriter on it.. It wasn’t even an electric typewriter, it was a
manual. And we, we were five women who started Ms. Magazine and
we were in two tiny offices, adjoining offices. It was very low-key,
low-budget…

PAYNE: So…it was a garage band, then.

POGREBIN: Yeah, it was, it really was. And you know, we were so low-budget we
would have published on mimeographs. But somebody came along and
advised us that it would be cheaper to publish a real magazine, in the
long run…We professionalized….Well, I should tell you, when we first
published, we assumed that the magazine would be on sale for six
weeks, eight weeks…and it sold out in 8 days all over the country.

PAYNE: Wow.

POGREBIN: And that’s when we knew we really…


PAYNE: There was a real interest.

POGREBIN: There was a movement.



PAYNE: Yes, there was. Ms. Magazine founders were of all different
backgrounds, just across race, class, um, religion, sexual orientation,
and so on. How did this influence, contribute to, perhaps even disrupt
group dynamics, if at all?

POGREBIN: The fact that people were all different things?

PAYNE: Yeah, or how did it change or represent the magazine as a whole?

POGREBIN: It being the diversity?

PAYNE: Yeah.

POGREBIN: Um…well we were aware of the need for diversity. We had, we had,
you know, black women—not the original first five. The original first
five were two Jews, two Protestants—no, yeah Christians, I’m not sure
what kind—and Gloria who was half and half. But we didn’t have any
black women or any Latino women in the first five. But we were very
aware of that and our editors were all different kinds, and our—and in
our articles we were always very aware of it, and—you know, the
hardest issue was class. Class is a very tough issue still to this day.
Because you want to acknowledge the authentic experience of everyone,
but…you’re not going to be able to have a high school drop out as an
editor.

Zoe Brain said...

Some relevant reading:
Women in IT

An Essay on Gender, Sex, Self, Identity and Brains

So it’s not that simple. There’s no such thing as a “male brain” or a “female brain”, any more than there’s a “male height” or “female height”. (Yet men tend to be taller than women).

Height isn’t a social construct, but the concepts of “Tall” and “Short” are. 5' 5" is tall for a woman in Thailand, short for a woman in Kenya. And tall for a man anywhere in Europe in the middle ages.

Looking at Gender… 80% or so is a social construct. It differs from place to place and time to time. Pink was a “traditionally masculine” colour in the 19th century. There are few “traditionally gendered” behaviours that have any biological basis at all, and fewer still that are strongly based on biology.

A lot of the ones thought to be based on biology – as they pretty much all were in the 19th century – aren’t. That doesn’t mean to say that none are, we have to look at the actual evidence. Mathematical ability – sexually isomorphic. Instinctive ballistics calculations – sexually dimorphic. And it’s all statistical anyway, we have to treat people as individuals.

Anonymous said...

POGREBIN Well I should first probably tell you about how I got involved in the
women’s movement. From my career in publishing to my becoming an
active feminist on a day-to-day basis was a, a sort of a giant step. When
my first book was published, I left my job in publishing to become a
full-time writer. Why? Because I got asked to write a column for the
Ladies Home Journal called “Working Woman,” and I also got many
assignments from them. That’s not how it works, usually. Writers
scrounge and claw and I was just very fortunate that I got a good review
for my first book. People reached out to me, so I started writing on
women’s issues, and next thing you know I get a call from Betty
Freidan. I don’t remember if this is in Deborah…

PAYNE I don’t think so.

POGREBIN I got a call from Betty Freidan, and um she said we’re gonna be starting a
National Women’s Political Caucus and we’re having a conference in
Washington, and I want you to come down and help me. So that was
the sort of way Betty Freidan operated—“You will do this, you will do
that,” and you did it! And when I got down there to this conference I
met Gloria Steinem, and I found that I was much more compatible with
her and her kind of feminism, which was more inclusive and less white
middle-class.

PAYNE Yeah. That’s a good point.

POGREBIN So then I got friendly with Gloria, and she asked if I wanted to help start
Ms., and so that how I got into kind of professional feminism.

PAYNE: About Ms. Magazine, um…What was the environment like in the early
days among the founders and the writers?

POGREBIN: Well, very…ultra-egalitarian. In other words, everyone was assumed to
have authority and everyone was assumed to be equal and of course that
wasn’t true, it was idealized because who were incapable of doing
things were given jobs on the grounds that women have been suppressed
and if you give them a chance they can do it—and they all were not able
to be editors or writers. So that took us a while to sort out. We were
using shoestrings, my desk was the carton from a dishwasher that
somebody had thrown out. I cut a little hole in the carton for me knees,
put my typewriter on it.. It wasn’t even an electric typewriter, it was a
manual. And we, we were five women who started Ms. Magazine and
we were in two tiny offices, adjoining offices. It was very low-key,
low-budget…

PAYNE: So…it was a garage band, then.

POGREBIN: Yeah, it was, it really was. And you know, we were so low-budget we
would have published on mimeographs. But somebody came along and
advised us that it would be cheaper to publish a real magazine, in the
long run…We professionalized….Well, I should tell you, when we first
published, we assumed that the magazine would be on sale for six
weeks, eight weeks…and it sold out in 8 days all over the country.

PAYNE: Wow.

POGREBIN: And that’s when we knew we really…


PAYNE: There was a real interest.

POGREBIN: There was a movement.



PAYNE: Yes, there was. Ms. Magazine founders were of all different
backgrounds, just across race, class, um, religion, sexual orientation,
and so on. How did this influence, contribute to, perhaps even disrupt
group dynamics, if at all?

POGREBIN: The fact that people were all different things?

PAYNE: Yeah, or how did it change or represent the magazine as a whole?

POGREBIN: It being the diversity?

PAYNE: Yeah.

POGREBIN: Um…well we were aware of the need for diversity. We had, we had,
you know, black women—not the original first five. The original first
five were two Jews, two Protestants—no, yeah Christians, I’m not sure
what kind—and Gloria who was half and half. But we didn’t have any
black women or any Latino women in the first five. But we were very
aware of that and our editors were all different kinds, and our—and in
our articles we were always very aware of it, and—you know, the
hardest issue was class. Class is a very tough issue still to this day.
Because you want to acknowledge the authentic experience of everyone,
but…you’re not going to be able to have a high school drop out as an
editor.

PAYNE: Yeah.

Anonymous said...

POGREBIN: So you have a problem there. Who’s going to represent a constituency
of lesser-educated, economically, you know, challenged people? So
that was tough.

PAYNE: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. Um…did group dynamics change after
Gloria Steinem’s rise to fame?

POGREBIN: She was already very famous.

PAYNE: At that point?

POGREBIN: Yes. Famous enough to get people to raise money by her having lunch
with people. She was famous, she was beautiful, she was smart, I mean,
I think the magazine really benefited from all the things she brought to
the table.

PAYNE: How did working with Gloria Steinem and the whole Ms. team
influence your ideas on feminism?

POGREBIN: Well, I think by the time I joined Ms. I think I had become a pretty
committed feminism from everything that I’d read. I’d read myself into
feminism, and I, you know, I became an editor immediately, and…what
I’d probably brought to the table, I think I was one of the few that had
children. So I brought a kind of awareness of the family woman’s
issues and the challenges of the home and raising kids and also having a
job. I brought that. I also started the Stories for Free Children section
in the magazine, which every month ran children’s stories, which was
pretty ironic because one of the claims was that feminists didn’t like
children and were anti-family. You know, they would like to defame us
in any way that they could. So that was one of the charges…
Meanwhile, we were the only magazine that had a childrens’ stories
section. We who hated children had devoted at least four pages a month
to children…. We had many articles on childrearing and marriage and
house work…you know, and the inequities of the homemaker’s role… I
think we were remarkable in that we were so ahead of the game.
PAYNE: Definitely. And that is very important, especially then—at any time,
really—because so many members of your audience probably also had
children.

POGREBIN: Yes they did.

PAYNE: And so—

POGREBIN: It’s a full time job.

PAYNE: A struggle…

POGREBIN: Yeah.

PAYNE: What do you think was your most well-received article at Ms.?

POGREBIN: Um…I did a piece on motherhood… Um…that was talked about a lot,
because I really looked at the structure of motherhood and sort of the
sociology of motherhood… Um…I did a piece called, Do women make
men violent? Which was talked about a lot.
PAYNE: I’m sure.


POGREBIN: I did a piece on the power of beauty…so I kind of deconstructed beauty
to be more honest about it, because as feminists we like to believe that
beauty doesn’t count, it doesn’t matter, no make-up, no this, no that,
but that was never a general rule, we simply unpacked it, we picked it
apart, we looked at it in our lives, like what role it played in getting
hired, not just in getting boyfriends or husbands but you know, in
lesbian relationships it figures just as much, in jury selections—up and
down the line beauty plays a role and people didn’t really wanna look at
it frankly or analytically and we did.


PAYNE: It’s a symbol of your worth.

POGREBIN: Yeah. Still is.

PAYNE: What do you make of the evolution of Ms.?

POGREBIN: Well, I think it’s gone through a lot of incarnations, and now it’s
operated by the Feminist Majority, and I think it’s fine. It doesn’t have
a real kind…populace…mass market feeling, which we at that point, we
really did. You could pick us up a the newsstand, but you can’t do that
anymore. And we were able therefore to appeal to a very broad
spectrum. Now, Ms. appeals to committed movement women and
people in college. Which is fine, because you know what, all the other
women’s magazines now run stuff that we used to be the only ones that
ran, things on sexual harassment or rape or poverty, I mean, you can
read that now in Redhook and McCalls. If there is a Redhook and
McCall now.

Anonymous said...


PAYNE: I don’t know about Redhook or McCalls, but you can read it in Oprah,
definitely.

POGREBIN: Yeah. So Ms. doesn’t have to have any CANT UNDERSTAND that we
did. And I don’t think you can buy it on a newsstand. But I think it’s
useful for college people to see international feminism.

PAYNE: Yeah, definitely.

POGREBIN: What school are you from?

PAYNE: I go to Mount Holyoke.

POGREBIN: How did you come to me in the first place?

PAYNE: I’m taking a class at Smith called Oral History and Women’s Activism.

POGREBIN: Mmhmm.

PAYNE: And we each have to find someone who we would like to do an oral
history on. So I chose to get in touch with you because I’m very
interested in journalism and you worked with Ms. and I love Ms.

POGREBIN: I see.

PAYNE: Um…So, back to the questions. So much of your work has been about
non-sexist childrearing. I was wondering if you could talk about how
you came to this subject…I’m guessing you had children?

POGREBIN: (laughs) Good guess.


PAYNE: Go me…

POGREBIN: In 1971 the first issue—um…the first issue came out—actually, January
of ’72, but we were working on it in 1971. In 1971 I had two six year
old girls and a three year old boy. So my kids were raised on my—I
was educating myself as I was raising them—and, if you get to read that
article you’ll see how it made me stop and think about everything I was
doing. And it basically happened when I was coming home from
work—I worked 3 days a week, a ten hour day, so by the end of the
week I had worked maybe 30 hours or 36 hours, and then of course I
brought work home and I wrote and so on. But the point is that I was
working at Ms. and I was able to do both. And the other four days—or
the two days of the weekend—I was really like a full-time mom. So…I
never kind of looked at my life in any sort of—Well, what should I
change or what should I challenge or what would a feminist do except
where my own life was concerned. I never looked at it where my kids
were concerned. So one day I come home from work with a basketball
set that you attach to a closet door and it comes with a little nerve door
that dosn’t beak the lamps…And I put it on the door of my son’s closet.
And my husband came home and said, “Why did you put it on David’s
door, he’s 3 years old!” You can’t do this. (laughter) And it was like, a
light when off in my head—Yeah, I have two six year old girls, very
athletic, they’re very active, they do everything, and I put this on my
son’s door. It was like this unconscious boy equals basketball. That I
will always remember was my first moment of…epiphanic moment, and
I started to look at everything I did that was so unthinking. You know I
mean, ‘Have the boys do this and the girls do that,’ and it had nothing to
do with age, it had nothing to do with reality, it had everything to do
with pink is girl and blue is boy. And so I started to, in their rooms, I
would make sure that the girls had every kind of toy—trucks and action
toys and books about adventure—and the boy’s room would have tea
sets and dolls. That’s why you see in that painting, he has two dolls, he
also has a rocket. (laughs) You know what I mean? They were a
product of the open-opportunity childhood…In 1976, my girls were
eleven, so they had had many years of our changed way of childrearing.
I became fascinated by how we track and brainwash children and don’t
let them become who they are, who they’re meant to be. So I started to
kind of…blow that all open and…You know Free to Be You and Me?

Anonymous said...

PAYNE: No…

POGREBIN: Well go right out—run, do not walk—and get Free to Be You and Me.
You will…really, you will be so charmed… And you know, Stories for
Free Children, the stories that were in every issue of Ms. Magazine, I
put together a book of those stories and they were all about, you
know…girls becoming adventurers and boys discovering their feelings
and mommies can be anything and all of that. And that became a

fascination, almost an obsession of mine, and I wrote about called
Growing Up Free, which is on nonsexist childrearing, published in
1980.

PAYNE: Just a quick question… Did you find that your nonsexist childrearing
ever conflicted with the messages your children were receiving from the
media—

POGREBIN: Oh, yes.

PAYNE: How did they deal with that?

POGREBIN: Well it was completely counter to the received wisdom all around them,
which was that boys don’t play with dolls. But everyone who came to
this house—we had consciousness raising meetings in this room and
they would be up there sitting on the balcony listening, so it was
normalized in our family. But they would see me on—every year I used
to do a review of the toys on the market, and this room would be full of
sample toys, because I would write about them in the magazine. You’ll
see if you look back at the December issues every year, toys for free
children. And so my kids would see me testing toys and I would say,
Look at this package…[CAN’T UNDERSTAND]… And it really
makes girls feel odd, choosing. Same with pink and blue. So they kind
of came along with me, and we would all try out the toys. First of all,
most of it was junk. I would rate them based on safety, quality,
packaging, and sexism. And they [my children] were tuned in. The rest
of the culture would be sending them messages and they would feel
sorry for the rest of the kids who weren’t allowed to play with certain
toys. They were allowed to play with anything! I never said, You can’t
play with that because you’re a boy, or You can’t play with that because
you’re a girl. So…they started to feel sorry for kids who were limited
by parents who were, like…nuts. Why doesn’t their mom let them do
that? You know, and we would have discussions about it.

PAYNE: Yes, they sound much freer.


POGREBIN: They were much freer.


PAYNE: OK. What were some difficulties in raising children—sons in
particular—to be nonsexist?

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, interviewed by Allison Payne Tape 1 of 1 Page 10 of 14
Women’s Activism and Oral History Project Smith College

POGREBIN: Well, only that he had the safety in this house of being whoever he
wanted to be. And when he went out into the world he
was…unconventional. So he would have to answer for himself. And
that was very strengthening for him. My son loves to cook, he ended up
going to chef school, he became a chef, now he’s in the restaurant
business.

PAYNE: Does he have a restaurant in the city?

POGREBIN: He works on the West Side. He’s a general manager.

POGREBIN: OK. I’ll always remember when—I don’t know if you’ve ever been to
summer camp……we were listening and we were all sitting around
here….And at one point he said we have a wonderful man-made lake, a
great art program…. The guy leaves, it sounded like a really wonderful
camp, and my son says, “I’m not going to that camp.” So we said,
“Why? What’s wrong with it?” And he said, “it’s sexist.” And we
said, “Well how do you know it’s sexist?” “He said they had a manmade
lake!” … He would never say man-made, he would say artificial.
Because when a kid hears “man-made” they see men making something.
And he knew enough—he was very tuned-in to language… Another
time, he was with his class somewhere—in the Botanical Gardens, I
think—and he said, “Oh, that’s such a lovely flower!” And his friends
made fun of him for saying lovely.

PAYNE: That’s sad!

POGREBIN: I know, it’s awful. But he talked back. He knew enough to say, “I use
all kinds of words. I use all the words that I know. And that is a lovely
flower.”

PAYNE: It shows that feminism can liberate men too.

Anonymous said...



POGREBIN: Exactly.

PAYNE: So…I wanna shift the conversation more towards feminism in general.
You wrote in your book, Deborah, Golda and Me, “every woman is the author of her own emancipation.” I love that. How would you describe
your own emancipation?

POGREBIN: Well certainly it was through my research. I researched feminism in a
way that freed me to become who I was and also freed me from the
scriptures of old thinking. I was an executive in a book publishing
company, but I would have spent my life in a very naïve universe had I
not come to understand the condition of other women.

END OF INTERVIEW

Transcribed by Allison Payne, 2008.
© Sophia Smith Collection 2008

Anonymous said...

Hi Zoe,

Thank you for the appreciation,but it's *not* just Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen's "view point(or anyone elses either!) she explained what decades of tons of great research studies have consistently found as she said,we have abundant data that shows that the sexes are much more psychologically(and biologically too!) alike than different,and that in most eras of traits,abilities and behaviors the sexes overlap almost totally and most of the differences found are small average differences that as she explained many have shrunk to even smaller,and that they find much greater differences between individual *people* differences!

Psychologist Dr.Janet Shibley Hyde's meta-analysis
that I posted about on here was very extensive and thorough,she reviewed over 7,000 studies from 20 years! And the finding are exactly what Gender and Christian Scholar Eastern Psychology Professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen explains,and she's very knowledgeable about all of this.

Are you by any chance a transgengered person yourself if you don't mind I ask? I don't hate or fear transexuals and I don't want them to be discriminated against or harmed,
Except "feminine" and "masculine" are really *HUMAN* traits,thoughts,feelings and behaviors! Unfortunately transexuals both reflect and re-inforce these artificial socially constructed categories in the very sexist,gender divided,gender stereotyped,woman-hating male dominated society we all live in!
And there is plenty of decades worth of great psychological research studies by many different psychologists that shows that the sexes are much more alike than different in most traits,abilities and behaviors with a very large overlap between them,and that most of the differences between them are really small average differences,many of which have shrunk even smaller,and they find much greater individual *people* differences! Biologically the sexes are more alike than different too! Transexuals don't help people learn and understand this!


Feminists(such as Robin Morgan,Janice Raymond,Gloria Steinem,Germaine Greer etc) who have rightfully pointed this fact out,are not afraid of transexuals or prejudiced against them,the issue is what I said it is. The only transexual woman who actually debunks these common sexist gender myths,and gender stereotypes is Kate Bornstein author of Gender Outlaw:On Men,Women And The Rest Of Us,Gender Outlaws,My Gender Workbook etc. She was a heterosexual man who was married and had a daughter,then had a sex change and became a lesbian woman and then decided not to idenitify as a man or a woman.

Anonymous said...

HOME Doublex : What women really think about news, politics, and culture.

The Last Word on Fetal T

Rebecca Jordan-Young's masterful critique of the research on the relationship between testosterone and sex difference.

By Amanda Schaffer Posted Thursday, Oct. 21, 2010, at 10:30 AM



Try talking about whether single sex education is better for boys, or why there aren't more female science professors at Harvard, or whether male financiers are innately more aggressive, and sooner or later someone will evoke that handy, biological explanation of sex difference: fetal testosterone. The usual argument is that early hormonal exposures mold "male" and "female" minds. That is, a prenatal marinade helps shape men and women's later sexual desires, intellectual talents, personality traits and career interests—in ways that typically differ by gender. A loud chorus of researchers and popular writers, including psychologists Simon Baron-Cohen, Susan Pinker and Steven Pinker, psychiatrist Louann Brizendine, and therapist Michael Gurian, frequently invoke prenatal hormones to explain male and female behavior.

At first glance, the science seems to offer strong backup: Hundreds of articles report a relationship between prenatal hormone levels and, say, which toys girls and boys like as kids or how aggressive they are or how easily they can mentally rotate objects or (when they're a bit older) how much they masturbate. The usual assumption is that since males have more prenatal T, and T is the male hormone, of course it must explain the hallmarks of maleness in the mind.

This view sucks up a lot of oxygen, and it takes painstaking effort to refute it. I tried to in a Slate series on psychological sex differences that sent me deep into the weeds for months. (Every writer I know who's taken on this literature shudders a little at the memory.) So it was with appreciation verging on glee that I read Barnard professor Rebecca Jordan-Young's devastatingly smart and definitive critique: Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Differences. Jordan-Young argues that the science of prenatal hormones, gender, and the mind "better resembles a hodgepodge pile than a solid structure." And she knows of what she speaks.

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An expert on measures and study designs, Jordan-Young has spent the last 13 years combing the literature on brain organization, unpacking assumptions, questioning methods and statistical practices, holding one paper up against another. She stresses that fetal hormones must matter to the brain—somehow. But after picking apart more than 400 studies that try to understand the genesis of particular psychological sex differences (real or supposed), she concludes that fetal T looks like an awfully anemic explanation.

Prenatal hormones are, indisputably, important to genital development. But the more controversial question has always been whether the mind is also shaped in categorically "male" or "female" ways, by testosterone or estrogen. For decades, a series of researchers have doggedly tried to prove that it is, treating the brain as an "accessory reproductive organ," as Jordan-Young writes.

Anonymous said...

This presumption has led to some strange contortions and flip-flopping. In the early 1970s, for instance, one study reported that boys whose mothers took a synthetic estrogen, which was thought to prevent complications in pregnancy, tended later on to show less masculine behavior like lower assertiveness or aggression. Soon, however, animal research found that testosterone converted to estrogen in the brain actually seems to do the opposite—to make boys act more typically masculine. And soon after that, the reversal showed up in human research, too: Another study suggested that boys exposed prenatally to a synthetic estrogen might show more masculine behavior, according to Jordan-Young. The data on synthetic estrogen and progesterone exposures are complicated. But what's striking, in Jordan-Young's telling, is that the researchers' findings tended to dovetail suspiciously well with their assumptions.

The red flags only multiply as Jordan-Young compares more-recent results. Of course, scientists cannot go in and vary prenatal exposure to hormones and then see what happens in a controlled experiment. Nor can they measure anything directly in the fetal brain. Instead, they must rely on "quasi-experiments" and proxy variables for hormone levels.This puts particular pressure on how well different findings fit together, Jordan-Young argues.To take one example: Psychologist Melissa Hines has measured testosterone in pregnant women's blood and linked higher levels of the hormone to more masculine behavior in 3½-year-olds, measured as "involvement with sex-typical toys, games and activities." Meanwhile, psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen has measured testosterone in amniotic fluid and linked higher levels of hormone to tendencies he deems typical of males (less eye contact at age 1, poorer social relationships and more restricted interests at age 4). The only problem is that Hines found her link for girls but not for boys. On some measures, Baron-Cohen has found a relationship just for boys and on other measures for boys and girls taken together. For play behavior, he reports no link with T levels for either gender. So it's hard to put these projects together and come up with a consistent story. Instead, it's a mishmash.

Anonymous said...

Research on people with intersex disorders comes in for similar needed scrutiny. A large number of studies look at women and girls with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, a genetic disorder that involves the overproduction of androgens like testosterone. Because these females' hormonal exposures are closer to males', the theory is their behaviors and interests ought to tend toward the "masculine" as well. And in fact, some data suggest that CAH females may be more likely than their sisters to play with vehicles and construction-related toys as children. They may be "less likely to prioritize marriage and motherhood over career," writes Jordan-Young. Also, they may be more likely to express an interest in male-dominated careers like engineer and airline pilot. This evidence has played a starring role in debates over whether fewer women hold tenured positions in these fields because they are innately less interested in the subject matter. Why push for parity in any male-dominated field if you will just run up against nature, as inscribed by fetal T?

But it's never been clear how relevant the research on CAH girls and women is to other females. Many CAH patients are born with masculinized genitalia. That might make them feel freer to express preferences that are less common or acceptable for girls, like a desire to fly planes for a living. CAH girls also go through extensive medical monitoring and treatment, and that, too, may make a difference. Jordan-Young cites an intriguing experiment from the mid-1980s in which researcher Froukje Slijper looked at girls with diabetes, as well as girls with CAH and girls without either condition. What she found was that "both groups of girls with chronic illness scored in the more masculine range" than the normally healthy girls. Whatever the reason, the finding should give us pause: It's tricky to link up girls with CAH and those who don't have a serious, T-related disease.

So where does this leave us? In light of Jordan-Young's meticulous synthesis, it's hard to name any specific feature of male-typical or female-typical behavior that consistently matches up with prenatal T levels across several models of research. No measure holds up: not aggressiveness, or masturbation habits, or even the ability to rotate objects in the mind, long viewed as the gold standard of sex-difference research because it is a skill on which average men and average women reliably differ. There are studies to cite for all of these claims. But what's missing is corroboration across approaches—from studies that look at different kinds of people (say, those with a disorder like CAH or those without), or that try to gauge prenatal hormone exposures in different ways (say, through amniotic fluid or maternal blood or finger-digit ratio). After decades of determined research, if robust links between prenatal hormones and "male" or "female" minds really exist, shouldn't we see those links across lots of different kinds of studies?

Anonymous said...

This matters because the obsession with prenatal T can easily become a distraction. It can make us forget how much gender norms have changed—think of all those female accountants, lawyers, and doctors who weren't around 50 or even 30 years ago—and how remarkably similar men's and women's brains and minds actually are. All this unwarranted hammering away at difference (and its putative explanations) causes real trouble, too. As a growing body of research shows, cues that foreground gender and bring stereotypes to mind can dampen men's performance on tests of social sensitivity, women's scores on math tests, and women's stated interest in quantitative pursuits Jordan-Young has done an enormous amount of work to untangle the gender claims. We ought to read her, cite her, thank her. And then, let's move on.




Amanda Schaffer is a science and medical columnist for Slate


Slate is published by The Slate Group, a Division of the Washington Post Company
All contents © 2013 The Slate Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

OPEN READER
Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference
by
Cordelia Fine

Overview
“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times



Currently Viewing... Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference (Reprint) Pub. Date: 8/8/2011 Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company,

Inc.

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Overview
Editorial Reviews
Product Details
Meet the Author
Table of Contents
Overview

“[Fine’s] sharp tongue is tempered with humor. . . . Read this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”—The New York Times

It’s the twenty-first century, and although we tried to rear unisex children—boys who play with dolls and girls who like trucks—we failed. Even though the glass ceiling is cracked, most women stay comfortably beneath it. And everywhere we hear about vitally important “hardwired” differences between male and female brains. The neuroscience that we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of two brains, and the result is more often than not a validation of the status quo. Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math; men too focused for housework.

Drawing on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology, Cordelia Fine debunks the myth of hardwired differences between men’s and women’s brains, unraveling the evidence behind such claims as men’s brains aren’t wired for empathy and women’s brains aren’t made to fix cars. She then goes one step further, offering a very different explanation of the dissimilarities between men’s and women’s behavior. Instead of a “male brain” and a “female brain,” Fine gives us a glimpse of plastic, mutable minds that are continuously influenced by cultural assumptions about gender.

Passionately argued and unfailingly astute, Delusions of Gender provides us with a much-needed corrective to the belief that men’s and women’s brains are intrinsically different—a belief that, as Fine shows with insight and humor, all too often works to the detriment of ourselves and our society.


Related Subjects
Gender Studies
Psychology - Theory, History & Research
Editorial Reviews
Boston Globe
“Forceful, funny. . . . These are the right questions to be asking.”
Dan Vergano - USA Today
“Fine turns the popular science book formula on its head. Chapter-by-chapter, she introduces ideas about innate differences between the sexes… and then tartly smacks around studies supposedly supporting them.”
Anna North - Jezebel.com
“Cordelia Fine’s thorough (and funny!) Delusions of Gender punches a giant hole in the idea that women's brains are somehow ‘hardwired’ for nurturing and domesticity.”
USA Today
“Fine turns the popular science book formula on its head. Chapter-by-chapter, she introduces ideas about innate differences between the sexes… and then tartly smacks around studies supposedly supporting them.”— Dan Vergano
Jezebel.com
“Cordelia Fine’s thorough (and funny!) Delusions of Gender punches a giant hole in the idea that women's brains are somehow ‘hardwired’ for nurturing and domesticity.”— Anna North
Uta Frith FBA
“In Delusions of Gender Cordelia Fine does a magnificent job debunking the so-called science, and especially the brain science, of gender. If you thought there were some inescapable facts about women’s minds—some hard wiring that explains poor science and maths performance, or the ability to remember to buy the milk and arrange the holidays—you can put these on the rubbish heap. Instead, Fine shows that there are almost no areas of performance that are not touched by cultural stereotypes. This scholarly book will make you itch to press the delete button on so much nonsense, while being pure fun to read.”
William Ickes

Anonymous said...

William Ickes

“Cordelia Fine has a first-rate intellect and writing talent to burn. In her new book, Delusions of Gender, she takes aim at the idea that male brains and female brains are ‘wired differently,’ leading men and women to act in a manner consistent with decades-old gender stereotypes. Armed with penetrating insights, a rapier wit, and a slew of carefully researched facts, Fine lowers her visor, lifts her lance, and attacks this idea full-force. Whether her adversaries can rally their forces and mount a successful counter-attack remains to be seen. What’s certain at this point, however, is that in Delusions of Gender Cordelia Fine has struck a terrific first blow against what she calls ‘neurosexism.’”
Katherine Bouton
…Cordelia Fine…is an acerbic critic, mincing no words when it comes to those she disagrees with. But her sharp tongue is tempered with humor and linguistic playfulness, as the title itself suggests. Academics like Simon Baron-Cohen and Dr. Louann Brizendine will want to come to this volume well armed. So would Norman Geschwind if he were still alive. Popular authors like John Gray (Men are from Mars), Michael Gurian (What Could He Be Thinking?) and Dr. Leonard Sax (Why Gender Matters) may want to read something else.
—The New York Times
Wray Herbert
…irreverent and important…Fine offers no original research on the brain or gender; instead, her mission is to demolish the sloppy science being used today to justify gender stereotypes—which she labels "neurosexism." She is no less merciless in attacking "brain scams," her derisive term for the many popular versions of the idea that sex hormones shape the brain, which then shapes behavior and intellectual ability, from mathematics to nurturance.
—The Washington Post
The New York Times
Delusions of Gender takes on that tricky question, Why exactly are men from Mars and women from Venus?, and eviscerates both the neuroscientists who claim to have found the answers and the popularizers who take their findings and run with them… [Fine] is an acerbic critic, mincing no words when it comes to those she disagrees with. But her sharp tongue is tempered with humor and linguistic playfulness… [R]ead this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.— Katherine Bouton
Katherine Bouton - The New York Times
“Delusions of Gender takes on that tricky question, Why exactly are men from Mars and women from Venus?, and eviscerates both the neuroscientists who claim to have found the answers and the popularizers who take their findings and run with them… [Fine] is an acerbic critic, mincing no words when it comes to those she disagrees with. But her sharp tongue is tempered with humor and linguistic playfulness… [R]ead this book and see how complex and fascinating the whole issue is.”
Read More Show Less
Product Details
ISBN-13: 9780393340242
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 8/8/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 338
Sales rank: 93,006
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Meet the Author
Cordelia Fine, the author of A Mind of Its Own and Delusions of Gender, is a research associate at the Centre for Agency,
Values and Ethics at Macquarie University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychology. She lives in Victoria,
Australia.

Anonymous said...


Table of Contents
Introduction xv

Part I "Half-Changed World," Half-Changed Minds

1 We Think, Therefore You Are 3

Why You Should Cover Your Head with a Paper Bag if You Have a Secret You Don't Want Your Wife to Find Out 14

3 "Backwards and in High Heels" 27

4 I Don't Belong Here 40

5 The Glass Workplace 54

6 XX-clusion and xxx-clusion 67

7 Gender Equality Begins (or Ends) at Home 78

8 Gender Equality 2.0? 90

Part 2 Neurosexism

9 The "Fetal Fork" 99

10 In "the Darkness of the Womb" (and the First Few Hours in the Light) 107

11 The Brain of a Boy in the Body of a Girl ... or a Monkey? 118

12 Sex and Premature Speculation 131

13 What Does It All Mean, Anyway? 141

14 Brain Scams 155

15 The "Seductive Allure" of Neuroscience 168

16 Unraveling Hardwiring 176

Part 3 Recycling Gender

17 Preconceptions and Postconceptions 189

18 Parenting with a Half-Changed Mind 197

19 "Gender Detectives" 207

20 Gender Education 214

21 The Self-Socializing Child 226

Epilogue: And S-t-r-e-t-c-h! 233

Acknowledgments 241

Author's Note 243

Notes 245

Bibliography 289

Index 329

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Customer Reviews
Average Rating 4
( 10 )
dayzd89
Posted January 10, 2013

Delusions of Gender had been on my to-read list for a very long
Delusions of Gender had been on my to-read list for a very long time, so I was more than happy to pick up a copy from my library. I really like how Cordelia writes in a way that is simple and easy to understand for the reader who might not be a neuroscientist. She writes with so much intelligence and isn't afraid to add humor in her discussion. I also like how she sprinkles a bit of sarcasm here and there. I find it extremely amazing that she was able to read The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine, which I attempted to read before but found to be extremely sexist and guilty of false claims.

Of course, knowledge is power, but like the saying goes, the truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. There are some parts in this book that made me pretty mad. Reading about women's experiences at work with sexual harassment and discrimination in the science and math fields is so infuriating and it's something I will never get used to. The fact that they are supposed to shut up about it or else they are seen as overly sensitive is just pure BS.

The only thing that I'm disappointed about is the fact that she doesn't really talk about transgender women and transgender men. Sexism is definitely detrimental to the transgender community because it reinforced traditional gender roles, a topic that she spoke about extensively throughout the book. There is a mention of a transgender woman in the book, but it's a brief reference. I would have loved to see her discussion about how gender variant and transgender youth are affected by their environment and the media. But perhaps I will find that in another book.

I really like how she tackles neurosexism and the gender binary by using hard science and a realistic, critical eye on information that is seen as golden and valid.

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Anonymous said...

Please consider reading the excellent thorough book, Myths Of Gender:Biological Theories of Women and Men. by Brown University Biologist Dr.Anne Fausto-Sterling.


Also there is a lot of evidence from sociologists and anthropologists that there are androgynous cultures. Many anthropologists like Walter Williams author of the award winning,The Spirit and The Flesh,and many other anthropologists have done field work for decades in places like Tahiti and Malaysia, women and men are encouraged to have androgynous roles there and they are not polarized into "opposite" categories and gender roles,and they are more alike in their personalities and behaviors. This is thoroughly explained in the good book,
Manhood In The Making:Cultural Concepts Of Masculinity.


And the men there unlike in our very gender divided,gender stereotyped, sexist male dominated society ,aren't punished for being similar to women, they are encouraged and rewarded for it! And it's in the very gender divided, gender stereotyped sexist male dominated societies where the sexes are polarized into "opposite" categories and gender roles that makes *more* gender differences!


As I already explained,here are also a lot of studies by good parent child development psychologists that clearly demonstrate that female and male babies are actually born biologically more alike than different with very few differences,yet they are perceived and treated systematically very differently right from the moment of birth on from parents and other care givers.

There is also tons of psychological studies from decades showing that most psychological differences between the sexes are very small in most areas and that most large differences are actually individual people differences.

And there are also plenty of very good academic studies by communication professors and experts that have actually found very small differences in communication between women and men.

Women and men are actually biologically and psychologically more alike than different and gender is mostly an artificial socially consructed category.It's more like 90-95% not 80%!

Our brains are actually more alike than different just(which is a miracle considering how the brain's structure and function are shaped and changed from different life experiences and different learning and environments even adult brains) as our external genitals are and plenty of research shows that the structure and function of the brain can actually be changed by the interaction with different life long enviornments,different life long experiences,and social and cultural conditioning.

Anonymous said...

Feminist Letty Cottin Pogrebin's son didn't reject playing with dolls and tea sets, just as her identical twin daughters didn't reject the non-gender stereotyped toys and behaviors she encouraged them to have. And her son didn't grow up gay he's married and I think has children,but he didn't grow up to be a macho football player either,as Letty said he's a chef and loves to cook.

And there is a lot wrong with sexist very limiting gender roles,gender myths and gender stereotypes that are mostly artificially created by the very sexist,gender divided,gender stereotyped,woman-hating male dominated family and society we all live in,which makes both sexes,into only half of a person,instead of full human people able to develop and express their full shared *human* traits,abilities,and behaviors etc. And then these artificial gender differences continue to re-inforce gender inequalites,male dominance and men's violence against women,children and even each other.

There is a great 2005 book,Sex Lies And Stereotypes Challenging Views Of Women,Men and Realtionships by social and cognitive British psychologist Dr.Gary Wood.He too shows plenty of great important research studies done over decades by many different psychologists that finds small average sex differences,and the sexes are much more sminilar than different.He also thoroughly demonstrates that gender roles,gender myths and gender stereotypes which are mostly socially and cultrually constructed,harm both sexes because they are very limting,cause conflicts and misunderstands between women and men,and only allow each of them to become half of a person which can cause mental and physical conditions and diseases.

Anonymous said...

http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1994-09332-001

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Citation

Database: PsycINFO
[ Journal Article ]

Pink or blue: Gender-stereotypic perceptions of infants as conveyed by birth congratulations cards.

Bridges, Judith S.
Psychology of Women

Quarterly, Vol 17(2), Jun 1993, 193-205. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1993.tb00444.x

Abstract

Examined societal gender stereotypes of infants by investigating the visual images and verbal messages present in birth congratulations cards. 61 girl and 61 boy cards from 18 establishments in 4 municipalities were subjected to a content analysis that revealed several differences between girl and boy cards. Visual images indicative of physical activity, such as action toys and active babies, were more prominent on boy than girl cards. Verbal messages of expressiveness, including sweetness and sharing, appeared on more girl than boy cards. In addition, more boy than girl birth cards presented a message of happiness for the parents and/or the baby. Findings are discussed in the context of gender stereotypes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved

Anonymous said...

http://www.newsweek.com/id/214834 Pink Brain, Blue Brain

Claims of sex differences fall apart.

By *Sharon Begley http://www.newsweek.com/id/183003 NEWSWEEK

Published Sep 3, 2009

>From the magazine issue dated Sep 14, 2009

Among certain parents, it is an article of faith not only that they should
treat their sons and daughters alike, but also that they do. If Jack gets
Lincoln Logs and Tetris, and joins the soccer team and the math club, so
does Jill. Lise Eliot, a neuroscientist at Rosalind Franklin University of
Medicine and Science, doesn't think these parents are lying, exactly. But
she would like to bring some studies to their attention.

In one, scientists dressed newborns in gender-neutral clothes and misled
adults about their sex. The adults described the "boys" (actually girls) as
angry or distressed more often than did adults who thought they were
observing girls, and described the "girls" (actually boys) as happy and
socially engaged more than adults who knew the babies were boys. Dozens of
such disguised-gender experiments have shown that adults perceive baby boys
and girls differently, seeing identical behavior through a gender-tinted
lens. In another study, mothers estimated how steep a slope their
11-month-olds could crawl down. Moms of boys got it right to within one
degree; moms of girls underestimated what their daughters could do by nine
degrees, even though there are no differences in the motor skills of infant
boys and girls. But that prejudice may cause parents to unconsciously limit
their daughter's physical activity. How we perceive children—sociable or
remote, physically bold or reticent—shapes how we treat them and therefore
what experiences we give them. Since life leaves footprints on the very
structure and function of the brain, these various experiences produce sex
differences in adult behavior and brains—the result not of innate and inborn
nature but of nurture.

For her new book, *Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into
Troublesome Gaps—And What We Can Do About It,* Eliot immersed herself in
hundreds of scientific papers (her bibliography runs 46 pages). Marching
through the claims like Sherman through Georgia, she explains that
assertions of innate sex differences in the brain are either "blatantly
false," "cherry-picked from single studies," or "extrapolated from rodent
research" without being confirmed in people. For instance, the idea that the
band of fibers connecting the right and left brain is larger in women,
supposedly supporting their more "holistic" thinking, is based on a single
1982 study of only 14 brains. Fifty other studies, taken together, found no
such sex difference—not in adults, not in newborns. Other baseless claims:
that women are hard-wired to read faces and tone of voice, to defuse
conflict, and to form deep friendships; and that "girls' brains are wired
for communication and boys' for aggression." Eliot's inescapable conclusion:
there is "little solid evidence of sex differences in children's brains."

Anonymous said...



Yet there are differences in adults' brains, and here Eliot is at her most
original and persuasive: explaining how they arise from tiny sex differences
in infancy. For instance, baby boys are more irritable than girls. That
makes parents likely to interact less with their "nonsocial" sons, which
could cause the sexes' developmental pathways to diverge. By 4 months of
age, boys and girls differ in how much eye contact they make, and
differences in sociability, emotional expressivity, and verbal ability—all
of which depend on interactions with parents—grow throughout childhood. The
message that sons are wired to be nonverbal and emotionally distant thus
becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. The sexes "start out a little bit
different" in fussiness, says Eliot, and parents "react differently to
them," producing the differences seen in adults.

Those differences also arise from gender conformity. You often see the claim
that toy preferences—trucks or dolls—appear so early, they must be innate.
But as Eliot points out, 6- and 12-month-olds of both sexes prefer dolls to
trucks, according to a host of studies. Children settle into sex-based play
preferences only around age 1, which is when they grasp which sex they are,
identify strongly with it, and conform to how they see other, usually older,
boys or girls behaving. "Preschoolers are already aware of what's acceptable
to their peers and what's not," writes Eliot. Those play preferences then
snowball, producing brains with different talents.

The belief in blue brains and pink brains has real-world consequences, which
is why Eliot goes after them with such vigor (and rigor). It encourages
parents to treat children in ways that make the claims come true, denying
boys and girls their full potential. "Kids rise or fall according to what we
believe about them," she notes. And the belief fuels the drive for
single-sex schools, which is based in part on the false claim that boy
brains and girl brains process sensory information and think differently.
Again, Eliot takes no prisoners in eviscerating this "patently absurd"
claim. Read her masterful book and you'll never view the sex-differences
debate the same way again.

*Begley is NEWSWEEK's science editor.*

Find this article at http://www.newsweek.com/id/214834

Anonymous said...



Sword between the Sexes?, A: C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates - Page 188 - Google Books Result
books.google.com/books?isbn=1441212671
Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen - 2010 - Religion
C. S. Lewis and the Gender Debates Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen ... indicates that women and men, boys and girls, are overwhelmingly more alike than different


And Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is as I said both a Christian and Gender Scholar who teaches the philosophy and psychology of gender as well as religion at a Christian college and her husband is a biblical scholar.


I personally don't believe in any religion,so I just disgard that part of her articles and presentations,but she's not a conservative Christian she's a moderate and a feminist and her knowledge of what all of the abundant psychological research studies consistently show about how the sexes are more alike than different,with mostly small average differences many of which she points out have gotten even smaller over several decades because of some small changes(there is obviously still a long way to go and much more changes need to happen) in gender roles and gender stereotypes,is what is very great and valuable!


Randie






Anonymous said...

Like comedian Elaine Boosler said in the mid-late 1980's,I'm Only A Person Trapped In A Woman's Body!I just looked up her phrase and it's on many different sites and blogs.

Zoe Brain said...

I think we have a clash of cultures here: Psychology as an Art, and as a Science.

Most Psychology has historically been such a soft science it's not really been a science at all. Experiments weren't well-designed, with very nebulous criteria and even more nebulous conclusions that just didn't stand scrutiny.

To give an example of the kind of evidence I'm looking at:


Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids. by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;
...the data implicate that transsexuality may be associated with sex-atypical physiological responses in specific hypothalamic circuits, possibly as a consequence of a variant neuronal differentiation.

Dichotic Listening, Handedness, Brain Organization and Transsexuality Govier et al International Journal of Transgenderism, 12:144–154, 2010


Prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol(DES) in males and gender-related disorders:results from a 5-year study Scott Kerlin. Proc. International Behavioral Development Symposium July 2005

This shows a 500-fold increase in the rate of Transsexuality, not exactly a subtle effect.

Prenatal exposure to testosterone and functional cerebral lateralization: a study in same-sex and opposite-sex twin girls. Cohen-Bendahan et al, Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2004 Aug;29(7):911-6.

Zoe Brain said...

From Lisa Elliot's website:

" Presenting the latest science from conception to puberty, she zeroes in on the precise differences between boys and girls, reining in harmful stereotypes. Boys are not, in fact, “better at math” but at certain kinds of spatial reasoning. Girls are not naturally more empathetic than boys; just allowed to express their feelings more.

Of course, genes and hormones play a role in creating boy-girl differences, but they are only the beginning. Social factors, such as how we speak to our sons and daughters and whether we encourage their physical adventurousness, are proving to be far more powerful than we previously realized."

That seems to be what the evidence says, yes. But this does not affect either gender identity (nor, from what I can see, sexual orientation, though that's not my area of interest).

One area I am interested in though is women with CAH. Rather than dismissing them as a negligible minority, I think my own objectivity here is questionable. I have the unusual 3BHSD form of CAH, and I guess I'm just a little tired of being told by those in positions of cisgender privilege that a) I don't matter and b) Their philosophy trumps my lived experience.

Their attitude is rather like the Patriarchy's position on women throughout history, is it not?