The Myth of Mars and Venus

I love this. Deborah Cameron sets out to show that men and women are not as different as many claim. Things like the use of language, empathic versus systemizing behaviour etc. She even quotes Simon Baron Cohen:

The difference between the two lists reflects what Baron-Cohen takes to be the "essential difference" between male and female brains. The female-brain jobs make use of a capacity for empathy and communication, whereas the male ones exploit the ability to analyse complex systems. Baron-Cohen is careful to talk about -"people with the female/male brain" rather than "men and women". He stresses that there are men with female brains, women with male brains, and individuals of both sexes with "balanced" brains. He refers to the major brain types as "male" and "female", however, because the tendency is for males to have male brains and females to have female brains. And at many points it becomes clear that in spite of his caveats about not confusing gender with brain sex, he himself is doing exactly that.

Baron Cohen is very clear in his academic papers that he\’s talking about brain type, not XY or XX. Anyway, what amuses me is that having accused him of confusing gender with brain sex she then goes on to talk about the averages of men and women: that is, not making the distinction between brain type and gender.

1 thought on “The Myth of Mars and Venus”

  1. I love how these types make it their mission to show that men & women aren’t fundamentally, biologically different. Some even baldly state as much, even though common sense tells you that they’re talking rubbish.

    However, when it comes to the myriad failings of men…it’s a different story. Ha.

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