Delusions of Gender has ratings and reviews. Cordelia Fine, a psychologist, decided to write this book after discovering her son’s kindergarten. In Delusions of Gender the psychologist Cordelia Fine exposes the bad science, the ridiculous arguments and the persistent biases that blind. fascinating on the blurring of the line between pathological delusions and the Cordelia Fine is a Research Associate at the Centre for Agency, Values and.

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Return to Book Page. Preview — Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine. The neuroscience we read about in magazines, newspaper articles, books, and sometimes even scientific journals increasingly tells a tale of gener brains, and the result is more often than not a validation delusins the status quo.

Women, it seems, are just too intuitive for math, men too focused for housework. Hardcoverpages. Published August 30th by W. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Delusions of Genderplease sign up.

For gende who knows what I mean Is this a TERF book? Or is it inclusive to trans people? Johanna Berliner It’s really neither – while she doesn’t touch on trans folks at all, the book is absolutely the opposite of gender essentialist.

It’s a discussion of …more It’s really neither – while she doesn’t touch on trans folks at all, the book is absolutely the opposite of gender essentialist. It’s a discussion of the way that preconceived biases and social cues CREATE difference or the illusion of difference between men and women read: There is one chapter called “The brain of a boy in the body of a girl See 2 questions about Delusions of Gender….

Lists with This Book. Jul 13, Manny rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Anyone who’s ever thought about gender differences. Recommended to Manny by: This is a remarkably good book, and anyone who’s remotely interested in claims that there might be inherent differences in mental function between men and women should read it.

It’s insightful, carefully researched, well-written and often very funny. And if it doesn’t make you change your mind about at least a few things in this area, you are either a remarkably knowledgable person or an incurable bigot. I had read a few books and articles that touched on the subject of inherent gender difference This is a remarkably good book, and anyone who’s remotely interested in claims that there might be inherent differences in mental function between men and women should read it.

I had read a few books and articles that touched on the subject of inherent gender differences, and I’m afraid I had swallowed them rather uncritically.

Without understanding any of the details, I had absorbed the vague idea that science had now established, with the help of modern neuro-imaging techniques, that there were clear differences between male and female brains. Men had stronger spatial and mathematical skills, and women had stronger verbal and emotional skills, and this all dovetailed sensibly with various biological and evolutionary stories. Fine, who works in psychology and appears to know the literature well, demonstrates that this story absolutely fails to stand up to critical examination.

The science of gender differences turns out to be very bad science indeed; it seems that everyone has an agenda, and is willing to do whatever it takes to advance it. Researchers carry out poorly designed experiments with inadequate numbers of subjects, and then draw sweeping conclusions from differences which are not even clearly significant.

They look at coarse measures of activation in parts of the brain whose functions are still largely unclear and mysteriously deduce general cognitive principles, relying on the fact that few people know how to interpret a brain scan.


In surprisingly many cases, they flat-out lie. I am shocked, though I suppose this just shows how naive I am: I have worked for a long time in Artificial Intelligence, a field that is notorious for overhyping its achievements. Somehow, I had thought these people were better than us, but that does not appear to be true. Having read Fine’s masterly demolition job, it is tempting to jump to the other extreme and conclude that there are no inherent differences between male and female minds, and that those differences we see are entirely due to social conditioning.

I do not think, however, that that would be true to the deeper spirit of the book. Fine, who comes across as an admirable person, is upfront about the fact that no one is neutral in this debate, and she does not even pretend to be neutral herself; this is indeed one of the things which makes her writing so amusing. She shows how researchers, time after time, have made claims about gender differences which in hindsight have turned out to be utterly absurd.

Delusions of Gender (Paperback)

The rational response is finne be as skeptical as possible about all such claims, and I will pay Fine the compliment of treating her own arguments with the same skepticism. I am indeed convinced by the way she refutes arguments that women are incapable of performing as well as men on a variety of tasks where they have traditionally been supposed inferior. The section on the notorious spatial rotation task was particularly startling.

But there are, all the same, a number of facts which I do not think are obviously explained inside the framework she describes here. With some misgivings, I will outline what they are. To begin, there is the uncontroversial fact that autism and Asperger’s Syndrome are far more common in men than in women.

I know a fair amount about this from personal experience; my older son delusinos autistic, and I have spent a large part of my life deljsions with chessplayers, computer scientists, mathematicians, and other groups where Asperger’s types turn out to be common.

It is hard to believe that this is coincidential. The highly-focused, obsessive, narrow Asperger’s mindset seems to be a natural fit to these occupations, or more exactly to certain ways of approaching these occupations. I would like to make it clear that I am in no way saying that women cannot be chessplayers, mathematicians or computer scientists: I know many women who are world-class in these fields.

The clearest and most extreme example I can come up with is inventing a new chess gendeg. There are several hundred accepted chess openings, and, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have been invented by women. Obviously, I don’t know, but here are some thoughts.

Inventing coordelia chess opening is something that requires a great gendder of talent and hard work, but there is something more to it than that, which is hard to pin down: Basically, inventing an opening is not a useful activity in any normal sense of the word.

Most strong chessplayers – most World Champions, even – bh never invented an opening. It is not likely to make you more successful competitively, since most cordepia openings are soon refuted and fall into disuse; the rational thing to do from this point of view is to use other people’s openings. It is not necessarily very creative.

The real reward is that it appeals to a kind of stubbornness. The person who invents the opening goes his own way, against the whole world, just to show that he can.

Thinking in this way is a kind of madness that is much commoner in men. It is not so much that women can’t do it; it is more that hardly any women can see why they would want to do it, which is entirely sensible. But, somehow, society as a whole seems to benefit from the existence of this small group of people who are willfully different, even if the majority of them have wasted their lives without achieving anything.


Chess is a richer and more interesting game because there are all these different paths one can take. So Fine hasn’t convinced me that men and women really do think alike at the deepest level; I believe it will be a long time before we understand what’s going on there.

But she has convinced me that the facile arguments about brain scans proving that women are inherently wired to read emotions but not to understand calculus are utter crap. If you haven’t already done so, check out this book.

Delusions of Gender – Wikipedia

Looking at Bologan’s book on the Chebanenko Slav, it certainly seems like there’s a case for a Stefanova Variation; it goes 1. Hender and now Stefanova’s trademark reply is Bologan thinks it may be the best move and explicitly mentions former Women’s World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova as the person who’s done most to help make it respectable; indeed, a quick look at the Chessbase online game database shows that she’s defended this position eight times, drawing seven and winning one.

One hy her opponents was Beliavsky, a previous top 10 player and still very strong.

Surely others will follow where she has led? Despite the fact that my lifetime score against Grandmaster Short is in my favor, I would like to make it clear that I in no way consider myself more intelligent than he is. Statistics can be very misleading when taken out of context.

Although the paper is interesting and makes some excellent points, I’m struck by the way the participants in this debate seem to be talking past each other. Ma says early on that But this is exactly what the Howard study quoted by Short claims is not true. I think we need more actual data here.

It would be particularly interesting to see the Howard analysis repeated with proper attention paid to obvious sources of bias introduced by the fact that women play disproportionately often against other women. Despite the fact that GM Harika thoroughly outplayed him and won a good game as Black, it would be premature to draw any sweeping conclusions from a single result.

She then followed up by beating Meier, a normally very solid German grandmaster, and drawing with World Champion Carlsen.

Can I, simply looking at the notation of a game, say that it was played by a woman? In other intellectual games the proportions are more or less the same, with the very top occupied by men. It would be interesting to do research on that topic.

Women in chess have one undoubted advantage: I once asked a FIDE official: View all comments. Jul 18, Trevor rated it it was amazing Shelves: Didn’t realise Cordelia was Australian – This is a lovely video of her views: So, just what are you likely to have been told? This hinders them in their linguistic abilities, men being simply not as fluent as women. So while men are off hunting and thereby using their aggression to bring home the bacon, women are pacifying the kids with their delightful socialising skills so suited to recognising the emotional needs of others and cleaning the cave.

Such ideas essentially modern day eugenics are not only peddled by authors of limited intelligence trying to make a quick buck from the enhanced sales such sexist rubbish ensures for their books with titles like Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus or Why Men Don’t Have a Clue and Women Always Need More Shoes — but even by people with impressive sounding qualifications who write books called The Female Brain or The Blank Slate: