THE MYTH OF TWO MINDS: What Gender Means and Doesn't Mean by Beryl Lieff Benderly

THE MYTH OF TWO MINDS: What Gender Means and Doesn't Mean

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A thoughtful, illuminating consideration of the part physiology plays in male/female differences--with particular attention to how important this issue really is. When journalist Benderly set out to explore this issue, she fully expected to confirm that there are important, measurable physiological differences between the sexes. But readers may come to the same conclusion as did Benderly: what we know so far confirms no such thing; we have very little firm knowledge of the subject; and in any case the whole question may be beside the point. Benderly asks--and answers--three basic questions: ""What are males and females anyway?"" ""What are they like?"" ""What are they for?"" Along the way, this leads her into such hotly debated questions as the specific physical, physiological, intellectual, and behavioral differences that distinguish men and women. Summarizing Benderly's conclusions--without dismissing the really enlightening discussion here--makes her new point of view clear: there are obvious differences between men and women, but many count less than people think. Some differences do matter, Benderly acknowledges readily: those such as assertiveness, logical thinking, mathematical comprehension. But forget the current ""simplistic, pseudo-scientific theories of their origins""--we have too much bias about their real origins and not enough knowledge at this point. Until biological determinists can account for such differences ""as elegantly, rigorously, as persuasively as the cultural argument does,"" says Benderly, ""we're fools to discard half or our pool of talent."" She has a strong, persuasive argument here.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1987
Publisher: Doubleday