Just as the title makes it sound, this book debunks many of the popular theories on the differences between men and women, girls and boys and their respective brains. The main message is that gender is social, not biological. In the end, there is an admittance that it may one day prove to be biological, but no compelling evidence currently exists that cannot be debunked and was not influenced by the researchers in some way instead. Culture drives gender roles and gender stereotypes so well that there is virtually no way to really know how soon such things start. There are some unique examples of families that have found ways around stereotypes of gender, but they are very few.
This book is definitely recommended for anyone who writes about or is interested in gender roles and stereotypes as well as pretty much all parents. It is important to understand the genderscape as a parent because it is parents who will shape the next generation’s views on gender. It is highly informative of where these concepts come from in our children and how they are policed.
My favorite point in the book is that children learn so much more from the way that people act than from what they say. It relays the message (in my opinion) that if you want your children to disregard traditional gender roles, you will have to do this in your home first. It also doesn’t seem to be about each gender specifically going against stereotype as much as each person in the home sharing each of the house chores evenly. If the child sees that the person who takes out the trash is whoever saw that it was full, they are less likely to associate it with a gender role. Likewise with doing the dishes. This is where it can start and it doesn’t have to stick with gender roles, this holds true for all the places where life intersects with differences.
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