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Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do about It

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A precise scientific exploration of the differences between boys and girls that breaks down damaging gender stereotypes and offers practical guidance for parents and educators.

 

In the past decade, we've come to accept certain ideas about the differences between males and females—that boys can't focus in a classroom, for instance, and that girls are obsessed with relationships. In Pink Brain, Blue Brain, neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Calling on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time, as parents and teachers—and the culture at large—unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Children themselves intensify the differences by playing to their modest strengths. They constantly exercise those “ball-throwing” or “doll-cuddling” circuits, rarely straying from their comfort zones. But this, says Eliot, is just what they need to do, and she offers parents and teachers concrete ways to help. Boys are not, in fact, “better at math” but at certain kinds of spatial reasoning. Girls are not naturally more empathetic; theyre allowed to express their feelings. By appreciating how sex differences emerge—rather than assuming them to be fixed biological facts—we can help all children reach their fullest potential, close the troubling gaps between boys and girls, and ultimately end the gender wars that currently divide us.

Synopsis:

In the past decade, we've heard a lot about the innate differences between males and females. So we've come to accept that boys can't focus in a classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships: "That's just the way they're built." In Pink Brain Blue Brain, neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Calling on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time, as parents and teachersand the culture at largeunwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Children themselves exacerbate the differences by playing to their modest strengths. They constantly exercise those “ball-throwing” or “doll-cuddling” circuits, rarely straying from their comfort zones.

But this, says Eliot, is just what they need to do. And she offers parents and teachers concrete ways to help. Presenting the latest science from birth to puberty, she zeroes in on the precise differences between boys and girls, erasing harmful stereotypes. Boys are not, in fact, “better at math” but at certain kinds of spatial reasoning. Girls are not naturally more empathetic; theyre allowed to express their feelings. By appreciating how sex differences emergerather than assuming them to be fixed biological factswe can help all children reach their fullest potential, close the troubling gaps between boys and girls, and ultimately end the gender wars that currently divide us.

About the Author

Lise Eliot is Associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The mother of two sons and a daughter, she is also the author of What's Going on in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547394596
Author:
Eliot, Lise
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Child Development
Subject:
Developmental - Child
Subject:
Developmental - Adolescent
Subject:
Parenting
Subject:
Child Care and Parenting-General
Subject:
Psychology-Child Psychology
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
21 b/w line
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.86 lb

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
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Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow Into Troublesome Gaps -- And What We Can Do about It New Trade Paper
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Product details 432 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547394596 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In the past decade, we've heard a lot about the innate differences between males and females. So we've come to accept that boys can't focus in a classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships: "That's just the way they're built." In Pink Brain Blue Brain, neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Calling on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time, as parents and teachersand the culture at largeunwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Children themselves exacerbate the differences by playing to their modest strengths. They constantly exercise those “ball-throwing” or “doll-cuddling” circuits, rarely straying from their comfort zones.

But this, says Eliot, is just what they need to do. And she offers parents and teachers concrete ways to help. Presenting the latest science from birth to puberty, she zeroes in on the precise differences between boys and girls, erasing harmful stereotypes. Boys are not, in fact, “better at math” but at certain kinds of spatial reasoning. Girls are not naturally more empathetic; theyre allowed to express their feelings. By appreciating how sex differences emergerather than assuming them to be fixed biological factswe can help all children reach their fullest potential, close the troubling gaps between boys and girls, and ultimately end the gender wars that currently divide us.

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