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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of The Gendered Brain by Gina Rippon.

Gendered brains: a sexist myth or a fact of life?

Reading maps or reading emotions? Barbie or Lego? We live in a gendered world where we are bombarded with messages about sex and gender. On a daily basis we face deeply ingrained beliefs that your sex determines your skills and preferences, from toys and colours to career choice and salaries. But what does this constant gendering mean for our thoughts, decisions and behaviour? And what does it mean for our brains?

Drawing on her life’s work as a Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging, Gina Rippon unpacks the stereotypes that bombard us from our earliest moments and shows how these messages mould our ideas of ourselves and even shape our brains. Taking us back through centuries of sexism, The Gendered Brain reveals how science has been misinterpreted or misused to ask the wrong questions. Instead of challenging the status quo, we are still working back from outdated stereotypes and assumptions. However, by exploring new, cutting-edge neuroscience, Rippon urges us to move beyond a binary view of our brains and instead to see these complex organs as highly individualised, profoundly adaptable and full of unbounded potential.

Rigorous, timely and liberating, The Gendered Brain has huge repercussions for women and men, for parents and children and for how we identify ourselves.

This is not feminist science - it’s just science.

©2019 Gina Rippon (P)2019 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Gendered Brain

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  • LMS
  • 17-06-20

We are what we do

This book could be summarised as "we are what we do". Essentially, our brains aren't set in stone, and nor are the characteristics of our brains (, behaviours, personalities). When we do something, our brain builds the connections etc so that we'll do that thing more effectively in future. As such, things like gender roles act as a 'strait-jacket' (in the author's words) for our brains, limiting our capabilities through exposing us to some things--and not others--as well as our expectations of ourselves.

I didn't learn a HUGE amount from this book, but that's primarily because I do a lot of feminist reading as well as a lot around neuroscience--and particularly prediction mechanisms--for my PhD. As you do.

I will, however, be throwing this book at the next person who claims women "can't do math/read a map/use a hammer" because we're just "not made that way". It's all hogwash. Boo to evolutionary psychology and the retrograde conceptions of humanity and our brains in which it's embedded.

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  • Luci L
  • 28-01-20

Watch the debate on youtube instead

Watch the "Is the brain gendered?" debate on youtube and you'll see the author being debunked with a bunch of facts in about 10 minutes.

This book is the longer, more cringeworthy version of that. Save yourself the time.

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  • JudyW
  • 04-10-19

Dull presentation of an interesting subject

I had high hopes for this book as it is an area of great interest to myself - I've read several books on similar topics. But this one was unbelievably dry. A lacklustre voice droned on in such a way that I struggled to pay attention, so uninspiring was the subject matter and delivery. I tried jumping to new chapters but the monotony continued. Eventually I abandoned the book :(

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  • Mr. L. R. Wareham
  • 30-05-19

An interesting journey to not prove a negative

A very interesting delve into the history if psychology and neurology, the author lays out the history of the ideas, science and movements which promoted the ideas of sex differences in the brain.

The history and exploration of the science are well done, though the pattern of "so this also is not evidence of sex differences in the brain" becomes a bit stale (predictable but necessary given the subject matter).

The cultural commentary is particularly interesting - as a man there were some light bulb moments about how I want to teach my future children about the world. Definitely worth a listen.

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  • James Sykes
  • 15-05-19

Thought provoking and informative

Contains recentbrain science research information. Debunks most myths about correlation of sex with ability, brain features, preferences.

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  • AGGELOS IOAKIMIDES
  • 19-07-19

Great continuity from Cordelia Fine’s books

At times it got technically tedious, but that is necessary to prove a point and direct to the appropriate research. At times it got a tad bafflingly funny but that is needed to be inside enough to the joke. At times it got you the much needed “a-ha!”moment. An always it keeps the steady, structured, solid build of a scientific, if popular, stance of a worthy brain science book. Well done!

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  • brodie mangan
  • 13-11-19

Feminist propaganda

I really tried, however, the narrative loses any credibility due to its incessant prerogative to frame everything as a them v us. Bore off.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-11-20

Loved it!

Found myself exclaiming out loud through out this book. Have already recommended it to others.

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  • Ioana
  • 16-04-20

Good

Loved it, but it could have been shorter and a little bit more organized. It's a little bit disappointing that Rippon didn't go further in some areas, but all in all a very comprehensive book, very helpful in understanding the way science works.

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  • Sarah
  • 03-04-19

Loved it! Wish more people would read it!

Raising a girl I find myself falling down a wormhole of books about gender and how to arm her with the ability to overcome the labels that are likely to affect what she believes she can achieve in life. This is by far the most scientific one I’ve read and I thoroughly enjoyed Gina’s analysis of neuro-trash, whack-a-mole gender theories and her objective position on nature vs nurture. It has reinforced for me, that we are all on a spectrum of masculine to feminine and that we need to stop asking the question “why are men different from women” and focus on our similarities.