Talk

Advanced search

Debra Soh's The End of Gender looks rather good

(13 Posts)
lionheart Mon 27-Jul-20 11:09:57

This looks like an interesting read--out in early August.

thepostmillennial.com/review-the-end-of-gender-by-debra-soh

It appears that Barbara Kay left her job with the National Post because organisation refused to run this book review (from her Facebook statement it looks as if this was the last straw ...)

If you look up Kay on social media you find the usual TRAs crowing at this particular shut down. But Kay is also worth following for GC and the Canadian context.

OP’s posts: |
Ereshkigalangcleg Mon 27-Jul-20 12:24:25

It does, and I follow her on Twitter, she's excellent. On my reading list.

NonnyMouse1337 Mon 27-Jul-20 13:24:50

Thanks for the heads up. Looks interesting though I'm unsure what she means by gender. Not long to wait for the book though.

FWRLurker Mon 27-Jul-20 13:33:39

Eh, Soh apparently believes that men are better than women at math and science, except for a few people like her - she’s And other “not like other girls” are special because she had testosterone flooding her in the womb or something.

Ultimately she’s a strong neurosexist so I can’t take much of what she says about gender seriously, even if we happen to both agree that men cannot literally Become women.

www.npr.org/transcripts/556116385

Siablue Mon 27-Jul-20 15:18:43

I am interested in this. I have read Cordelia Fine’s delusions of gender and I did think it was interesting. I really appreciate her critiques of Simon Baron Cohen because I am a women with autism and I don’t think I have a man’s brain.

However it is not outrageous to think that testosterone can affect the development of your brain. We know how powerful hormones can be especially after pregnancy. She has said that any differences in Male and female brains do not justify sexism and the problem is that men are seen as the default human much in the same way that any differences in our bodies (which we all know are real) do not mean we should be treated worse. I will read it and compare to Cordelia Fine.

Science is just science and you can’t dismiss something out of hand because it doesn’t fit the way you want the world to be. She could be right and she could be wrong.

Ereshkigalangcleg Mon 27-Jul-20 15:20:38

I know that she thinks these things, I don't but am interested in what she has to say as I find her an interesting voice. And she is really good on trans stuff.

FWRLurker Mon 27-Jul-20 15:48:00

She’s welcome to believe that men are inherently biologically more logical (except oh so conveniently for her, Those who are “Neurologically intersex”). What she needs to stop doing is her constant claims that science is definitive on the source of this difference.

There are plenty of ways that SBC et al could have gotten the results They got That have much more to do with nurture and socialization. It’s a matter of faith, not science, to make any one definitive claim About where the differences originate. I’m not making any claim one way or the other - Soh is. If she said “well you can’t really disentangle these things, but IN my opinion a good chunk of it is probably biological“ I’d have no problem at all.

nepeta Tue 28-Jul-20 06:00:03

FWRLurker, the studies I have seen (though I haven't followed the field in the last few years) never find any difference in the abilities of logical thought by sex.

I looked up Soh. She had not finished her doctorate in 2017 (probably did finish after that), and an article she wrote that year is somewhat biased and uses references rather creatively. One, for example, is to a study done with mice.

I think she had a column in the Playboy Magazine around that time.

I would not automatically accept her as the expert in neuroscience, in other words, or at least no more an expert than, say, Gina Rippon (who has many more years of experience) or Lise Eliot (who wrote the Pink Brains, Blue Brains book).

Goosefoot Tue 28-Jul-20 06:20:53

FWRLurker

She’s welcome to believe that men are inherently biologically more logical (except oh so conveniently for her, Those who are “Neurologically intersex”). What she needs to stop doing is her constant claims that science is definitive on the source of this difference.

There are plenty of ways that SBC et al could have gotten the results They got That have much more to do with nurture and socialization. It’s a matter of faith, not science, to make any one definitive claim About where the differences originate. I’m not making any claim one way or the other - Soh is. If she said “well you can’t really disentangle these things, but IN my opinion a good chunk of it is probably biological“ I’d have no problem at all.

Really? Because people like CF seem to take that leap all the time - once they have pointed out the difficulties of testing they aren't really taking a neutral position on brain differences between men and women, are they?

kesstrel Tue 28-Jul-20 07:32:03

Soh apparently believes that men are better than women at math and science,

I don't think that NPR transcript actually says that. What she says is that men are on average better at visuo-spatial processing. But anyone who knows about the IQ specifics of Ashkenazi Jewish people (as a group) would strongly suspect that being, as a group, only average at visuo-spatial stuff probably has minimal to no influence on mathematical and scientific achievement.

And in fact, more recent studies looking at the significance/insignificance of spatial processing in comparison to numerical/verbal reasoning bear this out:

Although ability-test scores were mostly at the upper scale range, differential effects on achievements were found: spatial ability accounted for achievements in an engineering design course beyond numerical, verbal and general reasoning abilities, but not for math and physics achievements. Math and physics achievements were best predicted by numerical, verbal and general reasoning abilities.

kesstrel Tue 28-Jul-20 07:33:07

Oops, forgot to post the citation!

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6480791/

Socrates11 Tue 28-Jul-20 12:32:19

I agree FWRLurker. Soh is great at proclaiming certainty on science that is no where near being settled. Read critically!

Childrenofthestones Tue 28-Jul-20 13:02:05

Ereshkigalangcleg said........Mon 27-Jul-20 15:20:38
"I know that she thinks these things, I don't but am interested in what she has to say as I find her an interesting voice. And she is really good on trans stuff."

Come on, you know the rules. If a person holds views on something you disagree with, then you cant listen to anything else she says on any subject, even if its a great article and its helpful to your cause, they aren't in your tribe and if you do listen to her then you are out.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in