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1=D3@AB=@Gj53<23@C<03<23@ Scientific critics were not so kind. The British journal Nature called it â€œriddled with scientific errors.â€? Others pointed out that Brizendine jumped to conclusions based on tiny samples or very early research, used animal data to discuss human behavior and was sometimes just plain misinformed. She had to remove from the book a claim that women use 20,000 words a day while men use only 7,000. There was harder evidence behind the idea that men and women talk the same amount. The new book is breezy and readable, but has many of the same problems. Critic Emily Bazelon points out in her excellent New York Times review that â€œYouâ€™d never know from reading Brizendine that beneath the sea she blithely sails are depths that researchers have only just begun to chart.â€? Men, Brizendine claims, are rational systemizers and problem solvers who donâ€™t comprehend emotion. Women wail desperately at their mates, â€œYou donâ€™t understand!â€? while the men look blank. Her major citation, Bazelon points out, is a single, very small 2008 brain-scan study of 14 women and 12 men, which found a gender difference in part of a lab experiment that tried to simulate empathy. A great deal of evidence contradicts this tiny study.
Show Some Emotion Do men lack empathy and fail to understand emotion? Psychologist Faye Crosby of UCâ€“Santa Cruz says no. Crosby methodically examined the major, well-designed, scientific studies comparing males and females with regard to empathy, altruism, cooperativeness, nurturance and intimacy. She found â€œno conclusive evidence to show that men and women differ from one another in the extent to which they attend to and are good at interpersonal relationships.â€? In fact, in a number of the laboratory studies, men responded more strongly internally to emotional stimuli than women, but women show more emotion outwardly. Vanderbilt University psychologist Ann Kring, who studied findings on sex differences in emotion, said in a 1998 issue of The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that: â€œIt is incorrect to make a blanket statement that women are more emotional than men. It is correct to say that women show their emotions more than men.â€? The Male Brain unfortunately tosses another log onto the media blaze about men and women having their â€œnaturalâ€? places. Men are the thinkers, the
systemizers, the rationalists. Women are the carers and the feelers. Cambridge University psychologist Simon Baron-Cohenâ€”who wrote the book The Essential Difference (2004)â€” says that males are good at leadership, decision-making and achievement, while females are suited for â€œmaking friends, mothering, gossiping and â€˜readingâ€™ your partner.â€? (He has been quoted in The New York Times, in a Newsweek cover story, in a PBS documentary and in many other major media outlets.) Baron-Cohen bases his claims on one study, conducted in his lab in 2000, of day-old infants purporting to show that baby boys looked longer at mobiles, while day-old baby girls looked longer at human faces.
â€˜The Male Brainâ€™ unfortunately tosses another log onto the media blaze about men and women having their â€˜naturalâ€™ plaes. Men are the thinkers, the systemizers, the rationalists. Women are the carers and the feelers. Elizabeth Spelke, co-director of Harvardâ€™s Mind, Brain and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative, utterly demolished this study. It has never been replicated, nor has it appeared in a peer-reviewed journal, she reported. Spelke found the study lacked critical controls against experimenter bias and Â¨
Published on May 6, 2010