Dr. Leonard Sax addresses a host of issues, including discipline, learning, risk-taking, aggression, sex, and drugs and shows how boys and girls react in predictable ways to different situations. A leading proponent of single-sex education, Dr. Sax points out that parents and teachers would do better to recognize, understand, and make use of the biological differences that make a girl a girl and a boy a boy.
©2005 Leonard Sax; (P)2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"[Sax's] readable prose...makes this book accessible to a range of readers." (Publishers Weekly)
"The book is thought-provoking, and Sax explains well the science behind his assertions....A worthy read for those who care about how best to prepare children for the challenges they face on the path to adulthood." (Scientific American)
This is more than just a mars vs venus statement of differences, the author gives real practical parenting advice about how to deal with your boy verses your girl on specific subjects like drugs, sex, calling home, internet use, etc. I thought it was very well read and easy to listen to. I have boy/girl twins and think it's important to realize these differences and approach each child uniquely. It would be too easy to treat each hurdle and milestone exactly the same for both children.
Sax presents evidence in a "hit or miss" way. Some of what he has to say is well supported in the literature (e.g., girls lose confidence more quickly than do boys), while other statements are presented without any evidence. When Sax does present studies, he never tells us the number of subjects in any given study nor whether the subjects were selected randomly or other ways of controlling experiments (including keeping subjects from behaving in ways they perceive the experimenter wants them to behave); what is more, the "findings" are presented as if all subjects behaved in a certain way, which is surprising, given that most experiments tell us about likelihood, not certainty. A great deal of the evidence Sax presents is based on studies of animals, showing his implicit assumption that humans evolved from and therefore behave like primates. Unfortunately, Sax does not explain reasons why the reader should accept the analogies. He often presents some study of primates or other animals, then extends a generalized claim about females and males or about human females and males specifically. It ends up casting doubt on everything he says. Nor does Sax make a distinction most scientists make: gender is a sociocultural phenomenon, and sex biological.
This is not to say that gender does not matter nor that Sax gives bad advice. It is just that the advice pretends to be drawn from scientific evidence or as unsupported extensions of other arguments (e.g., boys get a thrill from violent video games; Sax himself played two different games; therefore you should accept his experience with the games as representative of all people's experience and further, you should not allow your child to play the type where it's okay to kill off civilians at will -- note that he also ignores alternative explanations for the "thrill," such as simply violating social norms). Perhaps there are numerous footnotes in the text version that an audiobook does not present.
There's a lot of gold in this book, to be honest. The author highlights a lot of gender-related differences between male and female brains. (He doesn't like to use the politically correct distinctions between sex and gender, which can overly simplify the topic, but he does a decent job of presenting recent studies that seem to support his central thesis.)
At the same time, he occasionally jumps from good scientific research on the one hand to biased unscientific research on the other, using faulty logic to give equal weight to both arguments. This approach is dishonest and dangerous because it inserts enough irrefutable facts for the less concrete opinions to appear more solid.
This is worth the read, because it is the most compelling argument I've seen for gender segregation among adolescents. Just keep an open mind, because regardless of where you stand on gender and sexuality, you're probably going to find things you love AND things you hate in Dr. Sax's book.
This book is researched and presented in an interesting and thoughtful manner, andt is entertaining enough to keep you wanting more. I am the mother of four and a middle school teacher and I learned a great deal that I can apply to my own life as a teacher, mother, and grandmother.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
of the relevance of approaching male and female children in a different manner in regard to parenting. Still, the book somehow doesn't quite get off the ground and remains too generalized in places and overly simplistic in others.
Much of the book was interesting, explaining the biological differences between boys and girls. It helps to understand that we as a society cannot keep lumping boys and girls together as being exactly the same.
However, when Sax talks about teenage sex, things teens say to each other, and video games and the like, I could not listen. It sounded as though a few teenagers told him some... untrue things that teenagers do, and he just ran with it.
In all, the parts where Sax discusses biological differences are interesting and informative, but the psychiatrist parts of the book are really not very informative, and come across very opinion-based, as opposed to information-based.
I would recommend this book to people who are interested in the actual biological differences between boys and girls, and how those differences affect ability to learn, school performance, emotions, etc. I would not recommend the book to somebody who is looking to figure out what kind of stuff their teenager is doing is doing in his/her off-time. Bad descriptions, inaccuracies, etc.
Every time there is a word that starts with the letter H, the reader says it as a Y, or doesn't pronounce it at all. For example, apparently, we as a race are "yoomans". It makes me more and more angry every time I hear it.
There are also times when the reader's understanding of how a sentence should be enunciated is all wrong, so it ends up just sounding like an extremely awkward exchange.
No, this is not that kind of book.
The book in and of itself is really not terrible. There is some information that is a little inaccurate pertaining to teenagers ("chicken parties"?), but otherwise it's interesting stuff.
The reader is not good. He needs to figure out how to pronounce things.
The author makes the genders more biological than social against the common belief.It is true that gender is both biological and social and boys and girls should take advantage of both to get the best out of the world and live happily together.
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