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)
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.
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.
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.
I disagree with one reviewer that says the data only supports the author's views and that in the studies he cites, he does not give sample sizes. In many of the studies he states the samples sizes and demographics and even if the study has been corrected for SES, IQ, etc. in some cases. He also states that when a study is "exhaustive" or when a study is small and perhaps not applicable to the general population.
He is not trying to promote gender bias and stereotypes. Rather, he presents evidence - biological, and survey based that supports what many parents and educators already notice when working with boys and girls. He is not against gender neutral philosophies on the whole, only that gender neutral may ignore biological factors thereby short-changing our children's learning. used by Dr. Sax are "more likely" or "less likely" when talking about behaviors and preferences of boys and girls. It does not do away with equal treatment. Equality does not mean we treat girls the same as we treat boys, it means we give all children opportunities to reach their full potential. One gender is not better than the other, just has some differences in some areas.
As an educator, I found the book very interesting and in some areas it explains some of the general differences in boys' and girls' learning and behavior in the classroom over the years. He is quick to point out, that while boys or girls share many similarities with their gender peers, that every girl or boy is different in their own right and treated as an individual. The similarities in a gender give a framework for the parent or educator to improve their understanding.
On the audio-side, the narrator does a very good job - gives the listener time to let some of the technical jargon sink in. He reads as if you are sitting across
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.
could not say I have not read or looked at the print version.
I bought this book to hopefully understand transgender issues a little better. It was a good book but only covered a small amount of transgender issues.
I was surprised to find parenting tips in this book and from what I have seen those parenting tips would work. So I passed those tips on to my friends that have kids.
I loved the scientific studies that supported the theories and/or information presented in the book. It taught me a great deal about how boys and girls think differently. I have two boys and this book has educated me in techniques to remember in teaching them and maintaining their interest in education and motivation. The only very minor issue is the book is long (over eight hrs), but its packed with a lot of information. I felt I was attending school again!
This book provides the physiological explanation for alot of the stereotypical gender differences. It is interesting for anyone generally, but particularly if you have kids, it helps to put certain behaviors into perspective.
I learned a lot from this book, although I was quite skeptical at first. I work with teachers, and I found myself constantly noticing gender-biased behavior and its effect on students. The narration is good. Even though the book does cite experimental evidence and critiques its quality in some cases, I think I'd need to dig more into the scientific research if I were really interested in the subject.
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