Carolyn’s Team Pick:
In a talk with the Australian Broadcasting Company, Cordelia Fine discusses how we build social assumptions based on misinterpretations of scientific studies.
“If you thought sexism was a thing of the past, then think again says psychologist and writer, Cordelia Fine. In this often highly amusing talk, she argues that the notion that there is an immutable biological difference between the male and female brain is just another form of sexism: neurosexism. And Cordelia’s on a mission to discredit the science behind it.
After her excoriating attack, Cordelia goes on to warn of the dangers such ideas can have on the path to greater equality between the genders.”
The discussion is based around Fine’s book, Delusions of Gender, which is a pop-science deconstruction of numerous scientific studies and their interpretations that shows how social expectations play a much stronger role in research results than actual research does.
If you haven’t read the book yet (and it came out a year ago so you should’ve), this discussion will make you want to. But the book is really dense, and this talk is only 45 minutes! It’s like Intro to Neurosexism nirvana. You should watch it here:
While Delusions of Gender questions female/male-based biological essentialism, it does not address the difference between sex and gender and has no real discussion of anything outside of the gender binary. Nevertheless, Fine’s discussion reveals some of our cultural scientific illiteracy and just how often science is used to back up pre-existing ideas, and it is definitely worth 45 minutes of your time.