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Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and…
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Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society (original 2017; udgave 2018)

af Cordelia Fine (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2911569,473 (3.93)64
Challenges conventional beliefs about evolutionary factors that are used to justify gender politics, outlining arguments against cultural stereotypes, in a call for a more equal society that recognizes the potential of both sexes."Many people believe that, at its core, biological sex is a fundamental, diverging force in human development. According to this overly familiar story, differences between the sexes are shaped by past evolutionary pressures--women are more cautious and parenting-focused, while men seek status to attract more mates. In each succeeding generation, sex hormones and male and female brains are thought to continue to reinforce these unbreachable distinctions, making for entrenched inequalities in modern society. In Testosterone Rex, psychologist Cordelia Fine wittily explains why past and present sex roles are only serving suggestions for the future, revealing a much more dynamic situation through an entertaining and well-documented exploration of the latest research that draws on evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy. She uses stories from daily life, scientific research, and common sense to break through the din of cultural assumptions. Testosterone, for instance, is not the potent hormonal essence of masculinity; the presumed, built-in preferences of each sex, from toys to financial risk taking, are turned on their heads. Moving beyond the old "nature versus nurture" debates, Testosterone Rex disproves ingrained myths and calls for a more equal society based on both sexes' full, human potential."--Dust jacket.… (mere)
Medlem:FatAustralianStalion
Titel:Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society
Forfattere:Cordelia Fine (Forfatter)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2018), Edition: 1, 272 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:*****
Nøgleord:Ingen

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Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society af Cordelia Fine (2017)

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» Se også 64 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 15 (næste | vis alle)
Like Delusions of Gender, this is a look at how sex differences are exaggerated in pop science and the media. Her biggest target here is evolutionary psychology and how it portrays sex differences as rigid.

It's an interesting, opinionated, pretty quick read, but not as interesting as Delusions of Gender. 3.5/5, rounded up. ( )
  arosoff | Jul 11, 2021 |
audiobook nonfiction; science of gender (2017)

summary: gender stereotypes aren't accurate--at best, it is a lot more complicated than people may assume. If you are feminist, you likely don't subscribe to them anyway. If you are anti-feminist, you aren't going to be reading this book. If you fall somewhere in between, you might pick this up, but then get bored with it pretty quickly. I wanted the author to talk at least a little about trans people and non-binary people (at least to acknowledge their existence, even if there aren't a lot of studies about trans and non-binary folks to discuss, but was sorely disappointed in this aspect.

first 1/3 discusses/deconstructs theories about sexual promiscuity (in humans and in animals); second part (the bulk of the book) focuses on stereotypical gender traits (risk taking, nurturing, etc.); there is a shorter "the future" section at the end which basically says, "let's try not to stereotype." Overall, I found the presentation totally boring, though the author succeeded in interjecting occasional moments of levity. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
I read Fine's Delusions of Gender a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so when I saw she had another one coming out I knew I had to order it. It is just as good as Delusions, and I would recommend it to anyone to read.
In this book Fine takes a look at testosterone and asks is it really the reason behind financial crisis, risk taking, and the differences between the sexes.
the short answer is no. The slightly longer, but still short version is that it has an important role to play but it is equally as important as all other hormones in the human body. For more go read the book, it is fascinating, interesting, funny and very readable. Fine has a great style. She weaves personal anecdotes in with scientific studies as well as her own speculation. She counters arguments with facts and figures, but never in a dry and boring way.
It is also a most quotable book, if you follow me on tumblr you may have noticed, if not click here for a selection and if that doesn't prompt you to think about trying this book I don't know what will.
One of my very favourite lines is Social events regulate gonadal events. I think it should be my new motto.
But apart from the writing style what she says in the book is important. She never says that there aren't differences between men and women, but she emphasizes that we cannot accurately tell what is causing those differences. From the moment we are born we are influenced by both genes and environment, and sometimes environment has a greater influence. Never mind the fact that when you average everything out there are more differences between men (or women) than between the sexes. Also, sex is a spectrum, not an either or. Stereotypes and hardline "men are like this" views do nobody any good.
People are people, and people are different to people in many many ways. And society and experience do a lot to shape people. If you think about the idea behind "privilege" for example you can see that influences how people of differing backgrounds see and act. It isn't what you were born with, it is how society around you that shapes what you were born with.
I've skimmed a few of the negative reviews on Goodreads and many of them seem to say "I don't agree with this so it is wrong" and some say that Fine wants to proclaim that there are no differences between men and women. Well, I've read the book and she makes it perfectly clear that there are differences, both in humans and in other species, what she is looking at is how innate those differences are and can they be altered? Also across the whole species are the differences really there. And in some cases she argues that, yes, they are. In others no, the variables even out across a large sample. Fine also points to numerous studies that show that just because X has been the way for so long, it doesn't mean it can't ever be altered.
Of course I came to the book on her side, so maybe I'm just agreeing with her because it supports my view of the world. I'm not a scientist and am not about to go through hundreds of studies in an attempt to prove myself wrong. However I have skimmed through some of those "men are from mars" type books, you know the sort that try to argue that all relationship differences exist because men are like this while women are like that, and in most cases I don't identify with the version of womanhood that they portray. So maybe I'm just an outlier, or maybe there is more to being a person than what is between your legs. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
As a basic take-away - there's no such thing as a "male brain" and a "female brain", while some things show gender differences they are usually small, most people of any or no gender have a mix of traits that may be more likely to occur in a person with either a male or female body such that it's not possible to predict someone's gender or sex based on these traits. It is hard to separate biology and sociology, and people become aware of gendered things and how they are supposed to react to them and internalize that from an extremely young age (I recently saw a talk from [a:Shannon Hale|49177|Shannon Hale|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1299093233p2/49177.jpg] where she mentioned that school-age boys will either be completely uninterested in reading her Princess Academy books or will be embarrassed to admit that they do - unless they're homeschooled! Which speaks a lot to the socialization of gender expectations). Also, testosterone is more nuanced in humans and animals than you may think, and doesn't necessarily map easily to things that are "masculine" (and in fact testosterone levels sometimes change in response to external stimuli and behaviour instead of a change in testosterone causing changes in behaviour).
Basically, this book says that "boys will be boys because biology" is a silly way to approach the world and human behaviour. ( )
  katebrarian | Jul 28, 2020 |
A fairly scholarly discussion, and worth a read. Some things I'm going to remember:
People assume that properties of gender are always linked as adaptive, fixed, and typical, but the link doesn't exist. A property can be typical without being an adaptation or fixed, for instance. Consider the preference for pink in girls. There is no reason the typical color choice is either adaptive or fixed, in fact, it is typical only in one specific society at one particular time in history.
Another interesting fact is that though testosterone does trigger genital differentiation and physical differences, there are indications that status affects testosterone levels more than the other way around. Also, the differences in hormone levels between the genders, while marked, seem not to produce as much difference physically as they should; it is as if the structures in female and male work to express the different hormones more similarly than differently.
And the reason I picked up the book was the chapter on preference for risk. The author makes the point that human beings, on the whole, are risk-averse. Both male and female human beings take risks of equal threat. What differs is the perception of how risky a behavior is; for a white male, the world on the whole seems like a much safer place.
Years of teaching only boys, playing a sport that was once for males only, and growing up in a society where gender roles in life, literature, and entertainment have transformed before my eyes, I am inclined to think that the variability and overlap between males and females is much more interesting than the conventional polarized view. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
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Challenges conventional beliefs about evolutionary factors that are used to justify gender politics, outlining arguments against cultural stereotypes, in a call for a more equal society that recognizes the potential of both sexes."Many people believe that, at its core, biological sex is a fundamental, diverging force in human development. According to this overly familiar story, differences between the sexes are shaped by past evolutionary pressures--women are more cautious and parenting-focused, while men seek status to attract more mates. In each succeeding generation, sex hormones and male and female brains are thought to continue to reinforce these unbreachable distinctions, making for entrenched inequalities in modern society. In Testosterone Rex, psychologist Cordelia Fine wittily explains why past and present sex roles are only serving suggestions for the future, revealing a much more dynamic situation through an entertaining and well-documented exploration of the latest research that draws on evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy. She uses stories from daily life, scientific research, and common sense to break through the din of cultural assumptions. Testosterone, for instance, is not the potent hormonal essence of masculinity; the presumed, built-in preferences of each sex, from toys to financial risk taking, are turned on their heads. Moving beyond the old "nature versus nurture" debates, Testosterone Rex disproves ingrained myths and calls for a more equal society based on both sexes' full, human potential."--Dust jacket.

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