Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett are widely acclaimed for
their analyses of women, men, and society. In The Truth About
Girls and Boys, they tackle a new, troubling trend in the
theorizing of gender: that the learning styles, brain development,
motivation, cognitive and spatial abilities, and "natural"
inclinations of girls and boys are so fundamentally different, they
require unique styles of parenting and education.
Ignoring the science that challenges these claims, those who
promote such theories make millions while frightening parents and
educators into enforcing old stereotypes and reviving unhealthy
attitudes in the classroom. Rivers and Barnett unmake the
pseudoscientific rationale for this argument, stressing the
individuality of each child and the specialness of his or her
talents and desires. They recognize that in our culture, girls and
boys encounter different stimuli and experiences, yet encouraging
children to venture outside their comfort zones helps them realize
a multifaceted character. Educating parents, teachers, and general
readers in the true nature of the gender game, Rivers and Barnett
enable future generations to transform if not transcend the
parameters of sexual difference.
Subjects: Psychology, Sociology
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