In the past decade, we've come to accept certain ideas about the differences between males and females — that boys can't focus in a classroom, for instance, and that girls are obsessed with relationships. In Pink Brain, Blue Brain, neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Calling on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time, as parents and teachers — and the culture at large — unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Children themselves intensify the differences by playing to their modest strengths. They constantly exercise those "ball-throwing" or "doll-cuddling" circuits, rarely straying from their comfort zones.
But this, says Eliot, is just what they need to do, and she offers parents and teachers concrete ways to help.... By appreciating how sex differences emerge — rather than assuming them to be fixed biological facts — we can help all children reach their fullest potential, close the troubling gaps between boys and girls, and ultimately end the gender wars that currently divide us.
"Eliot revisits much of the data showing subtle differences in boy-girl sensory processing, memory and language circuits, brain functioning, and neural speed and efficiency, using clever charts and graphs of her own. However, she emphasizes most convincingly that the brain is marvelously plastic and can remodel itself continually to new experiences, meaning that the child comes into the world with its genetic makeup, but actually growing a boy from those XY cells or a girl from XX cells requires constant interaction with the environment. At the end of each chapter, she lists ways to nip early troubles in the bud — i.e., for boys, language and literacy enrichment; for girls, stimulating movement, visual and spatial awareness." — Publishers Weekly
|Sep 2, 2010
|Gender Research, Physical / Emotional Development
|Parenting Books Age
|Infant to Preschool, Child / School Age