How science got women wrong

“Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong” by Angela Saini

“Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong” was second on my reading list. It sheds light on gender bias in anthropology, biology and psychology. I was drawn to the book as it combines science and gender – two topics that I love. The author, Angela Saini, delivers an abundance of interesting findings and defies scientific gender myths of the past. In other words, you learn tremendously and will most likely find yourself thinking about the book throughout the day. Though scientific, it is nonetheless an easy read and I definitely recommend it.

Why reading “How Science Got Women Wrong” is important

Reflecting on questions regarding gender is important to me because, like most women, I have been subjected to sexism. Often, the prejudice ideas are said to be supported by scientific evidence. An example could be: “Men drive better than women because a larger portion of their brains are devoted to white matter – which means that they are better at spatial visualisation”. Or, as written in a 1978 Playboy magazine: “Do men need to cheat on their wives? A new Science says yes”.

Most of the time, it’s hard for me to argue because, for all I know, it might be true; even if I intuitively might feel that there is a bewildering gap between the conclusions of gender science and what it really is to be woman (perhaps men feel an equivalent bewilderment when misrepresented by science). Therefore, I want to learn more about this. Then at least, I can have a discussion on the topic instead of blindly accepting what people tell me to be true.

Yes, reading one book isn’t enough. Who knows, maybe the author isn’t telling the whole story. Maybe her findings are biased. But, the more I read, the more I learn. Eventually, my opinions will be my own and I won’t always have to accept whatever people tell me about my gender.

What I learned

It probably sounds silly but, “why the book is important to read” is best answered by reading it. I learned about male and female brains, their immune systems and their sexuality. How science has historically suppressed or forgotten about women. And, how a lot of studies are influenced by confirmation bias.

* I am not sure wether the term “gender” or “sex” is most inclusive of transgender people. I know that “gender” refers to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. Sorry if I used the wrong term.

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  1. Pingback: Helen Gardener's story: women's brains - What I learn

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