Re: [BITS] Sex on the Brain, Deborah Blum

Joseph M. Reagle Jr. (
Mon, 20 Jul 1998 10:41:48 -0400

At 01:09 PM 7/17/98 -0700, 626 wrote:
> A highly recommended collage of science writing on the multifarious
> biological differences between men and women: anthropology,
> endicronology, generic, sociology, &c. Current scientific thinking
> about emotion, intelligence, power, monogamy, and rape. Comparisons to
> many nonhuman species for perspective.

Being an avid reader of these types of topics, I'm about halfway through,
and forcing myself to span the rest. I think your term "collage" is right;
her writing style really does irk me. Its just a huge dump of anecdotes
related to sex/brain without a thesis or argument. When there is argument,
the dialectic is that of her thinking there is some biological basis for
expressed gender characteristics, but no -- don't get her wrong -- she
doesn't feel we are robots, but there is something, but she's a feminist ...

Even though some hate Sagan, I found Broca's Brain a much more compelling
and cogent exposition on the brain. And maybe I've been spoiled by Richard
Dawkin's who really set the bar of science writing amazingly high. But then
again, I recently completely "Gender Trouble" which irked me for a different
reason: overly academic and completely lacking any sense of biological
influence. (Also, the only text beyond RDF that uses "reify" <smile>).

Joseph Reagle E0 D5 B2 05 B6 12 DA 65 BE 4D E3 C1 6A 66 25 4E independent research account