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Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story
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Beacon Press 2017
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What science has gotten so shamefully wrong about women, and the fight, by both female and male scientists, to rewrite what we thought we knewFor hundreds of years it was common sense: women were the inferior sex. Their bodies were weaker, their minds feebler, their role subservient. No less a scientist than Charles Darwin asserted that women were at a lower stage of evolution, and for decades, scientists—most of them male, of course—claimed to find evidence to support this.Whether looking at intelligence or emotion, cognition or behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim that women are better suited to raising families or are, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be described as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of research is now revealing an alternative version of what we thought we knew. The new woman revealed by this scientific data is as strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else.In Inferior, acclaimed science writer Angela Saini weaves together a fascinating—and sorely necessary—new science of women. As Saini takes readers on a journey to uncover science's failure to understand women, she finds that we're still living with the legacy of an establishment that's just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice. Sexist assumptions are stubbornly persistent: even in recent years, researchers have insisted that women are choosy and monogamous while men are naturally promiscuous, or that the way men's and women's brains are wired confirms long-discredited gender stereotypes.As Saini reveals, however, groundbreaking research is finally rediscovering women's bodies and minds. Inferior investigates the gender wars in biology, psychology, and anthropology, and delves into cutting-edge scientific studies to uncover a fascinating new portrait of women's brains, bodies, and role in human evolution.
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Street Date:
05/30/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780807071717
ASIN:
B01L5KFW2E
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APA Citation (style guide)

Angela Saini. (2017). Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Beacon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Angela Saini. 2017. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Beacon Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Angela Saini, Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Beacon Press, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Angela Saini. Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story. Beacon Press, 2017. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: Angela Saini is an award-winning science journalist whose print and broadcast work has appeared on the BBC and in the Guardian, New Scientist, Wired, the Economist, and Science. A former Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, she won the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Kavli Science Journalism gold award in 2015. Saini has a master's in engineering from Oxford University, and she is the author of Geek Nation: How Indian Science Is Taking Over the World.
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shortDescription
What science has gotten so shamefully wrong about women, and the fight, by both female and male scientists, to rewrite what we thought we knew
For hundreds of years it was common sense: women were the inferior sex. Their bodies were weaker, their minds feebler, their role subservient. No less a scientist than Charles Darwin asserted that women were at a lower stage of evolution, and for decades, scientists—primarily men—claimed to find evidence to support this.
From intelligence to emotion, cognition to behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim that women are better suited to raising families or, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be described as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of research is now revealing an alternative version of what we thought we knew. The new woman revealed by this scientific...
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title
Inferior
fullDescription
What science has gotten so shamefully wrong about women, and the fight, by both female and male scientists, to rewrite what we thought we knew
For hundreds of years it was common sense: women were the inferior sex. Their bodies were weaker, their minds feebler, their role subservient. No less a scientist than Charles Darwin asserted that women were at a lower stage of evolution, and for decades, scientists—most of them male, of course—claimed to find evidence to support this.
Whether looking at intelligence or emotion, cognition or behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim that women are better suited to raising families or are, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be described as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of research is now revealing an alternative version of what we thought we knew. The new woman revealed by this scientific data is as strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else.
In Inferior, acclaimed science writer Angela Saini weaves together a fascinating—and sorely necessary—new science of women. As Saini takes readers on a journey to uncover science's failure to understand women, she finds that we're still living with the legacy of an establishment that's just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice. Sexist assumptions are stubbornly persistent: even in recent years, researchers have insisted that women are choosy and monogamous while men are naturally promiscuous, or that the way men's and women's brains are wired confirms long-discredited gender stereotypes.
As Saini reveals, however, groundbreaking research is finally rediscovering women's bodies and minds. Inferior investigates the gender wars in biology, psychology, and anthropology, and delves into cutting-edge scientific studies to uncover a fascinating new portrait of women's brains, bodies, and role in human evolution.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "A brilliant approach to a long overlooked topic, Inferior is impossible to ignore and invaluable."
      • premium: False
      • source: Eileen Pollack, author of The Only Woman in the Room
      • content: "The Enlightenment brought revolutions in science, philosophy and art while ushering in respect for human reason over religious faith. But the era also created a narrative about women--that they are intellectually inferior to men. Indeed, science itself is an establishment rooted in exclusion, writes science journalist Saini, citing a long history of unrecognized achievement by women scientists: Lise Meitner, Rosalind Franklin and Emmy Noether, to name a few. The process of science is also riddled with inherent biases that have done nothing to improve society's views of women. Neurosexism, for example, is a term that describes scientific studies that fall back on gender stereotypes. New science and awareness are overturning a great deal of flawed thinking, as Saini shows, but there is still a long way to go."
      • premium: False
      • source: Melvin Konner, author of Women After All
      • content: "In this smart, balanced, and wonderfully readable book, Angela Saini breaks the vicious cycle by which women, having been excluded from the sciences by men who assumed them to be inferior, were judged by those same male scientists to be inferior. Study by study, she objectively reexamines what we think we know about the supposed differences between the sexes. If you have ever been shouted down by a male colleague who insists that science has proven women to be biologically inferior to men, here are the arguments you need to demonstrate that he doesn't know what he is talking about."
      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 15, 2017
        Prepare to be enraged. Journalist Saini dives deeply into gender science to find out why it has always been assumed that women were the weaker, thus the inferior, sex. In this deceptively slim yet exhaustively researched book, she wastes little time on talking tough, instead speaking on the record with male and female scientists, perusing correspondence, describing research, and relating the findings in dozens of historical reports on the female sex dating back to Darwin. Alternately bemused and appalled, Saini hangs in there while discussing how analysis from a study of newborn babies supported the idea that females were more empathetic and males more mechanically minded, how the smaller size of female brains (by five ounces) meant for decades that they were, of course, less intelligent, and how assertions about superior male hunting skills diminished the role of women in the history of human survival. In admirably subtle prose, Saini questions, considers, and refuses to accept traditional generalizations. A brilliant approach to a long overlooked topic, Inferior is impossible to ignore and invaluable.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That's Rewriting the Story
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