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Pink brain, blue brain : how small differences grow into troublesome gaps--and w
Eliot, Lise.
Adult Nonfiction QP81.5 .E45 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Professor of neuroscience at Rosalind Franklin University, Eliot (What's Going On in There?) offers a refreshingly reasonable and reassuring look at recent alarming studies about sex differences in determining the behavior of children. Her levelheaded approach recognizes assertions by the "nature versus nurture" advocates such as Michael Gurian, Leonard Sax, Louann Brizendine-e.g., boys lag behind girls in early development, are more risk taking and spatially adept, while girls are hardwired for verbal communication and feeling empathy-yet underscores how small the differences really are and what parents can do to resist the harmful stereotyping that grows more entrenched over time. 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. Dense, scholarly but accessible, Eliot's work demonstrates a remarkable clarity of purpose. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

There are fads in the social sciences, as in everything else, and the idea that gender differences are innate is currently influential. Eliot (What's Going on in There?), a neuroscientist, takes a middle ground, positing that there are innate differences between boys and girls, but they are small; most differences are due to nurture. Her suggestions are practical and geared toward shaping a well-rounded child (e.g., all children-not just boys-need more breaks for physical activity; parents of boys need to talk to their babies more-research shows that adults talk more to baby girls than boys, a probable explanation for why boys lag in linguistic ability). Verdict This is an important book and highly recommended for parents, teachers, and anyone who works with children. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Mary Ann Hughes, formerly with Neill P.L., Pullman, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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