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Pink Brain, Blue Brain 02/13/11

cover art

I don't normally read books about gender differences because so much of the so called differences strike me as utter crap. When I saw Pink Brain, Blue Brain by Lise Eliot on display in the new books section of my library I was instantly drawn to the cover. First there are two grumpy toddlers on the cover, a boy in blue and a girl in pink. Secondly there's the subtle message of the title: "Pink Brain" is in baby blue and "Blue Brain" is in bubble gum pink.

Lise Eliot who is an associate professor of neuroscience at the Chicago Medical School at the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science begins by explaining she expected to find measurable differences between male and female brains. Turns out that boy brains and girl brains aren't all that different.

There are too many examples and too many facts to even begin to cover in my short review here. I recommend reading Eliot's editorial on the ASCD Inservice blog and following her blog if you want more detailed information.

The book is full of interesting graphs and statistical analysis. It was refreshing to read a gender studies book that actually mentions the overlap between the genders. At the back of the book is a lengthy bibliography and end notes section.

From my own limited experience parenting one of each, I can tell you my two while obviously different personalities and temperaments are also very similar. Both love the color pink. Both love Hello Kitty. They tend to like the same TV shows and same video games. They of course have their own personal favorites too: my son likes owls and monsters and my daughter likes princesses and cats. So it was nice to read a book that gives parents scientific data that backs up the wide range of likes and dislikes children of both sexes have and share.

Five stars

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Monday, February, 14, 2011 at 11:14:26


This is interesting. Having raised one of each I agree their are similarities but my two have very divergent personalities. Son is a lone wolf perfectionist type and daughter is social, fun and loving. Mine are in their (almost) mid twenties and these personalities rang true from toddler to current. :-) Thanks for the interesting review.

Comment #2: Saturday, February 19, 2011 at 23:06:11


My two have distinct personalities but it's a criss-cross of me and my husband. My son is more like me and my daughter is more like him. But they have many of the same interests (same favorite cartoons, their love of art, favorite books, favorite color).

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