Book Reviews · Family · Katie's Kooky Thoughts

Why Does Gender Matter? Part 1

As a book-aholic I have had to find healthier ways to collect books when I am limited on space and funds. A friend from Fort Collins told me about this site called Book Bub. Book Bub is a place where you can get cheap to free ebooks. I get a daily email with a list of all the deals from the sites that I read from (amazon, apple, etc). Sometimes there are some really good books, but other times there are real lame ones.  A week or so ago, a book caught my eye. It was $2.00 and I couldn’t resist. I got it off amazon. I started reading it and realized that it was a deeper look into research I did at CSU.  The book is called Why Gender Matters by Dr. Sax.

I’ve been reading it slowly in order to digest it properly. There is a lot of information and I would like to retain as much as possible. I felt like I could break down key parts of the book and share it here in a series of blog posts. I feel like the topic is really important, especially with all the commentary going on about gender being fluid and nothing more than a social construct.

My second semester at CSU started just as I reached my third trimester in my pregnancy. I spent a lot of effort talking to my professors before the semester started to get permission to attend class and accommodations with my pregnancy. One of my very accommodating professors was my sociology professor. She was a nice middle age lady. She was a loud Italian who loved to stand on her soap box and share her opinions as fact, she even had the biased research to back it up. She knew that I had the opposite opinion as her and research to back me up (I’m a research nerd), and we had some good debates. Anyway the second week of class or so, another student was asking me about ultrasound pictures. I pulled out the last ones I had, and began talking about my baby. I told her that during the gender ultrasound, Pea had waved to the camera. It was adorable. The professor overheard and corrected me very abruptly “It is sex, not gender. Gender is fluid, sex is not.” I don’t know if it was the pregnancy hormones or what, but he comment really upset me. It bothered me so much I ended up using the idea for a research project for another class.

In England and Canada two cases of “gender-neutral” parenting have been widely reported (yes, I know there is another one in Colorado, but there isn’t as much press on that one).  The parents have hidden the gender of their (then) babies from everyone. Only the parents change the diapers. The children wear a mishmash of boy and girl clothes and have unisex names. The children made it all the way until kindergarten before gender had to be disclosed. Sometimes the children would wear girl swimsuits, other times they would wear camo and boy clothes. Sometimes a mix of both. However after really looking, it appeared that the mother did have a preference, she pushed the girl stuff on her child more than boy. The child’s choice was not as open as they made it seem.

This raised a ton of questions for me. I began to research what science and biology say about gender. Guess what? Gender is more than just a social construct. Gender begins in the womb. I found many scientists talking about how boys’ brains and girls’ brains are different, but Dr. Sax found more than I ever did.  His book goes into great detail, backing up each statement with a study.

Before I jump into the specifics and details, what do you think are the differences between boys and girls? What makes us different?

Check in  later for the details  (subscribe or follow me on Facebook).

Katie

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