9780553102284 / 0553102281

Just Like a Woman: How Gender Science is Redefining What Makes Us Female


3.71 avg rating14 ratings by GoodReads

Publisher:Bantam, 1999



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About the book:

Throw out the Stereotypes!

Just like a woman! The very phrase is a put-down, echoing the long-entrenched stereotypes of what it means to be female.  From earliest recorded history, women have been cast in terms of males: lesser versions that are frailer, smaller, dimmer, less competent, defective.  Never again.  This lively, meticulously documented book turns the dismissive old catchphrase inside out.

It is only in the past few years that researchers in many fields have actively focused on what being female really means.  Their startling conclusion: almost every assumption made about women--physical, medical, historical, psychological--turns out to be untested, unproven, or untrue.  Rather than classifying women only by their biology (as the medical establishment has), or denying they are biological creatures (as some feminists have), Just Like a Woman presents the cutting-edge findings in anthropology, physiology, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and medicine that are redefining what a woman is.

These findings reveal the complex interconnections between all aspects of a woman's life from infancy to old age.  Gender science is confirming that the female of the species is not the second sex but the separate sex.  She is as powerful as the male but with different strengths: intuitiveness, adaptability, durability, sensitivity, sensuality.  Her brain is smaller but more densely packed with neurons, her senses of smell and hearing more acute, her core body temperature higher.  She processes emotions and perceives pain differently; she sleeps more lightly; she is more vulnerable to certain mental disorders and more resistant to others; her body reacts differently from a man's to many medications; and the rhythms of her monthly cycles shape not only her fertility but her mood, her creativity, and her resilience.  These are only some of the special aspects spelled out in this book, and all of them are crucial to a woman's understanding of her body, her mind, her spirit, and her relationships with those she loves.  From conception on, she is female to the core.

This stereotype-shattering book lays out what it means to live in a woman's body, think with a woman's brain, drink in the world with a woman's senses, and react with a woman's sensibility to the stresses and elations of her multiple roles.  Refreshingly free of ideology, Just Like a Woman offers a stunningly liberating message that expands our concept of human potential and will forever change the way every woman views herself.

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