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Psychologist Barnett (Brandeis U. ) and media critic Rivers (Boston U. ) take a closer look at the fad for gender-difference research manifested in "Mars and Venus"-style pop psychology and show how the theoretical assumptions behind such analyses have real, practical, and damaging consequences in the lives of women, men, and children. An emphasis on innate differences between the sexes, they argue, has compromised education, workplace relations, marriages, and friendships. It's power, they find, and not gender that makes the difference; they explore and dismantle a number of commonly accepted notions of biological destiny from math ability to maternal instinct. Barnett and Rivers are also the authors of the 1996 study He Works/She Works. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
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