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Thomas A. Morton

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 23: An Essential Debate: Science, Politics, Differenceand the Gendered Self

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An Essential Debate: Science, Politics, Differenceand the Gendered Self
An Essential Debate: Science, Politics, Difference and the Gendered Self
Thomas A. Morton
Introduction

‘The Essential Difference’ is the title of a book by Simon Baron-Cohen firstpublished in 2003. In this book, Baron-Cohen summarizes his theory of empathizing and systematizing.In its simplest form, this theory argues that ‘[t]he female brain is predominately hard-wiredfor empathy [and the] male brain is predominately hard-wired for understanding and buildingsystems’ (p. 1). In short, Baron-Cohen offers an account of gender differences in thought andbehavior that rests on fundamental, and internal, differences between men and women. ‘TheEssential Difference’ is also the title of a book edited by Naomi Schor and Elizabeth Weedpublished almost 10 years earlier, in 1994. Schor and Weed’s volume presents a ...

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