Louann Brizendine

“The Female Brain”, by Louann Brizendine – Book review

The The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine is an interesting book, but it suffers from a few, in my opinion, serious issues:

  • It’s definitively a sexist book. Some section clearly offend the male sensitivity (Yes dear Louann, males can have some sensitivity!). The author describes male sexuality as a “simple hydraulic device” (may be she simply met the wrong men). Can you imagine a man talking about women in a similar way?
  • The author promotes a mechanistic and simplistic view of the human brain. She doesn’t really believe in neuroplasticity, preferring the old school localizationist. According to Louann, whatever is your problem, a few hormones and the usual antidepressant pills can fix it. IMHO humans should not viewed as a simple chemical device, I believe our brains are slightly more complex.
  • The author use of evolution and human history to sustain her theories is very poor and superficial. She describes all sort of silly theories based on the evolution of the human and female brain assuming that human life has always been the same as today. Sorry Louann, our ancestors didn’t go shopping, they didn’t live in suburbia, neither they became grandparents at 50 (the average life was 30-35 for 9% of the human history).
  • Despite the ridiculously long appendix with over 60 pages of bibliographical references, many of her statements are unsubstantiated, poorly documented, and lacking references. She offers her opinions as facts, with an excessive self-confident attitude. A more soft approach and a more open mind attitude would have made this book much more enjoyable.

Despite all those limitations the book is a very rich source of information, ideas.

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