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Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story

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Uploaded by RRI Tools on 17 August 2018

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story. Angela Saini. 2017. Published by Beacon Press in the United States and Fourth Estate Books in the United Kingdom

In Inferior, journalist Angela Saini "paints a disturbing picture of just how deeply sexist notions have been woven into the fabric of scientific research". Saini "discovers that many of society’s traditional beliefs about women are built on shaky ground". She also relaunches the critique that the studies from Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues carry on Darwin's "idea that man and woman...evolved to meet their roles of hunter and gatherer, respectively."

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What science has gotten so shamefully wrong about women and the fight, by both female and male scientists, to rewrite what we thought we knew.

For hundreds of years, it was common sense: Women were the inferior sex. Their bodies were weaker, their minds feebler, their role subservient. No less a scientist than Charles Darwin asserted that women were at a lower stage of evolution, and for decades scientists - most of them male, of course - claimed to find evidence to support this.

Whether looking at intelligence or emotion, cognition or behavior, science has continued to tell us that men and women are fundamentally different. Biologists claim that women are better suited to raising families or are, more gently, uniquely empathetic. Men, on the other hand, continue to be described as excelling at tasks that require logic, spatial reasoning, and motor skills. But a huge wave of research is now revealing an alternative version of what we thought we knew. The new woman revealed by this scientific data is as strong, strategic, and smart as anyone else.

In Inferior, acclaimed science writer Angela Saini weaves together a fascinating - and sorely necessary - new science of women. As Saini takes listeners on a journey to uncover science's failure to understand women, she finds that we're still living with the legacy of an establishment that's just beginning to recover from centuries of entrenched exclusion and prejudice. Sexist assumptions are stubbornly persistent: even in recent years, researchers have insisted that women are choosy and monogamous while men are naturally promiscuous or that the way men's and women's brains are wired confirms long-discredited gender stereotypes.

As Saini reveals, however, groundbreaking research is finally rediscovering women's bodies and minds. Inferior investigates the gender wars in biology, psychology, and anthropology and delves into cutting-edge scientific studies to uncover a fascinating new portrait of women's brains, bodies, and role in human evolution.

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Here are a handful of the reviews:

Saini has a genuine talent for describing science” - The Sunday Times

...an eye-opening survey of scientists in today’s India... Engagingly written and remarkably objective... First-rate [as] reportage” - The Independent

Geek Nation comes as a breath of fresh air. It’s a combination of substance and style” - The Hindu

Saini’s engaging narrative takes readers through India’s colorful streets and gives a face to the problems” - Publisher’s Weekly

Saini’s vivid portrait of hi-tech India reveals a country in a hurry” - Financial Times

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