This is an important presentation of the “problem” of differences between the male female brain as characterized in Western Civilization. Yes, I have much to say about specific claims made: Pinker makes the case – a description actually, of the “status quo” as a cultural phenomenon which is “rooted in” biology. But – the biology can be interpreted and “applied” in many ways. Men have traditionally done the interpreting – and mislabel their opinions as “truth” which is the wrong word to begin with in a science context.
The problem is, Pinker, as a speaker for the status quo, does not grasp the essential questions. He does not venture outside the western psychological paradigm that “everything human” can be accounted for by the SYSTEM of psychology that has created the Western status quo regarding male – female status. The “division” of all things human into male and female “camps” IGNORES what males and females SHARE as characteristic of Homo sapiens, the species. This intra-species competition is ridiculous! Why would an “intelligent species” divide its wealth of abilities and capabilities into two parts; value one set of those traits and talents (male) as important, but denigrate “the other” set (female) as unimportant. This in itself is idiotic –
A grand accumulation of “studies” does not sum up to be a anything but that – a body of studies which DO NOT QUESTION the assumption that such studies “are interested in truth” to begin with, or represent any serious investigation of male and female contributions to the species as a whole. Our evolution, which has been the product of a “male-female co-operative team” is cast as an adversarial proposition, in stark contrast to our admiration for a male-female co-operative system for survival that is evident in many species. Male-female “contact” beyond mere reproduction in Homo sapiens is ignored, in favor of a “male brain” obsession – that of dominance. This too, is idiotic –
“Our” view (the male is always assumed to be the species exemplar) of “human truth” is highly unbalanced! And it’s not “our truth as a species” if women, and our female brains, are not included.