Customer Reviews for

The Female Brain

Average Rating 4
( 93 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

If you are a woman and/or love your women...read it!

This insightful book gives us a look into what makes women women. Yes, almost all of our genes are the same, human genes, but the difference between that X and Y chromosomes affects us immensely. It may be confusing to understand, but this book makes it all so much clea...
This insightful book gives us a look into what makes women women. Yes, almost all of our genes are the same, human genes, but the difference between that X and Y chromosomes affects us immensely. It may be confusing to understand, but this book makes it all so much clearer. It shows how the female brain is truly constantly fluctuating. We go through momentous changes at different times in our life, ie. motherhood, that may completely alter our views of the world.

How? Good question. I wondered too, then I read the book.

posted by Iloveme on June 20, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

Very Amusing but no academic value whatsoever

You know an author is out to prove something when she states that she attended Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley within the first page of her book. Furthermore, you know she wants to be taken seriously when she keeps repeating this claim to fame every few pages and also remin...
You know an author is out to prove something when she states that she attended Harvard, Yale, and Berkeley within the first page of her book. Furthermore, you know she wants to be taken seriously when she keeps repeating this claim to fame every few pages and also reminds you of all the thousands of cases she has seen while working at her clinic. What you don't know, however, is why someone who claims to be so experienced relies solely on anonymous studies and personal anecdotes about herself, unidentified friends, and nameless patients (besides one biochemistry professor who was a pole dancer in college) as the basis for generalizations for the behavior of ALL women and men.

Brizendine spends the majority of her book discussing such stories. When she tries to support her claims with scientific data, she is very specific; for instance, a Swiss experiment proved that oxytocin acts as a pleasure stimulant for the brain. Who conducted this experiment? When was it conducted? How many subjects were tested? Such information is conveniently left unmentioned throughout the book in order not to trouble readers' minds with cumbersome facts. Well, if that's the case, then an experiment conducted in NY proved that the brain is actually located in a person's neck and not the head. Brizendine did provide over 70 pages of notes and references, but readers are sure to be able to take the time to match anecdote with reference number when the references are alphabetized without any mention to the chapter they support.

Many of the "facts" this books provides are also very questionable. Men think about sex once a minute while women think about it a maximum of three times per day? Do these chaste women turn on the television, ever? And I'm sure every teenage boy thinks about sex two hundred forty times during the four hours that he spends taking the SAT. (And yet, some boys STILL get perfect scores. They must be great prodigies indeed.) As another example, Brizendine states that women speak an average amount of 20000 words per day while men only speak 7000, a fact that Brizendine obtained from a self-help book written in 1997 called "Talk Language: How to Use Conversation for Profit and Pleasure." I'm sure years of meticulous research were made to prove THAT hypothesis.

Overall, on an academic scale of 1-10, I would give this book a 3. The basic premises of the book is that women and girls seek acceptance and are remarkably intuitive due to possessing low testosterone levels, while men are domineering, aloof, and incapable of reading other people's body language when it does not indicate a direct threat to them. On an entertainment scale, however, I would give it an 8. I had such a great time watching Brizendine try to get me to take her seriously and every few pages evoked quite a few laughs. Some great quotes presented in this literary masterpiece:

"Testosterone has been shown to decrease talking as interest in socializing---except when it involves sports or sexual pursuit."

"Their [adolescent boys'] reluctance to talk to their parents comes out of magical thinking that grown-ups will read between their spoken lines and the look in their eyes and know that the subject of sex has taken them over, mind, body, and soul."

"Activities such as caressing, kissing, hugging, gazing, and orgasm can replenish the chemical bond of love in the brain."

posted by Bookwormforlife on February 20, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2007

    A reviewer

    I'm not a huge fan of this book, and probably few males are. Honestly, it seems like thinly veiled male bashing, and I've read that some of the references cited by the author are questionable. For example, the 20000 female spoken words per day versus 7000 male words per day claim. I'd like to meet the person, ANY person, who on average speaks 20000 words a day. That number seems more than a bit high unless you're an auctioneer, not to mention the supposed 3:1 ratio in words between women and men. Another problem I have with this book is that it uses vague generalities to describe supposedly prototypical women and men, without acknowledging the vast differences in personality and behavior between individuals within each gender. There is also an overemphasis on sex hormones versus neurotransmitters such as serotonin and norepinephrine, where such neurotransmitter systems probably play a prominent role in encoding many of the characteristics the author ascribes to hormones. On the other hand, the author is good at conveying complex subject matter in simple language, and has a pleasing style of writing. I also think she genuinely cares about her patients, and this comes through in her writing. Overall, worth taking a look.

    10 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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