From library

Fine’s actual hypothesis is that gender behaviour is learned rather than "hard wired" and that, even if someone tries to raise their child gender-neutrally, there is always socialisation happening and "leaks" of implicit beliefs around gender, often differing remarkably from explicit stated beliefs, will get through.  This is fine, and interesting, and there are some good examples from the literature about how children construct the world along gender related lines.  Unfortunately, she spends a great deal of the book working hard at debunking the proponents of "hard wired" gender differences, their (admittedly flawed) experiments and, in particular, those who use neuroimaging in too ham-fisted a way to be of use or scientifically viable.  This makes it all a bit too combative, and risks us missing the interesting final chapters, in which she explains her own ideas and viewpoints. 

Unfortunately, I also took exception to Fine’s rather clumsy attempts at humour and closeness to the reader – rather than making this popular science and attractive, I found it irritating, uneccessary and that it undermined the serious intent of the text. I’ve been annoyed by this propensity in other texts recently too (eg The Tower Menagerie) and resent being talked down to.

So, an interesting idea which is very plausible but could have been perhaps more usefully presented in an academic text, a TV programme or an article.  In trying to fight her battles and being all things to all people, the central interest has, perhaps, been too diluted.

I did find out exactly how fMRI works, though!