The Essential Difference

The science behind Mars and Venus. We all appreciate that there are differences in the typical psychology of men and women. Yet underlying these subtle differences, Simon Baron-Cohen believes, there is one essential difference, and it affects everything we do: Men have a tendency to analyze and construct systems while women are inclined to empathize. With fresh evidence for these claims, Baron-Cohen explores how these sex differences arise more from biological than cultural causes and shows us how each brain type contributes in various ways to what we think of as intelligence. Emphasizing that not all men have the typically male brain, which he calls Type S, and not all women have the typically female brain (Type E ), Baron-Cohen explores the cutting-edge research that illuminates our individual differences and explains why a truly balanced brain is so rare. Filled with surprising and illuminating case studies, many from Baron-Cohen's own clinical practice, The Essential Difference moves beyond the stereotypes to elucidate over twenty years of groundbreaking research. From gossip to aggression, Baron-Cohen dissects each brain type and even presents a new theory that autism (as well as its close relative, Asperger's syndrome) can be understood as an extreme form of the male brain. Smart and engaging, this is the thinking person's guide to gender difference, a book that promises to change the conversation about-and between-men and women.