Gender stereotypes have existed since time immemorial; from ‘men can’t multi-task’ and ‘women can’t park’, to men are physically stronger, and women more maternal. Society is slowly changing on the whole – not all girls’ toys now come in pink, thankfully – yet many deeply, often unconsciously held assumptions still persist. Is this because of some unsettling degree of truth, or simply due to the conditioning effect of the patriarchal society we live in? To what extent are men and women really different?
These are the questions that lie at the heart of the award winning British scientist and author, Angela Saini’s, latest book; Inferior – How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story (2017). In it, she carefully examines numerous examples, asking to what degree the evidence matches the theory, or the theory strays from the evidence. Her findings don’t always make for comfortable reading, as Saini admits, yet the overwhelming majority of the book uses robust evidence to humorously demonstrate the extent to which the overlap between the two sexes greatly outweighs any differences.
Hear Saini give a public talk about Inferior and what its findings mean for women at University of Manchester, as part of Wonder Women 2018 and International Women’s Day celebrations. The event promises to be a witty and deeply powerful occasion. Not to be missed.
Saini presents science programmes for BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, and writes for publications including New Scientist, the Guardian, The Times, Wired, Wallpaper, Vogue and GQ.