In the past decade, we've heard a lot about the innate differences between males and females. So we've come to accept that boys can't focus in a classroom and girls are obsessed with relationships: "That's just the way they're built.""" In "Pink Brain Blue Brain," neuroscientist Lise Eliot turns that thinking on its head. Calling on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time, as parents and teachers–and the culture at large–unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Children themselves exacerbate the differences by playing to their modest strengths. They constantly exercise those "ball-throwing" or "doll-cuddling" circuits, rarely straying from their comfort zones. But this, says Eliot, is just what they need to do. And she offers parents and teachers concrete ways to help. Presenting the latest science from birth to puberty, she zeroes in on the precise differences between boys and girls, erasing harmful stereotypes. Boys are not, in fact, "better at math" but at certain kinds of spatial reasoning. Girls are not naturally more empathetic; they're allowed to express their feelings. By appreciating "how" sex differences emerge–rather than assuming them to be fixed biological facts–we can help all children reach their fullest potential, close the troubling gaps between boys and girls, and ultimately end the gender wars that currently divide us.
《粉色大脑，蓝色大脑》（Pink Brain，Blue Brain）的作者、神经学家莱斯·艾略特（Lise Eliot）对一千多名男性和女性的大脑与行为做出研究后认为，男性和女性间大脑的大部分结构没有差异，两性在出生时的行为也几无不同。一岁时，男婴和女婴对洋娃娃的兴趣是相当的；三岁时，他们对真正的婴儿仍保有相似的兴趣。性激素、基因和染色体似乎没有我们想得那么可靠，艾略特的“神经可塑性”（“neur…