Do Girls and Boys Learn Differently?

In their newest book, The Truth about Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes about Our [...]Children, Caryl Rivers, a College of Communication professor of journalism, and coauthor Rosalind C. Barnett, a Brandeis University women’s studies researcher, offer a vigorous indictment of what they call a “new biological determinism” — the increasingly widespread belief that girls and boys learn differently and should be taught separately.

Rivers and Barnett debunk prevailing beliefs about “pink and blue” brains and the notion that boys are hardwired to excel in math and science while girls are better at verbal skills. While they concede that boys and girls differ in more than the obvious ways, they also point to major new studies concluding there is little evidence of sex differences in children’s brains.

“Gender [in the classroom] is really irrelevant,” Rivers says. “What really matters in the classroom is parent involvement, teacher quality, class size, and of course, social class.”

The pair’s earlier book, Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children, and Our Jobs, also addressed gender myths. They promoted their book at the Barnes and Noble at BU.

Hosted by Barnes and Noble at BU on October 6, 2011.

Tags: stereotypes, brain, children, caryl rivers, rosalind barnett, gender myths

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