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Download Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences Audiobook

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Coming Soon! The audiobook will be available for pre-order on June 10, 2017.Check back on that date to pre-order this title for the Jul 1, 2017 release!
Available for pre-order on: June 10, 2017

Are boys and girls really that different? Doctors and researchers didn’t think so twenty years ago. Back then, most experts believed that behavioral differences in girls and boys were mainly due to differences in how they were treated by their parents, teachers, and friends.

It’s hard to cling to that belief today. An avalanche of research over the past two decades has shown that sex differences are more significant and profound than anybody guessed. Sex differences are real, biologically programmed, and important to how children are raised, disciplined, and educated.

In Why Gender Matters, psychologist and family physician Dr. Leonard Sax leads parents through the mystifying world of gender differences by explaining the biologically different ways in which children think, feel, and act. He addresses a host of issues, including discipline, learning, risk taking, aggression, sex, and drugs, and shows how boys and girls react in predictable ways to different situations.

For example, girls are born with more sensitive hearing than boys, and those differences increase as kids grow up. So when a grown man speaks to a girl in what he thinks is a normal voice, she may hear it as yelling. Conversely, boys who appear to be inattentive in class may just be sitting too far away to hear the teacher—especially if the teacher is female.

Likewise, negative emotions are seated in an ancient structure of the brain called the amygdala. Girls develop an early connection between this area and the cerebral cortex, enabling them to talk about their feelings. In boys these links develop later. So if you ask a troubled adolescent boy to tell you what his feelings are, he often literally cannot say.

Dr. Sax offers fresh approaches to disciplining children, as well as gender-specific ways to help girls and boys avoid drugs and early sexual activity. He wants parents to understand hardwired differences in children, but he also encourages them to push beyond gender-based stereotypes.

A leading proponent of single-sex education, Dr. Sax points out specific instances where keeping boys and girls separate in the classroom has yielded striking educational, social, and interpersonal benefits. Despite the view of many educators and experts on child-rearing that sex differences should be ignored or overcome, parents and teachers would do better to recognize, understand, and make use of the biological differences that make a girl a girl and a boy a boy.

Now updated to include new research on vision, hearing and math instruction.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle—convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don’t become limitations.”


  • “Convincing…Psychologist and family physician Leonard Sax, using twenty years of published research, offers a guide to the growing mountain of evidence that girls and boys really are different…This extremely readable book also includes shrewd advice on discipline, and on helping youngsters avoid drugs and early sexual activity. Sax’s findings, insights, and provocative point of view should be of interest and help to many parents.”

    New York Post

  • Why Gender Matters is an instructive handbook for parents and teachers…to create ways to cope with the differences between boys and girls.”

    Boston Globe

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