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adrw // Andrew Alexander

Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps: How we're different and what to do about it

Books, Author(Allan and Barbara Pease)1 min read

1998 | Allan and Barbara Pease

Fraught with many currently unacceptable statements derived from gender biology and brain research, this book came surprisingly recommended from my Grandpa.

Recommended by a friend, he scoffed and brushed it off as another useless book on relationships. But the next time he saw his friend, the friend asked whether Grandpa had read it yet, Grandpa hadn't. Grandpa resolved to get the stupid book so he could read the first 3 chapters, enough so he could criticize the book intelligently.

To Grandpa's, and our, surprise, he couldn't put the book down. Written humorously and not academically, the easy to read book had Grandpa laughing and Grandma soon asking what was so funny. Once he was finished reading it, she picked it up and was equally impressed with the book that finally explained so many things about men and women she had noticed through the years but hadn't put into words.

Grandpa seemed to also have a better understanding and acceptance for gender differences.

Grandpa since has bought almost a dozen copies and handed them off to friends and family, often pulling up anecdotes and findings from the book in conversation for months after he finished reading it.

Reading it myself, many findings made sense given my experience, growing up and in marriage, and also proved easier to accept the differences of the genders without trying to push for one way or the other to be the "right way".

The book certainly is a great conversation starter since the writing is less of a coherent argument or narrative but instead a collection of hundreds of anecdotes, evolutionaly biology situations, or scientific study summaries collected into semi-related chapters. It's digestible though doesn't leave you with a singular proven hypothesis.

If it did have a hypothesis, it would be "Men and women have gained different skills from a long evolutionary past that remain irremovably engrained even in the present desired egalitarian society. Accepting and understanding these differences promote better outcomes for both genders than trying to belittle one or force both to act and compete in the same way".

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