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Halpern's View - Essay Example

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Halpern's View

Through her article “Sex, Brains & Hands: Gender Differences in Cognitive Abilities,” she has explained how the sex differences in cognitive abilities are not just because of ‘sex,’ but are also due to the role of ‘preferred hand’ and socio-cultural factors in development of cognitive abilities. With the help of in depth look at different research studies in psychology, sociology, biology and culture, Halpern has done an excellent job in convincing the reader that the sex differences in cognitive abilities are more a part of social and cultural influence than the ‘sex’. The article is an eye opener as it gives an insight on the truth related to the gender studies and also makes the reader realize that accepting the differences as sex related can prove disastrous for healthy development and progress of females. Hence, it sends a strong message that one should keep away from conclusions based on half true stories in media, and should remember that females can be trained to develop equal abilities as males if they are given equal support and opportunities as males are given in the society. Weaknesses of research studies In her article “Sex, Brains & Hands: Gender Differences in Cognitive Abilities,” Halpern has aimed to make the readers aware about the weaknesses in gender related research studies which try to send a wrong message that females are inferior to men in cognitive abilities. She has used different research studies, its results and its drawbacks, as evidence to explain her point of view. Different aspects of the gender studies which Halpern has used to prove her point are discussed below. Unreliability of tests Halpern has referred to the fact that even though there are various studies showing cognitive differences in males and females, there are also various studies which show no differences. According to Halpern, there are various “tests of verbal, visual-spatial and quantitative abilities that show consistent sex differences” (Halpern 5). However, she also draws the reader’s attention to the fact that there are various other tests that fail to show these differences (Halpern 5). This proves that the sex differences in cognitive abilities are not a consistent. Unfortunately, only those studies which have shown sex differences in cognitive abilities are highlighted by the media for public attention. The studies which have proved that there is no difference were not given any space in media. This created a wrong notion that males are superior to females when it comes to cognitive abilities. Halpern later discusses the similar scenario observed in the field of mathematics. Differences in mathematical abilities To explain the sex differences found in mathematical abilities, Halpern has referred to study by Benbow and her colleagues. While referring to the results of this study, which showed great sex difference in ratios in high mathematics scores, she has highlighted the fact that it was not that “there were no girls in the group” who scored high (Halpern 5). It is just that girls were less in number than boys (Halpern 5). This proves that even girls can attain high scores in mathematics (Halpern 5). Sadly, as it happens always, even this study was highlighted in the media in wrong way. All kinds of media sent a wrong message that only boys are good at mathematics. However, Halpern has ...Show more

Summary

Introduction Gender discrimination and gender bias on the basis of sex differences in cognitive abilities has been a social problem since ancient times. Females have been a victim of discriminatory treatment and lack of opportunities in almost every area of life due to the misconceptions and misunderstandings about their abilities…
Author : broberts
Halperns View essay example
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