“Ironically, unconscious gender bias is now considered such an obstacle to the fair promotion and retention of women that organisations routinely invest considerable time and money in training to reduce it,” Fine writes.
“Yet we vigorously sow the seeds of it in our children from the moment they are born.”
This includes dressing girls and boys in different colours, giving them different toys, and encouraging gender norms in behaviour.
Of course, criticism of the idea men and women are born with essentially different natures has been building in recent decades.
But Fine takes a more detailed approach to debunking this assumption — what she calls “neurosexism” — using neuroscience to unpick arguments that gender is hardwired and can’t be changed.
Her previous book, Delusions of Gender, also challenged the idea of a gendered brain, claiming there was very little data to back up the popular notion which is often used to explain why women are, for example, better at caring and housework and men are more assertive.
In the video immediately below Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson comprehensively debunks – off the top of his head – both unconscious bias (as a predictor of behaviour) and the implicit association test used to measure it.
All credit to Peterson for having the guts to go against the flow.