Why do girls do so increasingly well at school, yet men still dominate senior positions in adult life?In this strikingly thought-provoking and original book, Susan Pinker takes a hard look at how fundamental gender differences play out at school and at work. By comparing the lives of troubled schoolboys who later succeed, with those of high-achieving girls who later opt out, Pinker turns several assumptions upside down: that women and men are biologically equivalent, that intelligence is all it takes to succeed, and that men and women want the same things out of work and life. Drawing on both the experiences of individuals and on scientific research, Pinker walks us through a series of minefields; Are males the more fragile sex? Which sex is happiest at work? Why do some male school drop-outs earn more than the bright, motivated girls who sat beside them at school? What does science tell us about competition? After four decades of women's educational achievements, why do men still outnumber women in corporate law, engineering, and politics? Men and women are not mirror images of each other, Pinker argues, and discrimination is not the only reason for the persistent gender gap. As entertaining as it is provocative and enlightening, The Sexual Paradox reveals how fundamental sex differences influence male and female ambition and career choices, and lend new meaning to the phrase `the opposite sex'. 'The Sexual Paradox highlights some central puzzles about exceptional men and women. Why did Cavendish, Faraday, Darwin and Bill Gates never complete their degrees? And why do high-flying business women not behave like their male counterparts? Susan Pinker's wide-ranging look at the nature of the sexes is a highly readable and welcome contribution to this perennial debate.' Professor Simon Baron-Cohen
Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist and award-winning newspaper columnist who writes about psychology and social science in the Toronto Globe and Mail. She has worked as a clinical psychologist for twenty-five years and has taught at the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. She lives in Montreal with her husband and three children.