Popular assumptions about gender and communication - famously summed up in the title of the massively influential 1992 bestseller Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus - can have unforeseen but far-reaching consequences in many spheres of life, from attitudes to the phenomenon of 'date-rape' to expectations of achievement at school, and potential discrimination in the work-place. In this wide-ranging and thoroughly readable book, Deborah Cameron, Rupert Murdoch Professor of Language and Communication at Oxford University and author of a number of leading texts in the field of language and gender studies, draws on over 30 years of scientific research to explain what we really know and to demonstrate how this is often very different from the accounts we are familiar with from recent popular writing.Ambitious in scope and exceptionally accessible, The Myth of Mars and Venus tells it like it is: widely accepted attitudes from the past and from other cultures are at heart related to assumptions about language and the place of men and women in society; and there is as much similarity and variation within each gender as between men and women, often associated with social roles and relationships.
"In this wonderfully refreshing new book, Cameron precisely reviews myths and candidly points out, that they are myths. Her work here is a brilliantly detailed review of where and when different and incompatible stories are made it fit our culture." --Feminist Review
1. Myths, and why they matter; 2. A time and a place: putting myths in their cultural context; 3. Partial truths: why difference is not the whole story; 4. A world of difference? Mars and Venus in childhood and adolescence; 5. Cross purposes: the myth of male-female misunderstanding; 6. Back to nature: brains, genes, and evolution; 7. Public speaking: Mars and Venus in politics and the workplace; 8. Doing what comes culturally: identity and style; 9. Beyond Mars and Venus; Notes; Index