October 01, 2007

The myth of Mars and Venus

An excerpt from Deborah Cameron's new book, "The Myth of Mars and Venus", was published today in the Guardian ("What Language Barrier?", 10/1/2007). A sample:

The idea that men and women differ fundamentally in the way they use language to communicate is a myth in the everyday sense: a widespread but false belief. But it is also a myth in the sense of being a story people tell in order to explain who they are, where they have come from, and why they live as they do. Whether or not they are "true" in any historical or scientific sense, such stories have consequences in the real world. They shape our beliefs, and so influence our actions. The myth of Mars and Venus is no exception to that rule.

Posted by Mark Liberman at October 1, 2007 10:22 AM