cover image Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender, and the Social Order

Deceptive Distinctions: Sex, Gender, and the Social Order

Cynthia Fuchs Epstein. Yale University Press, $27.5 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-300-04175-0

Research on gender over the last 15 years has brought out the overwhelming similarities between women and men. Yet, as Epstein's meticulous scholarly survey decisively illuminates, male-dominated institutions and ways of thought perpetuate gender inequality by dividing the world into ``masculine'' and ``feminine'' sphereswith supposed male traits being assigned a higher value. A sociology professor at the City University of New York, Epstein ( Woman's Place ) unravels the mechanisms for keeping women subservient in the workplace, the family, politics and everyday life. Women, she insists, participate in the male conspiracy by allowing themselves to be either put on a pedestal or relegated to lower forms of enterprise. In an outstanding synthesis of feminist scholarship, she knocks proponents of fashionable theoriesfeminist psychoanalysts, brainlateralization experts and sociobiologistsas well as the male guardians of establishment thought. (Nov.)