Reviews Book

The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 03 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:57
  1. Iain McClure, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist (
  1. Vale of Leven Hospital, Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire

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    Simon Baron-Cohen

    Allen Lane, £16.99, pp 263 ISBN 0713996714

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    Men and women have different brains. This notion has been the subject of increasing scientific analysis, media interest, and pulp psychology of the “men are from…” variety. Now, Simon Baron-Cohen (professor of psychology at Cambridge University) has drawn on 20 years of clinical and academic experience and attempted to summarise the research on this subject—an impressive proportion of which is his own—and its implications for the future.

    Baron-Cohen argues that there are three kinds of normal human brain: “empathising” (type E), “systemising” (type …

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