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Leonard Sax

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Name  Leonard Sax

Role  Psychologist
Leonard Sax About Dr Leonard Sax Leonard Sax MD PhD Physician
Education  University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Books  Boys Adrift, Why Gender Matters, Girls on the Edge: The Four Fact, The Collapse of Parenting, Girls on the Edge: The Four Fact

Al roker interviews leonard sax why gender matters

Leonard Sax is an American psychologist and a practicing family physician. He is best known as the author of three books for parents: Boys Adrift, Girls on the Edge, and Why Gender Matters. According to his web site, he is currently employed as a physician at a healthcare facility in Chester County Pennsylvania, where he also resides.


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Sax's views on gender differences have been controversial.

Leonard Sax Leonard Sax YouTube

Leonard sax


Leonard Sax Al Roker interviews Leonard Sax quotWhy Gender Matters

Sax graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1980 with a bachelor's degree in biology. He completed the combined M.D.-Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. His Ph.D. is in psychology. He completed the 3-year residency in family practice at Lancaster General Hospital in 1989. In 1990, he founded Poolesville Family Practice, a primary care practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. He began an extended sabbatical from medical practice in June 2008. In December 2013, he returned to full-time clinical practice as an employee of Lancaster General Health.

Sax's views on gender

Leonard Sax Boys adrift The London Free Press

Sax's work has attracted most attention, positive and negative, for his views on gender. Broadly, he supports the notion of innate differences between the sexes, and advocates parenting children differently based on their gender. A March 7, 2005, cover story for Time Magazine included this statement:

"Until recently, there have been two groups of people: those who argue sex differences are innate and should be embraced and those who insist that they are learned and should be eliminated by changing the environment. Sax is one of the few in the middle -- convinced that boys and girls are innately different and that we must change the environment so differences don't become limitations."

On his web site, Sax says that he wrote Boys Adrift and Girls on the Edge because he is concerned about

"a growing proportion of girls who are anxious, depressed, and tired; girls who can tell you a great deal about what they do but not so much about who they are. Likewise, we find a growing proportion of boys who are disengaged not only from school but from the real world. Those boys are comfortable in the virtual world, where they play their online video games, and/or surf the net for photographs of girls."

Cordelia Fine criticizes Sax's use of brain imaging in her talk that shared its name with her book, Delusions of Gender, at the 2010 Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Why Gender Matters

Mark Liberman, a professor of linguistics and computer science at the University of Pennsylvania, questioned on his blog, Language Log, many of the claims which Sax made in his first book Why Gender Matters. Liberman asserted that there were serious problems with Sax's claims about sex differences in hearing, vision, and connections between emotions and language. Sax wrote to Liberman, and, receiving no reply, in October 2010 on the website of Why Gender Matters, Sax acknowledged that points in his book were "out-of-date or inaccurate" and that his work, which was initially published in 2005, has been clarified by studies published by third parties in 2007 and 2009. He now provides updated references to scholarly papers on these three issues and he "expanded, updated, and corrected" the discussion of sex differences in hearing with a new article, "Sex Differences in Hearing", in October 2010; and the discussion of sex differences in vision is updated in chapter 5 of his book Girls on the Edge.

Conservative opinion columnist David Brooks calls Dr. Sax's first book, Why Gender Matters, "a lucid guide to male and female brain differences."

Boys Adrift

Dr. Sax's second book, Boys Adrift, was reviewed by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in December 2007. According to the review, Boys Adrift is "powerfully and persuasively presented," and provides "excellent and informative references and information." The review concludes that

"Boys Adrift is at its strongest in providing practical advice to parents about how to increase their sons' academic motivation; how to set appropriate limits on video game use; and how to protect their sons from the potential harm of psychotropic medications and environmental estrogens. Boys Adrift is at its weakest in supporting the thesis that there is an epidemic of unmotivated and underachieving young men."

Girls on the Edge

Dr. Sax's third book Girls on the Edge was reviewed by Library Journal which called the book ". . .essential reading for parents and teachers, and one of the most thought-provoking books on teen development available.” Mark Bauerlein, professor at Emory University, reviewed Girls on the Edge for the Chronicle of Higher Education and called it "crucial" and said that "Parents of tween and teen girls would do well to check this book." Booklist called Girls on the Edge "persuasive, often fascinating . . .a holistic, sobering call to help the current generation of young women develop the support and sense of self that will allow them to grow into resilient adults.” According to a January 2011 review in the Atlantic magazine, Girls on the Edge is ". . .the best book about the current state of girls and young women in America."

Single-Sex Education Advocacy

Sax's advocacy of single-sex public education has also attracted criticism. In 2008, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy piece written by freelancer Elizabeth Weil, about half of which is about Sax (the other half is about single-sex education at, for example, the Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem, New York City). The article asserts that "many academics and progressives tend to find Sax’s views stereotyped and infuriating". The article cites criticism by Michael Younger of the University of Cambridge as well as by Liberman. Sax responded on the NASSPE website that Weil's article is "awash in misrepresentations and distortions".

Sax' advocacy of single-sex education was also criticized in an article "The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling" by Diane F. Halpern and others.


Leonard Sax Wikipedia