Loading Events

Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds

July 25, 5:00 pm - August 9, 5:00 pm, All branches,

Dr Cordelia Fine Speaking Tour

Testosterone Rex is the powerful myth that squashes hopes of sex equality by telling us that men and women have evolved different natures. Fixed in an ancestral past that rewarded competitive men and caring women, these differences are supposedly re-created in each generation by sex hormones and male and female brains. Testosterone, so we’re told, is the very essence of masculinity, and biological sex is a fundamental force in our development.

This presentation – drawing on the latest scientific research in an accessible way – will show how science has been unmaking the myth of Testosterone Rex, and how sex, hormones, culture and evolution work together in ways that make past and present gender dynamics only a serving suggestion for the future – and not a recipe.

Selected advance praise for Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the myths of our gendered minds

Cordelia Fine has done it again: she debunked the idea of a female brain in Delusions of Gender and has now slain Testosterone Rex. This is obligatory reading for anyone interested in gender equality at work or home – your views on sex differences will never be the same. —Catherine Fox, journalist and author of Seven Myths About Women at Work

‘There aren’t many psychologists out there writing books that make me laugh out loud and want to stay up late reading, but Cordelia Fine does the trick. With Testosterone Rex, Fine brings her signature irreverence and meticulous research to such old chestnuts as the obvious evolutionary benefits of promiscuity for males, women’s natural risk aversion (note: childbirth is about twenty times more likely to be fatal than is skydiving), and of course the idea that testosterone caused the Great Crash of 2008. Read this book because it’s fun, but also because it’s a great antidote to lazy thinking and entrenched sexism.’— Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, author of Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Difference

‘The delusion that there are distinct and unique male and female natures, put in place by an unholy alliance of genes, hormones and neurones, remains alive and well. Cordelia Fine dismantles this myth with style, wit and scientific precision. This combination of scientific responsibility and general accessibility is desperately needed if we are to escape the serious social damage caused by such widely disseminated pseudoscience.’— John Dupré, Professor and Director of Egenis, Centre for the Study of Life Sciences, University of Exeter.


25 July – 6.30pm to 8.00pm
Mentone Girls’ Grammar School

26 July – 5.30pm to 7.00pm
St Peter’s Girls’ School

27 July – 5.30pm to 7.00pm
St Michael’s Collegiate

1 August – 5.30pm to 7.00pm
Perth College

3 August – 5.30pm to 7.00pm
St Cuthbert’s College

8 August – 6.30pm to 8.00pm
Santa Sabina College

9 August – 5.00pm to 6.30pm
St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School

Tickets strictly limited, register here to secure your place

About Dr Cordelia Fine

Dr Cordelia Fine is an academic psychologist and writer.

She has been described as “that rare academic who’s also an excellent writer” (Library Journal), a “cognitive neuroscientist with a sharp sense of humour and an intelligent sense of reality” (The Times), “a brilliant feminist critic of the neurosciences” (Times HES), “a science writer to watch”(Metro) and a Myth Busting Hero (CARE).

Cordelia’s book, Delusions of Gender was short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Best Book of Ideas Prize 2011, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2010 and the biannual international cross-genre Warwick Prize 2013. She is a regular contributor to the popular media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Monthly and New Statesman. She is also the author of A Mind of Its Own, and wrote the introduction for the Britannica Guide to the Brain. Cordelia’s latest book, Testosterone Rex has been described as a “fascinating, greatly contemplative discussion of sex and gender and the embedded societal expectations of both” (Kirkus Reviews), and will be published in 2017.

Cordelia studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University, followed by an M.Phil in Criminology at Cambridge University. She was awarded a Ph.D in Psychology from University College London. Between 2002 to 2011 she held research positions at Monash University, the Australian National University, and Macquarie University, and then was an ARC Future Fellow from 2012-2016 with the University of Melbourne.

She is currently an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Business School, and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Cancellation Policy

Event Location


All branches

Event Navigation