Experiments in Knowing

Gender and Method in the Social Sciences

A breakthrough study of gender bias in the social sciences from a leading feminist scholar

“A wonderfully iconoclastic book which will disturb both admirers and critics of social science research.” —Alice Kessler-Harris, Columbia University

Ann Oakley came to widespread attention as part of the new school of British feminists to emerge in the 1960s, and has since earned a reputation as one of the most innovative feminist thinkers and social scientists writing today. In Experiments in Knowing, a major new work, Oakley integrates her personal and professional thinking to examine the historical development of methodology in the social and natural sciences, demonstrating how both fields have been subject to a process of “gendering.” Oakley not only reconciles the long-standing opposition between the quantitative and the qualitative methods but shows that the experimental and intuitive approaches must be used in tandem to provide a full understanding of any subject of scientific inquiry.

Written in accessible language, Experiments in Knowing addresses themes of common interest across such diverse fields as social policy, education, health, and women’s studies. Certain to generate considerable debate, it is both a fascinating history of the practice of social science from a feminist perspective, as well as an argument for a new way of thinking about our ways of knowing.


“[A]larmingly informative. . . . It is excellent reading.”
—Dr. Robert Boruch, University of Pennsylvania

Books by Ann Oakley

The Gift Relationship
From Human Blood to Social Policy

Richard M. Titmuss, Ann Oakley, John Ashton

Who’s Afraid of Feminism?
Seeing through the Backlash

Ann Oakley, Juliet Mitchell

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