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Male Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences [Hardcover]

3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 47.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Nov. 23 2009 1433806827 978-1433806827 2
Why do girls tend to earn better grades in school than boys? Why are men still far more likely than women to earn degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? And why are men on average more likely to be injured in accidents and fights than women? These and many other questions are the subject of both informal investigation in the media and formal investigation in academic and scientific circles. In his landmark book Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, author David Geary provided the first comprehensive evolutionary model to explain human sex differences. Using the principles of sexual selection such as female choice and male-male competition, the author systematically reviewed and discussed the evolution of sex differences and their expression throughout the animal kingdom, as a means of not just describing but explaining the same process in Homo sapiens. Now, over ten years since the first edition, Geary has completed a massive update, expansion and theoretical revision of his classic text. New findings in brain and genetic research inform a wealth of new material, including a new chapter on sex differences in patterns of life history development; expanded coverage of genetic research (e.g. DNA finger printing to determine paternity as related to male-male competition in primates); fatherhood in humans; cross-cultural patterns of sex differences in choosing and competing for mates; and genetic, hormonal, and socio-cultural influences on the expression of sex differences. Finally, through his motivation to control framework (introduced in the first edition and expanded in The Origin of Mind, 2005), Geary presents a theoretical bridge linking parenting, mate choices, and competition, with children's development and sex differences in brain and cognition. The result is an even better book than the original--a lively and nuanced application of Darwin's insight to help explain our heritage and our place in the natural world.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely thorough and detailed book March 25 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dave Geary has written a 500+ page book on the differences between men and women from an evolutionary perspective. This is a massive body of work, and it includes over one hundred pages of references! That's 20% of the book! The book is broken down into thirteen chapters:

Chapters 1-5 deal with the basics of evolutionary theory, explaining Natural and Sexual selection, life history, and primate evolution. It's a fairly thorough review, certainly enough to give a strong context to the remainder of the book. The idea is that being animals ourselves, we can use biological theories and cross-species comparisons to shed light on our own behavior. So it's crucial to understand those theories and comparisons prior to moving on to humans.

The remaining chapters focus on human sex differences, including: fatherhood (Chapter 6), choosing & competing for mates (Chapters 7&8), child development (Chapters 9&10), and human thought/cognition (Chapters 11-13). These chapters vary in length, tending to get shorter as the book goes on. This is in part due to overlap with previous chapters. A chapter on perceptual differences doesn't have to re-explain childhood differences or sex-related behaviors that were already discussed. The book ends with an afterword that tackles some modern sex differences, including math skills, eating disorders, and general intelligence. These are relatively controversial issues, but Geary deals with them fairly.

Overall, this book is superb. As someone who does some research in the area (and yes, I'm including briefly in the 100+ pages of references), I was pleasantly surprised to come across new and interesting facts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Ever wonder why older men are considered attractive (like Harrison Ford and Sean Connery, but rarely older women?
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder when it comes to physical attraction in dating, or is beauty something we can all agree upon?
Why are males more physically aggresive than females? Why are women more involved with the caretaking of children than men?
Is there evidence that gender differences emerge before socialization can occur such as in infancy?
Dr. Geary attempts to explain gender differences from an evolutionary framework by integrating compelling evidence from many social fields such as anthropology, psychology, and sociobiology. Unlike the watered down "Mars and Venus" books, this book is scholarly and offers scientific evidence to support the claims. A must read for any serious student or scholar of the social sciences.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, concise, convincing Aug. 12 2002
By WalkerI
This an extremely comprehensive book. With a bibliography bigger than some books, no one can say that Mr. Geary hasn't done his homework. His ability to distill a vast amount of information into a comprehensible, concise and compelling theory of the reasons for gender differences is remarkable. His writing style, although academicly oriented, is very readable. No words are wasted, and no thoughts are half-baked. Agree with him or not, his arguments are well concieved and well documented. A virtual one stop shop for all the documented differences between the sexes. A great book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Professor Geary provides the most thorough discussion and explanation of gender differences I have ever read. His descriptions make sense in terms of my personal experiences and his theory and explanations are compelling. This is a must read for anyone who wants to really understand gender differences.
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