Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences
This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase. However, the Second Edition is available.
This book begins with an accessible discussion of how sexual selection operates in animal species such as birds and mammals through male-male competition and female choice of mates. The author then shows how these and related principles operate in primates and how they apparently operated in our hominid ancestors, as demonstrated by fossil records.
At the heart of the book is an extended examination of how sexual selection has influenced human behavior over the centuries and across cultures. Some of the topics covered include
- the preferred attributes of mates and investment in parenting
- the evolution and development of the human mind
- the sex differences between brain and cognition
- the differences in play patterns and social interactions of boys and girls
- the sex differences of men and women in contemporary Western culture (e.g., in rates of violence, mental disorders, academic abilities, and occupational interests and achievement).
The author carefully integrates the most relevant findings from several disciplines, including psychology, biology, evolutionary science, and anthropology and presents his theory in clear, accessible language. Readers will enjoy his lively examples and clear presentation of the many differences between men and women.
List of Figures and Illustrations
- Principles and Mechanisms of Sexual Selection
- Sexual Selection in Primates and During Human Evolution
- Paternal Investment
- Sexual Selection in Contemporary Humans
- The Evolution and Development of the Human Mind
- Developmental Sex Differences
- Sex Differences in Brain and Cognition
- Sex Differences in Modern Society
About the Author
Geary explores the differences between the sexes from a completely evolutionary point of view, using Darwin's The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex as the philosophical benchmark. Geary focuses on human sex differences but appropriately draws from subhuman and pre-Homosapiens primates as well as other mammals, in the presentation of examples to consider in the evolutionary progression to present-day sex differences…That the book is well based in the biomedical and biobehavioral literature is supported by the inclusion of a reference list with more that 1150 entries from well-respected and internationally recognized journals and compendia. That these references are excellent with regard to currency is supported by the considerable proportion of the citations with publication dates in the 1990's, including some from 1998, the copyright of the book itself. The book will serve as a valuable resource to those seeking a "one-stop-shop" for current information in the field. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
—CHOICE, September 1999, vol. 37, no.1
This is simply the best book that has ever been written on the topic of human sex differences. It is comprehensive and scholarly, yet lively and engagingly written. Perhaps most impressive is the unifying theoretical framework, sexual selection, that successfully accounts for the vast array of fascinating sex differences. After reading this book, you may never loot at men and women in the same way again.
—David M. Buss, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Male, Female is an excellent introduction to a new approach to the sexes, one that seeks to explain the differences between women and men rather that just to describe them. The book is coherent, balanced, incisive and well written. It is both an invaluable resource for researchers and a pleasure to read.
—Steven Pinker, PhD, Professor of Psychology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
This book accurately combines biological or evolutionary theory with the vast knowledge of sex differences across nonhuman species and human cultures to produce the most comprehensive and scholarly treatment of human sexual differences to date. Its analysis of human sexual psychological dimorphisms in emotions, development, cognition, cognitive skills, and occupational interest is highly original and shows that the dimorphisms are fully understandable only in light of sex-specific selection in human evolutionary history. This book is a must read for everyone with an interest in scientifically knowing human beings and why boys and girls and men and women are so different psychologically.
—Randy Thornhill, PhD, Professor of Psychology, University of New Mexico