Cover image for Male, female : the evolution of human sex differences
Male, female : the evolution of human sex differences
Geary, David C.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, [1998]

Physical Description:
xii, 397 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Beginnings -- 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.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QP81.5 .G43 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Women aren't from Venus and men aren't from Mars, though we sometimes feel they must be. The differences in behaviour between men and women are constantly remarked upon, yet poorly understood. In this persuasive volume, David Geary argues that the differences between the sexes are best illuminated by Darwin's theory of evolutionary selection. Male, Female shows how one of our most fundamental goals in life - survival through reproduction - is key to understanding such differences as preferred attributes in mates; level of investment in parenting; boys' and girls' play patterns and social interactions; the evolution and development of the mind; and even in rates of violence, mental disorders, academic abilities and occupational interests and achievement.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

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-Homo sapiens primates as well as other mammals, in the presentation of examples to consider in the evolutionary progression to present-day sex differences. Nine chapters describe how selection for sexual differences has occurred over evolutionary history; sexual selection in primates evolutionarily, contemporarily, and in modern society; and developmental and neurological/learning/behavioral sex differences. The book is somewhat sparsely illustrated, with a total of 33 figures and illustrations. That the book is well based in the biomedical and biobehavioral literature is supported by the inclusion of a reference list with more than 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 1990s, 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. L. A. Meserve; Bowling Green State University

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Illustrations
Chapter 1 Beginnings
Chapter 2 Principles and Mechanisms of Sexual Selection
Chapter 3 Sexual Selection in Primates and During Human Evolution
Chapter 4 Paternal Investment
Chapter 5 Sexual Selection in Contemporary Humans
Chapter 6 The Evolution and Development of the Human Mind
Chapter 7 Developmental Sex Differences
Chapter 8 Sex Differences in Brain and Cognition
Chapter 9 Sex Differences in Modern Society
About the Author