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

Ranging over many species and several scientific disciplines, Geary (psychology, Univ. of Missouri) begins this review and analysis with a lucid discussion of how natural and sexual selection gave rise to the evolution of different male and female reproductive strategies. These influences provide the background for Geary's theoretical and empirical examination of sex differences in patterns of development, mating, and parenting. The last part of the book focuses on biological/psychological mechanisms and local physical/cultural circumstances that interacted to produce the differences between human male and female behaviors. Despite its encyclopedic scope, the work is well integrated through the use of frequent within-chapter previews of topics to be discussed, references across chapters, and thorough chapter summaries. Although the general theoretical perspective of this second edition is the same as that of the first (CH, Sep'99, 37-0325), Geary offers two enhanced applications of evolutionary theory: the first surrounds the pivotal role of sex differences in life histories, i.e., timing of growth, sexual maturation, reproduction; the second, the use of gorillas rather than chimpanzees as a model for inferring the selective pressures that led to the reproductive strategies of human males and females. About 40 percent of the 1,750-plus references were published after the first edition. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. S. I. Perloe emeritus, Haverford College

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