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Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences Hardcover – December 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 397 pages
  • Publisher: Amer Psychological Assn; 1 edition (December 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557985278
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557985279
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,579,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This is a must read for anyone who wants to really understand gender differences.
Nichole Corie
Taking a strictly evolutionary approach to sex differences this book offers a great summary to date (1998) with adequate references to a whole host of research.
W. Jamison
The author gives the reader a clear and explicit sense of the degree of consensus, issue by issue.
Richard B. Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 13, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By WalkerI on August 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure at first, but after reading this book I was convinced that human sex differences are related to sexual selection. In all, this was the most interesting and thoughtful book that I have ever read on sex differences.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on December 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
When it comes to human beings, the differences between males and females is not restricted to just their biological 'plumbing'. All of us have observed gender differences and distinctions with respect to emotional maturation, communication, problem solving predilections, and more. Even when taking into account culturally imposed gender roles and expectations, there is an underlying difference in how males and females perceive and interact with the world and people around them. Now in a significantly updated and expanded second edition, "Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences" by David C. Geary (Curators' Profess and Thomas Jefferson Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri) provides a comprehensive introduction to the biological basis for gender-based differences between males and females and the biological basis of natural selection and sexual selection upon which this evolution is founded. Of special note are the chapters addressing the germane issues as sex differences in infancy and in social development. Enhanced with extensive reference citations and a comprehensive index, "Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences" is an accessible and thoroughly 'reader friendly' text, making it very highly recommended for both academic and community Human Sexuality and Psychology reference collections.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ben Winegard on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the most comprehensive book on sex differences--period. The book is objective, thorough, and fair. Further, it synthesizes everything from children's play to sex differences in STEM fields. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who is interested in the topic of sex differences needs to consult this tome.

It would be unfair of me not to point out that the book is not for the faint of heart. It is long, nuanced, and academically written. Geary's goal is not to popularize the topic (a la David Buss) but rather to summarize and synthesize the subject for scholars and interested lay-people. Thus, it is not bedtime reading. However, the issue of sex differences is so intrinsically interesting that the material is often riveting. Let me put it this way: If you've ever gone to an undergraduate party and wondered why men and women behaved so very differently, I would recommend that you consult this book. You don't have to read the entire work to be enlightened. Find the chapter corresponding to your query and read away.

For scholars or graduate students, I would highly recommend reading Male, Female from cover to cover. This is especially true for those who are either not familiar with evolutionary theory or are convinced that evolutionary arguments are wrong. If you still believe that after consuming this book, I am not sure what to say. For scholars who are too busy to read the book in its entirety, the bibliography is invaluable. It contains over references to vital work in the various fields Geary synthesizes.

It is unfortunate that the last chapter (on how sex differences play out in the modern world) was truncated due to constraints of space. However, other scholars have written about this topic at length and the material in the book should allow you to form your own informed opinion on this issue.

Ben Winegard.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Allan Mazur on May 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Professor Geary uses Darwin's theory of sexual selection to organize and explain a vast empirical literature on behavioral differences between males and females. He cites over 1,500 studies. This is an impressive synthesis.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nichole Corie on December 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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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