For centuries, links between biology and behaviour have been mined for ammunition in the gender wars. Western science has often tainted the discussion by skewing the norm toward men so that the biological underpinnings of their weaknesses and strengths are applauded while those of women are denigrated. Sex on the Brain is a chatty, fairly evenhanded report on a broad range of animal and human studies intended to provide insight into hot-button issues such as aggression, nurturing behaviour, infidelity, homosexuality, hormonal drives, and sexual signals. According to one researcher, "We inherit the behaviour essentially of our past." Morning sickness, for example, which steers some women away from strong tastes and smells, may once have protected babies in utero from toxic items. Infidelity is a way for men to ensure genetic immortality. Interestingly, when we deliberately change sex-role behaviour - say men become more nurturing or women more aggressive - our hormones and even our brains respond by changing, too.
Deborah Blum is a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Monkey Wars (1994)
Taschenbuch - Penguin Books
13 x 20 cm