The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and how They are Changing the World

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Random House, 1999 - Psychology - 378 pages
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This explosive book will change the way you see yourself, your family, and the world around you, including every man and woman you meet. Drawing on original research, the celebrated anthropologist Helen Fisher reveals in The First Sex how women's natural talents are changing the world, making women ideal leaders and successful shapers of business and society today and on into the twenty-first century.
Through deep evolutionary history, women and men developed different abilities and brain structures. In The First Sex, Fisher explores how women's innate superiorities are particularly well adapted to today's global society. Why is entrepreneurial America increasingly female? Why are many American philanthropic organizations led by women? How are women changing what we watch on television? How are women changing medicine and the law? Why are women better able to juggle many tasks at once--an important talent for today's executive? The answers lie in prehistory. Fisher shows how the special structure of the female brain enables women to do "web thinking" or "synthesis thinking," as compared to men's more linear or "step" thinking, and she shows why this difference in female and male brain structure and thinking creates opportunities, and complications, for women in the business world. With anecdotes and stories, Fisher explores how women's special talents--superior verbal abilities, people savvy, acute senses, healing techniques, and more--are geared to success in medicine, education, communications, law, philanthropy, government, and police work. Changes in society--the growth of the global service and communications economy--are also giving women an advantage: women's uniquetalents are especially needed in our modern age.
The evolution of women's sexual, romantic, and family lives is also explored as Fisher traces the origins in prehistory of the differences between the ways men and women love and bond. She discusses new trends in families, maintaining that if there ever was a time when men and women had the opportunity to make fulfilling marriages, that time is now.
"Like a glacier," Fisher says, "contemporary women are slowly overturning worldwide business and social practices, creating a new economic and social landscape." Provocative and eye-opening, The First Sex will make you think, and will help you understand why people are the way they are--and why, as Fisher says, "tomorrow belongs to women."

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User Review  - Christina_E_Mitchell - LibraryThing

I am not going to say that this book should be passed up. I actually very much enjoy Helen Fisher and her anthropological work the incorporates biology and sociology. This book is simply at bit dated ... Read full review

THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A pat biological rationalization for the purportedly improving position of women under the economic conditions of global capitalism. The future for women seems rosy to Fisher'society has finally ... Read full review



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About the author (1999)

Helen Fisher is an anthropologist at Rutgers University and the author of The Sex Contract: The Evolution of Human Behavior and Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce. For her books, articles, and radio appearances, Dr. Fisher received the American Anthropological Association's Distinguished Service Award in 1985.

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