The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live

Front Cover
Macmillan, May 8, 2002 - Psychology - 290 pages
1 Review
A groundbreaking work that reveals how the instinct to "tend and befriend" is vital for human society.

In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the "fight or flight" response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that hardwired in females -- both humans and those of other species -- is an instinct that can transcend "fight or flight." Their "tend and befriend" response is not only demonstrable but, as Taylor deftly explains in this eye-opening work, a key ingredient in human social life.

With great skill and insight, Taylor examines stress, relationships, and human society through the special lens of women's biology. She draws on genetics, evolutionary psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to show how this tending process begins virtually at the moment of conception and literally crafts the biology of offspring through genes that rely on caregiving for their expression. Taylor also examines what drives women to seek each other's company, and to tend to the young and the infirm -- acts that greatly benefit the group but often at great cost to the individual.

In the tradition of works such as Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence and Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct, Taylor's book will forever change the way we view ourselves, and will revolutionize our understanding of the role of women and nurturing in maintaining a stable society.
 

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The tending instinct: how nurturing is essential for who we are and how we live

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Sure, there's "fight or flight," but, argues psychologist Taylor, women also have an instinct for "tend and befriend"Da deeply ingrained trait that benefits society. ... Read full review

Review: The Tending Instinct: Women, Men, and the Biology of Relationships

User Review  - Jeanie - Goodreads

I learned some things about gender differences that have helped me understand relationships better. This was Nancy Stockwell's book club pick. Read full review

Contents

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Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Shelley E. Taylor is a professor of psychology at UCLA. A world-renowned expert on stress and health, Taylor is the author of more than 200 scientific papers. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award in Health Psychology, the Donald Campbell Award in Social Psychology, Yale University's Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, and the prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association. Taylor lives in Los Angeles.

Bibliographic information