Gender, Nature, and Nurture

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Taylor & Francis Group, 2002 - Nature - 286 pages
1 Review
Written by one of the foremost authorities in the field, this engaging text presents the latest scientific findings on gender differences, similarities, and variations--in sexuality, cognitive abilities, occupational preferences, personality, and social behaviors, such as aggression. The impact of nature and nurture on gender is examined from the perspectives of genetics, molecular biology, evolutionary theory, neuroanatomy, anthropology, sociology, and psychology. The result is a balanced, fair-minded synthesis of diverse points of view. Dr. Lippa's text sympathetically summarizes each side of the nature-nurture debate, and in a witty imagined conversation between a personified "nature" and "nurture," he identifies weaknesses in the arguments offered by both sides. His kaleidoscopic review defines gender, summarizes research on gender differences, examines the nature of masculinity and femininity, describes theories of gender, and presents a "cascade model," which argues that nature and nurture constitute the inseparable threads that weave together to form the complex tapestry known as gender.

Gender, Nature, and Nurtureapplies the nature-nurture debate to such topical public policy questions as:
*Should girls and boys be reared alike?
*Should schools treat girls and boys alike, and is same-sex education beneficial or harmful to children?
*Should mothers be granted custody of young children more often than fathers?
*Is sexual violence a uniquely male problem that stems, in part, from biological roots?
*Should corporations treat male and female employees differently?
*Why is there a "gender gap" in political attitudes, and how can society encourage greater gender equity in leadership positions?
*Should women and men serve equally in the military?

This lively "primer" of gender research is an ideal book for courses on gender studies, the psychology of women or of men, and gender roles. Its wealth of up-to-date scientific information stimulates the professional reader; its accessible style captivates the student reader; and its forthright examination of the relation between scientific debate and public policy fascinates the general reader.

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