Cordelia Fine

Testosterone Rex

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What the judges said: 'Every man and woman should read this book on gender bias … an important, yet wickedly witty, book.' 

'Fine's entertaining and thoughtful book is a valuable addition to the discussion about gender.' Ian Critchley, Sunday Times

 'In addition to being hopeful, Fine is also angry. We should all be angry. Testosterone Rex is a debunking rumble that ought to inspire a roar.' Guardian

'A densely packed, spirited book, with an unusual combination of academic rigour and readability… The expression “essential reading for everyone” is usually untrue as well as a cliché, but if there were a book deserving of that description this might just be it.' Antonia Macaro, Financial Times

Testosterone Rex is the powerful myth that squashes hopes of sex equality by telling us that men and women have evolved different natures. Fixed in an ancestral past that rewarded competitive men and caring women, these differences are supposedly re-created in each generation by sex hormones and male and female brains.

Testosterone, so we’re told, is the very essence of masculinity, and biological sex is a fundamental force in our development. Not so, says psychologist Cordelia Fine, who shows, with wit and panache, that sex doesn’t create male and female natures. Instead, sex, hormones, culture and evolution work together in ways that make past and present gender dynamics only a serving suggestion for the future – not a recipe.

Testosterone Rex brings together evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience and social history to move beyond old ‘nature versus nurture’ debates, and to explain why it’s time to unmake the tyrannical myth of Testosterone Rex.

For fans of Fine – whose Delusions of Gender ‘could have far-reaching consequences as significant as The Female Eunuch’ (Viv Groskop, Guardian) – and thousands of new readers, this is an upbeat, timely and important contribution to the debate about gender in society.
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348 printed pages
Original publication


Caleb González
Caleb Gonzálezshared an impression5 months ago
👍Worth reading
💡Learnt A Lot


Caleb González
Caleb Gonzálezhas quoted5 months ago
If status-seeking is shown to be an adaptation for male reproductive success, we have finally located the biological reason for the much lower status achieved by women. Let’s leave the men to pursue status while the women devote themselves to the important business of staying young.
tssrsthas quoted2 years ago
‘I was amazed
Tatiana Burykhina
Tatiana Burykhinahas quoted2 years ago
Indeed, as the number of studies reporting sex differences in the brain pile up, the argument that sexual selection has created two kinds of human brain—male and female—seems to get stronger and stronger

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