Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine
Myths of Sex, Science, and Society

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The indomitable Fine amasses evidence, addresses objections and accumulates footnotes at such a brisk pace that the panting reader wishes at times for a water break. There’s no doubt, however, that such tireless energy is just what’s needed to slay a monster of this gargantuan size and this determined tenacity.
-NY Times

Synopsis

“Goodbye, beliefs in sex differences disguised as evolutionary facts. Welcome the dragon slayer: Cordelia Fine wittily but meticulously lays bare the irrational arguments that we use to justify gender politics.”―Uta Frith, emeritus professor of cognitive development, University College London

Many people believe that, at its core, biological sex is a fundamental, diverging force in human development. According to this overly familiar story, differences between the sexes are shaped by past evolutionary pressures―women are more cautious and parenting-focused, while men seek status to attract more mates. In each succeeding generation, sex hormones and male and female brains are thought to continue to reinforce these unbreachable distinctions, making for entrenched inequalities in modern society.

In Testosterone Rex, psychologist Cordelia Fine wittily explains why past and present sex roles are only serving suggestions for the future, revealing a much more dynamic situation through an entertaining and well-documented exploration of the latest research that draws on evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy. She uses stories from daily life, scientific research, and common sense to break through the din of cultural assumptions. Testosterone, for instance, is not the potent hormonal essence of masculinity; the presumed, built-in preferences of each sex, from toys to financial risk taking, are turned on their heads.

Moving beyond the old “nature versus nurture” debates, Testosterone Rex disproves ingrained myths and calls for a more equal society based on both sexes’ full, human potential.

 

About Cordelia Fine

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Cordelia Fine, the author of A Mind of Its Own and Delusions of Gender, is a research associate at the Centre for Agency, Values and Ethics at Macquarie University and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne's Department of Psychology. She lives in Victoria, Australia.
 
Published January 24, 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company. 272 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Testosterone Rex
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by ANNIE MURPHY PAUL on Feb 23 2017

The indomitable Fine amasses evidence, addresses objections and accumulates footnotes at such a brisk pace that the panting reader wishes at times for a water break. There’s no doubt, however, that such tireless energy is just what’s needed to slay a monster of this gargantuan size and this determined tenacity.

Read Full Review of Testosterone Rex: Myths of Se... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Economist

Above average
on Apr 01 2017

Despite this, Ms Fine’s is a provocative and often fascinating book. Armed with an array of studies on everything from rats to humans, she shows that adaptive traits can take different forms depending on the circumstances, and nothing is fixed.

Read Full Review of Testosterone Rex: Myths of Se... | See more reviews from The Economist

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