The Tending Instinct by Shelley E. Taylor
How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live

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Synopsis

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.
 

About Shelley E. Taylor

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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.
 
Published May 8, 2002 by Times Books. 320 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math, Self Help, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Taylor offers an alternative that recognizes and encourages what she sees as essential and instinctive social skills, bonding, and support, arguing strongly that this heretofore ignored aspect of human nature can and should be respected and cultivated for the benefit (and continued survival) of i...

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