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Summary

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 recreated 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.

©2017 Cordelia Fine (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about Testosterone Rex

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Strawman rex

The book decisively destroys The "testosterone rex narrative" : that your chromosomes dictate your hormones which determine your behaviour. While the author readily admits that there are consistent patterns of behaviour associated with sex, she goes after the narrative that sex determines everything about you...
But who honestly thinks this way? Does anyone honestly believe that testosterone causes all men to be competitive and the lack of it causes all women to be meek? Does anyone believe that womens biology means they never want causal sex? Does anyone think that if we look at male and female brains we'd be able to see the differences with no medical training? It sounds like I'm being unfair but this book actually pits itself against this ridiculous narrative. What is the point of this book? Did we need a whole book to tell us that sex doesn't 100% determine our behaviours in a simple way?

6 people found this helpful

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  • JR
  • 04-04-18

Interesting content but boring narration

Couldn't get into this as I found the narration very monotonous. A shame because I was really interested in the content.

2 people found this helpful

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Learning we should teach in schools

Cordelia Fine 's work is so important. Instead of simplistic either/ors she gives us deep, nuanced knowledge about sex and gender that undoes all of our assumptions. And she makes it an easy read and funny too. Exceptional.

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Funny and informative

This was a really easy to follow, well researched romp through all the reasons that gender determinism is so deeply flawed

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Thought provoking and highly readable

Having read much evolutionary psychology down the years I'd almost got to the point where I believed the gender issue settled. But Fine has made me think again, largely by her fine grained descriptions of matters which turn out to be more complicated than broad generalisations. Her writing is sharp and witty. Highly recommended.

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Informative and amusing

Well worth a read. Great insights to gender views in the modern world and science. Well written and amusing

1 person found this helpful