Gender Bender: men, women and evolutionary psychologists sets out to show that male and female minds do not emerge from different planets and that our emotional and intellectual capacities are molded more by culture than biology. It argues that many supposedly innate gender differences have, in fact, been invented or exaggerated by academics calling themselves ‘‘evolutionary psychologists’.
It breaks new ground in several areas, offering a fresh take on debates that have raged from university lecture halls to dinner tables. It offers fresh insight on gender roles, through proposing unconventionally wide and flexible definitions of what it is to be masculine and feminine from a firm biological base. This includes parental roles – for example, it is argued that ‘maternal instinct’ is learnt behavior. It challenges several other ideas rooted in conventional wisdom, including: the notion of the ‘male brain’ and ‘female brain’; the idea that men have evolved to be inherently more promiscuous than women and the view that women have evolved to spend more time in front of the mirror than men.
Gavin Evans was born in London but grew up mainly in Cape Town. After a year studying in Texas, he returned to South Africa to become intensely involved in the anti-apartheid struggle in various capacities. Along the way he studied economic history and law before completing a PhD in political studies. He worked as a journalist for several South African newspapers and as a foreign correspondent for a Rome-based news agency.
He returned to London with his wife and first daughter in 1993, initially working as a freelance journalist (for The Guardian, Esquire, Men’s Health and several ot...
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