Back Cover Blurb
- Many people believe that, at its core, biological sex is a fundamental force in human development. According to this false-yet-familiar story, the divisions between men and women are in nature alone and not part of culture.
- Drawing on evolutionary science, psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, and philosophy, Testosterone Rex disproves this ingrained myth and calls for a more equal society based on both sexes' full human potential.
Introducing Testosterone Rex – 13
A Note about Terminology – 25
- Part One | Past
- Flies Of Fancy – 29
- One Hundred Babies? – 46
- A New Position On Sex – 63
- Part Two | Present
- Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man? – 83
- Skydiving Wallflowers – 108
- The Hormonal Essence Of The T-Rex? – 128
- The Myth Of The Lehman Sisters – 131
- Part Three | Future
Acknowledgments – 197
- Vale Rex – 173
Notes – 201
Index – 231
- This account of the book is trying to be as provocative as possible.
- It’s not simply “false-yet-familiar” that “biological sex is a fundamental force in human development”. Biological sex is a fundamental force in human development, but not the only force.
- No-one sensible believes that “the divisions between men and women are in nature alone and not part of culture”. Obviously culture plays a huge part.
- But parents do need to bring their children up to fill useful roles in society, and there are some roles that men can’t fill, and others they aren’t – in general – as suited to as women, though often this is difficult to prove given their upbringing tends to make them not want to fulfil these roles.
- It’s not so obvious (and probably false) that the reverse is true – that there are no roles the women can’t fill, but at which they – as a generality – are at a disadvantage where physical strength and naked aggression are essential attributes.
- The standard folk-wisdom is that girls naturally gravitate towards some roles and boys to others. But obviously, this is a “bell curve” phenomenon. It doesn’t imply “all”, nor does it imply any objection to inclinations “inappropriate”.
- Why do we have women-only sporting events at all? It’s not that an elite sportswoman wouldn’t beat the vast majority of men, just considered as men, but that she’d be beaten by the overwhelming majority of elite men, and therefore participation would be no fun, and wouldn’t allow a living to be made. The issue is whether there’s any parallel in other spheres1 not involving physical speed or power.
- Maybe there are certain traditionally masculine roles that girls can be brought up to fill, but at which they are at a disadvantage and which warp their personalities so they can’t as easily fulfil the roles that are properly theirs.
- Anyway this Aeon essay2 seems to paint a more balanced picture than the Marketing description above.
- I’ll hopefully write more on all this once I’ve read the book.
In-Page Footnotes ("Fine (Cordelia) - Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society")
- In mind games (chess and bridge in particular) there’s no particular reason why this should be the case.
- While the majority of elite chess players are men, the Polgar sisters demonstrated that this needn’t be the case.
- The situation is much less clear at bridge.
W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (16 Feb. 2018)
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
- Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)