Frans de Waal
A ground-breaking look at gender and sex from the world’s leading primatologist and New York Times bestselling author of Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?
‘Brilliant and fascinating… brings a scientific, compassionate and balanced approach to some of the hottest controversies about sex and gender’ Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens, Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
How different are the sexes? Is gender uniquely human? Where does gender identity originate?
Drawing on decades of observing our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, world-renowned primatologist Frans de Waal explores what we know of biological sex differences and of the role of culture and socialization.
From maternal and paternal behaviour to sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of the gender binary, de Waal analyses our shared evolutionary history with the apes, considering what is similar and what sets us apart. Male and female networking groups, sexual signals, the existence of gender non-conforming individuals, and maternal bonds are observed in primate societies, but humans stand apart in the development of nuclear families, the prevalence of sexual violence, and joint parental care.
With expert insight and engaging storytelling, de Waal not only sets right gendered biases in the scientific community, but delivers a fresh and thought-provoking understanding of the behavioural norms and the many remarkable potentials of the human species.
‘A breath of fresh air…Fascinating, nuanced and very timely’ Rutger Bregman, author of Humankind and Utopia for Realists
A brilliant and fascinating book that brings a scientific, compassionate and balanced approach to some of the hottest controversies about sex and gender -- Yuval Noah Harari Every new book by Frans de Waal is a cause for excitement, and this one is no different. A breath of fresh air in the cramped debate about the differences between men and women. Fascinating, nuanced and very timely. -- Rutger Bregman, author of Humankind Superb... These pages are packed with great stories, fascinating data, and thought-provoking ideas. They are sure to spark the important conversations we all-male and female, queer and straight, trans and nonbinary-need to have to create a more just and equitable human society -- Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus If you don't know your bonobo from your gibbon, Different has many surprises in store for you, surprises that will leave you humble about complex primate evolution has been, and how much we have yet to learn about how it shapes our lives * New York Times * This enlightened book looks at the emergent arguments in gender studies. Moving with fluidity and grace between animal and human models, Frans de Waal demonstrates how many common social prejudices that we deem "natural" are in fact anything but. His crisp writing, his skillful deployment of anecdote, and his deep knowledge of animal science inform this nuanced and profound consideration not only of difference, but also of sameness -- Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree and The Noonday Demon Frans de Waal's DIFFERENT brings a refreshingly calm biological perspective to the current debate around human gender differences. -- Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape With great clarity, insight, and wit, [de Waal] examines human sex differences, never once letting us forget that, at the end of the day, we are just another kind of primate. This is a superb, intensely stimulating read -- Robert M. Sapolsky, author of Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst [De Waal uses] a gift for story-telling, a sincere respect for culture, along with intimate knowledge of longtime bonobo and chimpanzee associates, to deftly negotiate this treacherous terrain. Wise and humane -- Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, author of The Woman that Never Evolved
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?