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Warriors and Worriers

Apr 9, 2021

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What are the evolutionary differences between men and women, and how do they survive and thrive through differing competitive strategies? 

In this episode, Dr. Joyce Benenson talks with Bill about her book Warriors and Worriers,which draws her extensive lifelong research on children’s interactions. The result is fascinating array of studies and stories that explore the ways boys and men deter their enemies, while girls and women find assistants to aid them in coping with vulnerable children and elders. 

Dr. Benenson, a retired professor of psychology at Emmanuel College and an associate member of the Human Evolutionary Biology Department at Harvard University, turns upside down the conventional wisdom that women are more sociable than men and that men are more competitive than women.

E.O. Wilson of Harvard praises her work as

“brave, thoroughly documented, and written with unusual clarity … her book explains more about the fundamentals of gender differences – and the meaning of human nature – than a library of conventional social science.” 

An engaging conversationalist, Joyce quickly deconstructs the notion that being male, or female is simply a matter of “sex assigned at birth.” 

Human history is a story of men and women genetically built to specialize in different behaviors necessary to ensure the survival of their children to adulthood.

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