Eleanor MACCOBY: The Two Sexes. Growing up Apart, Coming Together

The Two Sexes is a book about gender differences that takes on the big questions most of us have asked at some point: Why are men and women so different? How much of our behavior is biology and how much is learned? How do our gender roles in childhood affect the way we relate as adults?

One of Stanford University professor Eleanor Maccoby's key discoveries about childhood gender development is that girls and boys act far more alike on their own than they do with groups of their friends. Maccoby also offers sound evolutionary reasons why we might be biologically inclined toward sex- differentiated behavior. In the end, though, she asserts that "biology is not destiny."

With this in mind, she explores in The Two Sexes what sorts of changes can and should be made to the roles we play in our sexual relationships, work relationships, and parenting. This a complex and scholarly work, but Maccoby writes in clean, reasoned prose accessible to nonacademics. --Maria Dolan


Eleanor MACCOBY: The Two Sexes. Growing up Apart, Coming Together. Harvard University Press, 2003.