Most contemporary discussions of sex differences assume that they are determined by society rather than biology. It is society that teaches little girls to be feminine and little boys to be masculine - society that tells women to respond to babies and men to respond to sports. Reflecting the fashionable idea that male and female roles have been 'socially constructed', most commentators speak of gender instead of sex. Because men and women are virtually interchangeable, so the argument goes, men should do an equal share of domestic and child-rearing work so that women can compete equally outside the home. Rhoads explores disparities in aggression and dominance, in sexuality and nurturing. He shows how denial of these differences has helped to create the sexual revolution, fatherless families, and policies such as Title IX, and the call for universal day care. But while insisting that we must take sex differences seriously, Rhoads also advocates discouraging some natural tendencies, like men's desire for irresponsible sex, and encouraging others, like women's greater interest and talent in caring for babies.
In this provocative exploration of the masculine and feminine, Steven Rhoads dispels contemporary cliches and spotlights biological realities. Meticulously researched and elegantly written, "Taking Sex Differences Seriously" is a groundbreaking look at the way we are.