Why do girls tend to earn better grades in school than boys? Why are men still far more likely than women to earn degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? And why are men on average more likely to be injured in accidents and fights than women? These and many other questions are the subject of both informal investigation in the media and formal investigation in academic and scientific circles.

In his landmark book Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, author David Geary provided the first comprehensive evolutionary model to explain human sex differences. Using the principles of sexual selection such as female choice and male-male competition, the author systematically reviewed and discussed the evolution of sex differences and their expression throughout the animal kingdom, as a means of not just describing but explaining the same process in Homo sapiens.

Now, over ten years since the first edition, Geary has completed a massive update, expansion and theoretical revision of his classic text. New findings in brain and genetic research inform a wealth of new material, including a new chapter on sex differences in patterns of life history development; expanded coverage of genetic research (e.g. DNA finger printing to determine paternity as related to male-male competition in primates); fatherhood in humans; cross-cultural patterns of sex differences in choosing and competing for mates; and genetic, hormonal, and socio-cultural influences on the expression of sex differences. Finally, through his motivation to control framework (introduced in the first edition and expanded in The Origin of Mind, 2005), Geary presents a theoretical bridge linking parenting, mate choices, and competition, with children's development and sex differences in brain and cognition. The result is an even better book than the original—a lively and nuanced application of Darwin's insight to help explain our heritage and our place in the natural world.

Table of Contents

List of Exhibits, Tables, and Figures


  1. Beginnings
  2. Natural Selection and the Evolution of Sex
  3. Sexual Selection
  4. Sexual Selection and Life History
  5. Sexual Selection in Primates and During Human Evolution
  6. Evolution of Fatherhood
  7. Choosing Mates
  8. Competing for Mates
  9. Evolution and Development of the Human Mind
  10. Sex Differences in Infancy and at Play
  11. Sex Differences in Social Development
  12. Sex Differences in Folk Psychology
  13. Sex Differences in Folk Biology and Folk Physics




About the Author

Author Bio

David C. Geary, PhD, is a Curators' Professor and Thomas Jefferson Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Missouri. After completing his doctorate in 1986 at the University of California, Riverside, he held faculty positions at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Missouri, first at the Rolla campus and then in Columbia. Dr. Geary served as chair of his department from 2002 to 2005 and as the University of Missouri's Middlebush Professor of Psychological Sciences from 2000 to 2003.

He has published more than 185 articles, commentaries, and chapters across a wide range of topics, including cognitive, developmental, and evolutionary psychology; education; and medicine. He has written three sole-authored books, Children's Mathematical Development: Research and Practical Applications; Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences; and The Origin of Mind: Evolution of Brain, Cognition, and General Intelligence. He also coauthored Sex Differences: Summarizing More Than a Century of Scientific Research.

Dr. Geary served as a member of the President's National Mathematics Advisory Panel and chaired the Learning Processes subcommittee, is a recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health, and was appointed by President G. W. Bush to the National Board of Directors for the Institute for Education Sciences.