Women and Men: New Perspectives on Gender Differences

Alexandra Symonds, MD
JAMA. 1991;265(24):3316. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460240114042.
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Women and Men is a thoughtprovoking book on gender differences with no easy answers. It is a collection of 10 articles from the biological and social sciences on recent research on gender differences that is intended to acquaint the reader with the latest thinking in the field. Controversy regarding which gender differences are biological and to what extent they determine behavior will not be resolved by this book, but the material presented will give the reader much to think about.

The first article sets the tone. Anthropologist Robert A. LeVine, PhD, reviews all the anthropological literature studying men and women since 1970. He finds that sexual dimorphism is universal in human populations; however, none of the gender-related characteristics or predispositions are uniformly translated into specific adaptations. For example, while throughout the world men tend to be larger and heavier muscled, in some cultures the women do the heaviest physical work,


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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