Helen Fisher, PhD

THE FIRST SEX: The Natural Talents of Women and How They are Changing the World

(Random House 1999)

Why can’t a man be more like a woman? Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Anthropologist Helen Fisher looks closely at gender differences in the brain and behavior that evolved millions of years ago. Then she shows how—as women enter the work force in droves around the world–they are bringing many natural talents and enriching our modern business, sex and family lives.  Women are, on average, superior at long term planning, at dealing with ambiguity, at working in egalitarian groups and at finding win-win solutions. 

They are also, on average, more mentally flexible and better at myriad linguistic and social skills.  Men have many natural talents too.  So Fisher proposes that we are moving toward a collaborative society, in which the talents of both sexes are becoming understood, valued and employed. As she says, “Men and women are like two feet; they need each other to get ahead.”

“striking…an original and often quite enjoyable book.”
— The New York Times Book Review

“Provocative…Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University, synthesizes the insights of her own discipline and those of psychology, sociology, ethnology, and biology into a good news for women.”
— Publisher’s Weekly

Published in 14 countries. Selected by the New York Times Book Review, as a “Notable Book of 1999.” 

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