The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live [NOOK Book]

Overview


A groundbreaking work that reveals how the instinct to "tend and befriend" is vital for human society.

In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the "fight or flight" response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that hardwired in females -- both humans and those of other species -- is an instinct that can transcend "fight or flight." Their "tend and ...
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The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live

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Overview


A groundbreaking work that reveals how the instinct to "tend and befriend" is vital for human society.

In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the "fight or flight" response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that hardwired in females -- both humans and those of other species -- is an instinct that can transcend "fight or flight." Their "tend and befriend" response is not only demonstrable but, as Taylor deftly explains in this eye-opening work, a key ingredient in human social life.

With great skill and insight, Taylor examines stress, relationships, and human society through the special lens of women's biology. She draws on genetics, evolutionary psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to show how this tending process begins virtually at the moment of conception and literally crafts the biology of offspring through genes that rely on caregiving for their expression. Taylor also examines what drives women to seek each other's company, and to tend to the young and the infirm -- acts that greatly benefit the group but often at great cost to the individual.

Taylor's book will forever change the way we view ourselves, and will revolutionize our understanding of the role of women and nurturing in maintaining a stable society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781466871755
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/20/2014
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • File size: 459 KB

Meet the Author


Shelley E. Taylor is a professor of psychology at UCLA. A world-renowned expert on stress and health, Taylor is the author of more than 200 scientific papers. She is the recipient of the Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award in Health Psychology, the Donald Campbell Award in Social Psychology, Yale University's Wilbur Lucius Cross Medal, and the prestigious Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association. Taylor lives in Los Angeles.
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Read an Excerpt


An epiphany in science is fairly rare, but when it happens, there is no sensation like it. The sudden recognition that all of the classic theories of stress were based almost entirely on males was as stunning as being hit over the head with a club. I remember thinking, "I didn't know there were any big mistakes left in science." We all stared at each other as the opportunity that lay before us became clear: a chance to start from scratch and discover what women do in response to stress.

Females of all species, including humans, have been the primary caretakers of offspring, and so it stands to reason that their responses to stress would have evolved so as to include some measure of protection for their children. From our research with humans, we knew that women turn to the social group in times of stress, and so we looked for patterns of "befriending." By the end of one especially spirited evening, we had spawned the title . . . "tend and befriend."
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2002

    Thoroughly fascinating

    The Tending Instinct is a seminal work, tying together ideas and data from difficult-to-quantify areas such as the psychology of stress, the emotional and physical aspects of the act of nuturing, and its [especially long-term] effects, and the biochemistry of stress response in humans and other primates, in both the long and short term. She also discusses tending in society as a whole -- that is, the nurturing infrastructure of a society, those elements of day-to-day life that make it easy to tend or be tended. Ease of access to trusted caregivers for working parents, or medical care, educational or mentorship opportunities, for example. Taylor is synthesizing, spanning disciplines to draw together different strands of research in biochemistry, psychology, and other arenas, to propose they demonstrate human beings are overridingly a tending species, a nurturing species. Success, for h. sapiens, is existing in a strong network of support, giving and taking as one's needs require. Our most successful humans are those who inspire, those who persuade, those who build coalitions to achieve a good for the entire group. A fascinating read, thought-provoking and accessible.

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