The Tending Instinct: Women, Men, and the Biology of Nurturing

The Tending Instinct: Women, Men, and the Biology of Nurturing

by Shelley E. Taylor
     
 

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

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.

The Tending Instinct 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466871755
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/20/2014
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
755,409
File size:
469 KB

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."

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.


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, as well as the book The Tending Instinct: Women, Men, and the Biology of Nurturing. 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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