Gender roles, primates and Frans de Waal

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Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist is published by W.W. Norton and Company. Photo by Catherine Marin.

Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist is published by W.W. Norton and Company. Photo by Catherine Marin.

In his latest book, Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a PrimatologistFrans de Waal dives head-first into the topic of gender and challenges traditional assumptions about why and how men and women are different.  Drawing on decades of observation and study of human and animal behavior, he uses chimpanzees, a male dominant species, and bonobos, a female-led pacific society, to explore the traits many of us recognize as uniquely ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. In doing so, he asserts that biology doesn’t necessarily support the roles we assign to each and raises fundamental questions about humanity. He joins us to talk about his book and research, and what we can learn about sexuality, friendship, cultural gender roles and nurturance.

Frans de Waal is Professor Emeritus of Primate Behavior at Emory University, former director of Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the author of many books.

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