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Testosterone Rex

Review by Heather from Bits & Books

In Testosterone Rex, psychologist Cordelia Fine draws on decades of research in an attempt to show that differences between the sexes are not as great as we’ve been led to believe, and that they are a result of societal and cultural influence, rather than being natural and a result of biology and evolution – and testosterone.

Fine discusses everything from conception to neurons, and Wall Street high-rollers to toy-shop aisles, so there’s a lot of information in this book to work through. It felt like a bit of information overload at times, but Fine presents the research in a largely easy to understand way, while some witty commentary and personal anecdotes also help to break up the science and made for some relatable and entertaining reading.

Although my eyes may have glazed over occasionally, I found the book interesting and engaging and I feel like I’ve come away from it with a better understanding of what gender is and isn’t. It’s a readable book even for people (like me) for whom science isn’t their best subject.

Testosterone Rex challenges what we perceive as natural, and is a must-read for anyone interested in gender politics and the science of the body.