"A cerebral assessment of gender, society, and sexuality ... offers an impressively nuanced and balanced amalgam of research, case studies, and anecdotal material on how the hormonal monster of her title, with all its impulses and hard-wired biological processes, is an antiquated beast. ... A fascinating, greatly contemplative discussion of sex and gender and the embedded societal expectations of both."
NEW: From the Financial Times:
"The expression 'essential reading for everyone' is usually untrue as well as a cliche, but if there were a book deserving of that description this might just be it."
"Fine knocks it out of the park with her smart and eye-opening investigation into why we give credit to (or blame) testosterone for so many behaviors. With a writing style that reminds me of Mary Roach and her gift for seeking out the ridiculous, Fine puts under the microscope our assumption that testosterone is the wonder hormone that makes men risk takers and competitive and, in its absence, women less so. This might sound like heavy stuff - like the gender studies classes I avoided in college - but Fine invites you to laugh with her as she punctures outdated notions and points out obvious weaknesses in the might social (not scientific) barricade of sex-specific dogma and the daily throwaway comments that carefully reinforces that wall. After reading Testosterone Rex, my new resolution is to never say "Boys will be boys" again. Because while boys are, of course, boys, we owe it to them - and to girls - to understand that they are not defined by this single hormone.
The Amazon Book Review
"Fed up with men from Mars and women from Venus? In this witty corrective, psychologist Cordelia Fine examines the fraying “biological big picture” of sexual selection, and corrals findings in evolutionary science, neuroscience and endocrinology to add nuance to it. As she demonstrates, the genetic and hormonal components of sex 'collaborate' in complex ways with societal aspects of the developmental system, such as education. Gendered marketing, men-only expert panels and other sexist norms may seem trivial, but their cumulative impact is ultimately damaging."
Barbara Kiser, Nature
"A witty, authoritative guide to how pretty much everything you think you know about gender is backwards."
Caroline Criado-Perez, OBE, journalist, campaigner and author of Do it Like a Woman
"Cordelia Fine has done it again: she debunked the idea of a female brain in Delusions of Gender and has now slain Testosterone Rex. This is obligatory reading for anyone interested in gender equality at work or home – your views on sex differences will never be the same."
Catherine Fox, journalist and author of Seven Myths About Women at Work
"It is extraordinary how so much is attributed to such a minute quantity of hormone. In her latest book, Cordelia Fine combines formidable intellect, forensic analysis and devastating wit to expose those myths of sex, gender and human behaviour that might just reflect testosterone-fuelled, wishful thinking. This engaging, accessible and hopefully influential book doesn’t disappoint, and makes crucial reading for those with an interest, from any perspective, in human behaviour."
Mark Elgar, Professor, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne
"I was amazed at how often Cordelia Fine seemed to read my mind. Time and again, whatever counterarguments I might muster were anticipated and refuted. That is the hallmark of a writer in tune with her readership. Fine lives up to her name – she is an extremely talented writer."
Michael Jennions, Professor of Evolutionary Ecology, Australian National University
"There aren’t many psychologists out there writing books that make me laugh out loud and want to stay up late reading, but Cordelia Fine does the trick. With Testosterone Rex, Fine brings her signature irreverence and meticulous research to such old chestnuts as the obvious evolutionary benefits of promiscuity for males, women’s natural risk aversion (note: childbirth is about twenty times more likely to be fatal than is skydiving), and of course the idea that testosterone caused the Great Crash of 2008. Read this book because it’s fun, but also because it’s a great antidote to lazy thinking and entrenched sexism."
Rebecca M. Jordan-Young, author of Brain Storm: The Flaws in the Science of Sex Difference, and Tow Associate Professor for Distinguished Scholars, Barnard College
"Full of witty gems you’ll want to underline and read aloud, Testosterone Rex gleefully debunks myths about the nature of masculinity and femininity. Without denying science or ignoring evolution, Cordelia Fine shows how biology, far from limiting our possibilities, extends them."
Marlene Zuk, author of Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live, and Professor of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior, University of Minnesota
"Exciting, eloquent and effective. Fine takes us on a wonderfully narrated journey, giving us front row seats to the extinction of Testosterone Rex. Deftly weaving together research from anthropology, biology, neuroscience and psychology, Fine shows exactly why and how the myth of testosterone and maleness plays out, and why it is false. This book is not politically correct; it is good science."
Agustín Fuentes, Professor & Chair, Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, and author of Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You
"Testosterone Rex is that rare combination of revelatory science, trenchant analysis and understated humour that makes it not only a pleasure to read but an invaluable resource. The next time someone solemnly explains to me why evolution has caused men to be competitive and women not, women to prefer childrearing and men to race cars and run corporations, men to be promiscuous and women coy, I plan to whip out my well-marked copy of T. Rex and cite the science that says they’re wrong."
Sharon Begley, author of Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain
"Goodbye beliefs in sex differences disguised as evolutionary facts. Welcome the dragon slayer: Cordelia Fine wittily but meticulously lays bare the irrational arguments that we use to justify gender politics."
Uta Frith, Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Development, University College, London
Response to Brown (2017), Trends in Ecology & Evolution