A cross-cultural analysis of the behavior of women and men: Implications for the origins of sex differences

Wendy Wood*, Alice H. Eagly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

662 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article evaluates theories of the origins of sex differences in human behavior. It reviews the cross-cultural evidence on the behavior of women and men in nonindustrial societies, especially the activities that contribute to the sex-typed division of labor and patriarchy. To explain the cross-cultural findings, the authors consider social constructionism, evolutionary psychology, and their own biosocial theory. Supporting the biosocial analysis, sex differences derive from the interaction between the physical specialization of the sexes, especially female reproductive capacity, and the economic and social structural aspects of societies. This biosocial approach treats the psychological attributes of women and men as emergent given the evolved characteristics of the sexes, their developmental experiences, and their situated activity in society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)699-727
Number of pages29
JournalPsychological Bulletin
Volume128
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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