Sociobiologists tend to view people as altruistic apes gifted with language. They claim that love, cooperation and monogamy are rooted in ``selfish genes'' that program individuals to do what's good for the evolutionary growth of the species. In this popularization, a British husband-and-wife team (he's a broadcaster, she's a psychologist) address critics who call sociobiology a pseudoscience. The authors' tendency to oversimplify may win few converts, but their approach is certainly flexible. Arguing that women are genetically more nurturing and less risk-taking than men, they urge parents to encourage girls to take up activities traditionally associated with boysand vice versa. Applying game theory to fighting and war, they blame the arms race on each side's fear of the other's evil intent (rather than on aggression). Oddly, the Gribbins draw on anthropological evidence to theorize that apes were descended from protohumans, rather than the other way around. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988 Release date: 05/01/1988 Genre: Nonfiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.