The nature of gender

Demography. 1994 Nov;31(4):561-73.


I explain a biosocial model of women's gendered behavior (behavior on which the sexes differ). This model integrates a macro sociological theory with a biological theory derived from primate behavior. The sociological model is designed to explain changes in the relationship between sex and behavior over time or between groups. The biological model is designed to explain individual within-sex variance and between-sex variance in gendered behavior in a cohort. Results from an original study are presented to demonstrate that within-sex variance in women's gendered behavior is explained well by the primate model. I conclude that human nature is gendered. The implications of this conclusion are explored for demographic and other social science research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Behavior / physiology*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Hominidae / physiology
  • Hominidae / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sex Differentiation
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Sex*
  • Social Environment
  • Socialization
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Women / psychology*