The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women

The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women

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A Guardian Book of the Week
Longlisted for the PEN / E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

An award-winning physician and scientist makes the game-changing case that genetic females are stronger than males at every stage of life


Here are some facts: Women live longer than men. They have stronger immune systems. They're better at fighting cancer and surviving famine, and even see the world in a wider variety of colors. They are simply stronger than men at every stage of life. Why is this? And why are we taught the opposite?

To find out, Dr. Sharon Moalem drew on his own medical experiences - treating premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit; recruiting the elderly for neurogenetic studies; tending to HIV-positive orphans in Thailand - and tried to understand why in every instance men were consistently less likely to thrive. The answer, he discovered, lies in our genetics: two X chromosomes offer a powerful survival advantage.

With clear, captivating prose that weaves together eye-opening research, case studies, diverse examples ranging from the behavior of honeybees to American pioneers, as well as experiences from his personal life and his own patients, Moalem explains why genetic females triumph over males when it comes to resiliency, intellect, stamina, immunity and much more. He also calls for a reconsideration of our male-centric, one-size-fits-all view of medical studies and even how we prescribe medications - a view that still sees women through the lens of men.

Revolutionary and yet utterly convincing, The Better Half will make you see humanity and the survival of our species anew.

Title:The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women
ISBN:9781250174789
Format Type:

    The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women Reviews

  • Martha

    I received an advance copy to review and I have to say that as a woman, I was actually surprised at the number of things I learned from this book that I was never taught in school. I really hadn't und...

  • Brianna

    This is sort of a strange book. One the one hand, it highlights some recent research about sex differences in morbidity and mortality that might be linked to the possession of XX vs XY chromosomes, wh...

  • Ariel ?

    I'm not sure how to rate this! If you found your way here after reading SCUM or Hothead Paisan, you've been misled. Dr. Sharon Moalem mixes personal stories with historical anecdotes and genetics to f...

  • Brinley  Harrington

    This is a great book for anyone who has an inkling of scientific interest. The book tackles a topic that is hard to write about anyways but puts it into a format that you can't put down. Not only is i...

  • Camille Pum

    I won this book in the giveaway! Sharon Moalem presents a good deal of statistical and factual proof to back their claims and easily kept my interest. Awesome read!...

  • Violet

    I loved this book! It was very accessible, but very informative. I loved learning about chromosomes, the specificities of the female body and its genetics and I was amazed by how little I actually kno...

  • Peter Z.

    "They are simply stronger than men at every stage of life"Hey this is a really stupid debate but if women are stronger than men why does the military need to lower the strength requirements for women ...

  • Bri

    This is an absolutely fantastic read. Not written in the tone of "women are the best" or really any sort of feminist lens, this takes it down to strictly the benefits of having a diplo set of sex-link...

  • Christine

    It turns out that two X chromosomes offer a powerful survival advantage.Dr. Sharon Moalem explains why, to those of us who are not medical professionals, in clear, understandable terms. He explains hi...

  • Laura

    An image exists in fiction and our cultural hivemind of the weak woman. Incapable of survival without male guardianship, too frail to lift anything heavier than a baby, too feeble for feats of enduran...