Book Review/Detailed Look
Dr. Helen Fisher's
The First Sex:
The Natural Talents of Women
How They Are Changing the World


Note: the last page number in each cell is the page number on which the quote is found in The First Sex.
You will note that there are some gaps in the page numbers. That is because there is no comparison
between the two sexes found on those pages However, if you don't have the book
in front of you, you're missing vaulable
information about the female of our species

Please purchase the book by clicking on the link above
and discover the many talents of women.

The following “links” of the sex differences found in Helen Fisher’s book, The First Sex is the completion
of a project that I started with the essay/chart found below the references.  That essay/chart is called Gender Differences in the
DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder, 4th Edition) An Observation From an Evolutionary Perspective. 
If you click on the chart you will see that I have five columns; two for each sex and one for both. 
If you compare this DSM chart with the First Sex chart you will notice that the sexes/genders are switched. 
My brain is telling me to reverse the DSM chart and have the males on the left and the females on the right side. 
I know that you’re smart enough to do the switch, but it would make a neater package.

Web Thinking in the Future

Web Thinking in the Future



“… [this is perhaps Dr. Fisher’s most sexist remark in the book] “Still, for generations American executives have admired and rewarded those who analyzed issues on a component-by-component basis – the atomistic approach.  An example is the common American obsession with the bottom line. P. 14.


Women’s Mental Flexibility

Women’s Mental Flexibility

During committee meetings, for example, men argue more abstractly and make more categorical statements of right and wrong,…p. 15.

while women use more examples and personal experiences – contextual data. [Tannen 1990] p. 15.

Men also tend to become wedded to these abstract principles. [Kohlberg 1969; Lever 1976; Gilligan 1982; Piaget 1932]  On average men are more rule-bound, probably because context is less meaningful to them. P. 15.

Women are more inclined to make exceptions, probably because they can visualize a wider range of alternatives. P. 15.


Feminine mental flexibility is not always an endearing quality, of course.  Women are notorious for changing their minds…As competition increases; the demand for flexibility should escalate.  Women’s innate mental elasticity should become a valuable planning asset. P. 15.

Women’s Intuition

Women’s Intuition


Women are far keener than men at noticing the creases in your clothes, the tension in your voice, your tapping foot, the faint annoyance on you lower lip.  Women pick up more messages from your posture, gestures, emotional expressions, and voice. P 16.

Gut Thinking

Gut Thinking

“Chunking Data”

“Chunking Data"

[Long term thinking] Men...more frequently pile up business sessions back-to-back, sacrificing valuable respites they might have used for reevaluating their progress and considering future moves. P. 19.

[long term thinking] Career women, on the other hand, take more time to catch their breath, reflect, and contemplate between meetings or appointments…women squeeze in time to assimilate what is happening around them and envision the future. Women ‘keep the long term in constant focus.” [Helgesen 1990, p. 25] p. 19.


[attitude toward their own money] ..economists at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, examined the trading records of some thirty-five thousand clients at a large brokerage firm, they found that men traded 45 percent more often than women did. “They don’t churn their accounts the way men do.” Simon 1998, p. A14] p. 19

Biology of the Long-Term View

Biology of the Long-Term View


The national Association of Investors Corporations reports that women-only investment clubs earn a 21.3 per-cent average annual return on their purchases, while men-only clubs make an annual return of 15 percent. [Harris 1996, pp 146ff] p. 20.

[Long-term thinking] Hunting required men to think about the habits of the animals and birds, the cycles of the moon, positions of the stars, patterns of the winds and rains, where creatures roamed last year, and where they would be heading next month or a year from now. Unquestionably, men had to think of events that would occur months, even years, ahead. P. 21

But rearing and educating babies required women to prepare for exigencies that could occur decades down the road…From millennia of planning for crises that could occur in the distant future, women may have evolved intricacies of brain architecture that predispose them to take the long-term view more regularly than men. P. 21.


P. 15.
Tannen, D. 1990.  You just don’t understand: Women and men in conversation.  New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
P. 15.
Kohlberg, L. 1969. “Stage and sequence: The cognitive-developmental approach to socialization.”  In Handbook of socialization: Theory and research, edited by D. A. Goslin. Chicago: Rand McNally.
P. 15.
Lever, Janet. 1976. “Sex Differences in the games children play. “ Social Problems 23:478-487.
P. 15.
Gilligan, Carol. 1982.  In a different voice.  Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
P. 15.
Piaget, J. 1932.  The moral judgment of the child.  New York: The Free Press. 1965.
P. 19.
Helgesen, S. 1990.  The female advantage: Women’s ways of leadership.  New York: Doubleday/Currency.
P. 19.
Simon, R. 1998. “Women outdo men in results in investing.” The Wall Street Journal, 20 October, p. A14.
P. 20.
Harris, D. 1996.  “Why more women say…I don’t need your money, honey.” Money 25 (November): 146ff.

Copyright, Evolution's Voyage, 1995 - 2011