Catalogue


The tending instinct : how nurturing is essential for who we are and how we live /
Shelley E. Taylor.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Times Books, 2002.
description
vii, 290 p.
ISBN
0805068376 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Times Books, 2002.
isbn
0805068376 (hbk.)
catalogue key
4671596
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Excerpts
Excerpt from Book
An epiphany in science is fairly rare, but when it happens, there is no sensation like it. The sudden recognition that all of the classic theories of stress were based almost entirely on males was as stunning as being hit over the head with a club. I remember thinking, "I didn't know there were any big mistakes left in science." We all stared at each other as the opportunity that lay before us became clear: a chance to start from scratch and discover what women do in response to stress. Females of all species, including humans, have been the primary caretakers of offspring, and so it stands to reason that their responses to stress would have evolved so as to include some measure of protection for their children. From our research with humans, we knew that women turn to the social group in times of stress, and so we looked for patterns of "befriending." By the end of one especially spirited evening, we had spawned the title . . . "tend and befriend."
First Chapter
An epiphany in science is fairly rare, but when it happens, there is no sensation like it. The sudden recognition that all of the classic theories of stress were based almost entirely on males was as stunning as being hit over the head with a club. I remember thinking, "I didn't know there were any big mistakes left in science." We all stared at each other as the opportunity that lay before us became clear: a chance to start from scratch and discover what women do in response to stress.

Females of all species, including humans, have been the primary caretakers of offspring, and so it stands to reason that their responses to stress would have evolved so as to include some measure of protection for their children. From our research with humans, we knew that women turn to the social group in times of stress, and so we looked for patterns of "befriending." By the end of one especially spirited evening, we had spawned the title . . . "tend and befriend."
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2002-04-15:
Taylor, a psychology professor at UCLA, makes the claim that "we are fundamentally a nurturant species," biologically programmed to "tend and befriend" one another. As an expert in stress, she has long seen a deficiency in the dominant theory that only the "fight or flight" instinct has motivated humans and facilitated our survival and evolution. Taylor's theory is based solidly on clinical studies and observations, along with a meticulous review of the old nature-versus-nurture argument. Contending that caregiving, altruism and cooperation are helpful and even necessary for survival of the species, and in fact instinctive and biological in origin, Taylor thoroughly explores animal and human behaviors and brain functions. She presents this fascinating material in a highly readable voice and text, with nearly 80 pages of endnotes for those wishing to pursue further study of her claims and extensive documentation. Clearly demonstrating the adverse effects of lack of "tending and befriending" in terms of physical and mental health, longevity, crime and a host of other social ills, Taylor claims that "the prevailing view of self-interest as a dominant human motivation has led to a self-fulfilling prophecy." Taylor offers an alternative that recognizes and encourages what she sees as essential and instinctive social skills, bonding, and support, arguing strongly that this heretofore ignored aspect of human nature can and should be respected and cultivated for the benefit (and continued survival) of individuals, families, groups, businesses and societies. (May 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2002-04-01:
Sure, there's "fight or flight," but, argues psychologist Taylor, women also have an instinct for "tend and befriend"Da deeply ingrained trait that benefits society. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"In a profoundly important theoretical tour de force, Shelley Taylor moves caring and compassion to psychology's center stage. The Tending Instinct elevates women's natural strengths in caregiving and befriending to a long-deserved prominence in society. A crucial message for us all." --Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence "At last, the story of human development as told from a female perspective. It turns out that nurturing and caring are as essential to human nature--and human survival--as selfishness and aggression." --Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood ". . . It does pave the way for exciting new avenues of inter-disciplinary research on how stress affects our lives." -- Psychology Today
"In a profoundly important theoretical tour de force, Shelley Taylor moves caring and compassion to psychology's center stage. The Tending Instinct elevates women's natural strengths in caregiving and befriending to a long-deserved prominence in society. A crucial message for us all." --Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence "At last, the story of human development as told from a female perspective. It turns out that nurturing and caring are as essential to human nature--and human survival--as selfishness and aggression." --Ann Crittenden, author of The Price of Motherhood ". . . It does pave the way for exciting new avenues of inter-disciplinary research on how stress affects our lives." --Psychology Today
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, April 2002
Publishers Weekly, April 2002
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
A groundbreaking work that reveals how the instinct to "tend and befriend" is vital for human society. In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the "fight or flight" response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that hardwired in females -- both humans and those of other species -- is an instinct that can transcend "fight or flight." Their "tend and befriend" response is not only demonstrable but, as Taylor deftly explains in this eye-opening work, a key ingredient in human social life. With great skill and insight, Taylor examines stress, relationships, and human society through the special lens of women's biology. She draws on genetics, evolutionary psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to show how this tending process begins virtually at the moment of conception and literally crafts the biology of offspring through genes that rely on caregiving for their expression. Taylor also examines what drives women to seek each other's company, and to tend to the young and the infirm -- acts that greatly benefit the group but often at great cost to the individual. In the tradition of works such as Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence and Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct , Taylor's book will forever change the way we view ourselves, and will revolutionize our understanding of the role of women and nurturing in maintaining a stable society.
Main Description
A groundbreaking work that reveals how the instinct to "tend and befriend" is vital for human society. In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the "fight or flight" response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that hardwired in females -- both humans and those of other species -- is an instinct that can transcend "fight or flight." Their "tend and befriend" response is not only demonstrable but, as Taylor deftly explains in this eye-opening work, a key ingredient in human social life. With great skill and insight, Taylor examines stress, relationships, and human society through the special lens of women's biology. She draws on genetics, evolutionary psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to show how this tending process begins virtually at the moment of conception and literally crafts the biology of offspring through genes that rely on caregiving for their expression. Taylor also examines what drives women to seek each other's company, and to tend to the young and the infirm -- acts that greatly benefit the group but often at great cost to the individual. In the tradition of works such as Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence and Steven Pinker's "The Language Instinct, Taylor's book will forever change the way we view ourselves, and will revolutionize our understanding of the role of women and nurturing in maintaining a stable society.
Main Description
In times of crisis and upheaval, our responses to stress become especially important. We have long heard about the fight or flight response, but renowned psychologist Shelley E. Taylor points out that fight or flight may be distinctly male, and that femalesboth humans and those of other speciesare hardwired to respond to stress differently. Their tend and befriend response is not only demonstrable but, as Taylor deftly explains in this eye-opening work, a key ingredient in human social life.Accessibly and engagingly, Taylor draws on biology, evolutionary psychology, physiology, and neuroscience to show how this tending process begins virtually at the moment of conception and literally crafts the biology of offspring through genes that rely on caregiving. Taylor also examines what drives women to seek each others company, and to tend to the young and the infirmacts that greatly benefit the group but often at great cost to the individual. In the tradition of works such as Daniel Golemans Emotional Intelligence and Steven Pinkers The Language Instinct, Taylors book will forever change the way we view ourselves, and will revolutionize our understanding of the role of women and nurturing in maintaining a stable society.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. 1
The Power of Tendingp. 7
The Origins of Tendingp. 16
The Tending Brainp. 35
Good and Bad Tendingp. 52
A Little Help from Friends and Strangersp. 70
Women Befriendingp. 88
Tending in Marriagep. 113
Men's Groupsp. 130
Where Altruism May Residep. 146
The Social Context of Tendingp. 160
The Tending Societyp. 181
Notesp. 200
Referencesp. 238
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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