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The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women
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The Better Half: On the Genetic Superiority of Women


By Dr. Sharon Moalem
288 pages
Hardcover
April 2020


 

 

A Guardian Book of the Week

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.

“A fascinating theory . . . As men continue to fill the Covid-19 morgues faster than women, Moalem is on a quest to draw the world’s attention to a chromosomal tool we might just need.” ―Gaia Vince, The Guardian

“The Better Half is an eye-opening book . . . Full of wonderful tidbits of information―from the existence of a female prostate gland to the number of honey bee flying miles it takes to make 1lb of honey. The celebration of the genetic diversity offered by the female’s second X-chromosome is wholehearted and the examples Moalem gives are highly effective. He has written a powerful antidote to the myth of the ‘weaker sex’.” ―Gina Rippon, The Guardian

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