Frans de Waal || Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist
Today we welcome Dr. Frans de Waal, a Dutch American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. He is a professor in Emory University's psychology department and the Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Chimpanzee Politics, The Age of Empathy, The Bonobo and the Atheist, and Mama's Last Hug are among his most popular books that have been translated in over 20 languages. His latest book is called Different: Gender Through the Eyes of a Primatologist.
In this episode, I talk to Frans de Waal about sex and gender. As a primatologist, he shares his research findings on the biological differences between male and female primates. Despite obvious distinctions between masculine and feminine behavior, great apes have no trouble accepting non-binary individuals—a behavior we humans need to practice more of. Dr. Frans clears up what alpha male really means and debunks the “natural order” of male supremacy. We also touch on the topics of socialization, power, altruism, reproduction, and equality.
03:11 What is a primatologist?
04:15 Biology in the gender debate
08:42 Donna: the non-binary chimpanzee
13:08 Dominance, power, and prestige
17:12 Alpha males and alpha females
20:50 Sex differences in play and aggression
24:45 Gender identity and self socialization
31:30 The Selfish Gene
35:11 The evolution of the clitoris
40:26 The stigma of female sexuality
45:35 Extra-pair copulation and paternity testing
50:35 Competition, rivalry, and conflict resolution
54:54 Maternal instinct and xenophobia among primates
59:03 Embodied cognition