The idea that men’s and women’s brains differ biologically is also a hot topic. Moalem assigns to the sex chromosomes the greater rates of learning disabilities in men, as well as some of the differences in aggression and various developmental disorders. It’s not that anything he says is the stuff of hidebound reactionary conservatism — it is, as far as I know, very mainstream scientifically — but publishing tends to prefer those books that emphasise the similarities rather than the differences.
The book is a lively, clearly-written discussion of the female advantage in some areas of health. Its arguments – especially towards the end, where Moalem discusses the lack of research on female subjects – are often important, and could be directly relevant for our current coronavirus crisis. Had they been framed in terms of sex differences rather than superiorities, and had the book generally used balance rather than strongly advocating for one sex over the other, those arguments would have seemed all the stronger.