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First published in 1935, Sex & Temperament is a fascinating and brilliant anthropological study of the intimate lives of three New Guinea tribes from infancy to adulthood. Focusing on the gentle, mountain-dwelling Arapesh, the fierce, cannibalistic Mundugumor, and the graceful headhunters of Tchambuli -- Mead advances the theory that many so-called masculine and feminine characteristics are not based on fundamental sex differences but reflect the cultural conditioning of different societies. This edition, prepared for the centennial of Mead's birth, features introductions by Helen Fisher and Mead's daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson.
A precursor to Mead's illuminating Male & Female, Sex & Temperament lays the groundwork for her lifelong study of gender differences.