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Endocrinology of Social Relationships

Edited By: Peter T Ellison and Peter B Gray

499 pages, 25 b/w illustrations, 12 tables

Harvard University Press

Hardback | Feb 2009 | #176936 | ISBN-13: 9780674031173
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £44.95 $59/€51 approx

About this book

In social relationships--whether between mates, parents and offspring, or friends--we find much of life's meaning. But in these relationships, so critical to our well-being, might we also detect the workings, even directives, of biology? This book, a rare melding of human and animal research and theoretical and empirical science, ventures into the most interesting realms of behavioral biology to examine the intimate role of endocrinology in social relationships.

The importance of hormones to reproductive behavior-- from breeding cycles to male sexual display--is well known. What this book considers is the increasing evidence that hormones are just as important to social behavior. Peter Ellison and Peter Gray include the latest findings--both practical and theoretical--on the hormonal component of both casual interactions and fundamental bonds. The contributors, senior scholars and rising scientists whose work is shaping the field, go beyond the proximate mechanics of neuroendocrine physiology to integrate behavioral endocrinology with areas such as reproductive ecology and life history theory. Ranging broadly across taxa, from birds and rodents to primates, the volume pays particular attention to human endocrinology and social relationships, a focus largely missing from most works of behavioral endocrinology.

The first volume to pull together the emerging field of human behavioral endocrinology as the product of a long evolutionary history exerting subtle influences throughout modern societies. The distinguished and authoritative assemblage of authors share their enthusiasm and leave no doubt that this will be an influential scientific discipline in the years to come.
- Katherine E. Wynne-Edwards, University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

"The editors and their authors have produced a definitive and scholarly, yet readable, state-of-the-art presentation of a fascinating and timely topic. This landmark volume is rich in ideas, conclusions, and questions for the future. As the editors point out, we are all being exposed, like it or not, to hormones in the environment and to ads full of claims about the benefits of administering hormones. We need to understand how such hormones might (or might not) be affecting social relationships. Will spraying on some oxytocin make your colleagues like you? Probably not, but reading 'Endocrinology of Social Relationships' produced warm feelings about the ability of good science to illuminate the human condition."
- Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Science


Introduction: Endocrinology of Social Relationships Peter B. Gray and Peter T. Ellison Part I: Theoretical and Empirical Context - Evolution and Ecological Diversity in Animal Mating and Parenting Systems Phyllis C. Lee - Neuroendocrine Mechanisms Underlying Social Relationships Kim Wallen and Janice Hassett - Social Relationships and Reproductive Ecology Peter T. Ellison - Hormone-Behavior Interrelationships in a Changing Environment John C. Wingfield - The Endocrinology of the Human Adaptive Complex Jane B. Lancaster and Hillard S. Kaplan Part II: Social Relationships among Non-human Animals - The Endocrinology of Social Relationships in Rodents C. Sue Carter, Ericka Boone, Angela J. Grippo, Michael Ruscio, and Karen L. Bales - The Endocrinology of Family Relationships in Bi-Parental Monkeys Toni E. Ziegler and Charles T. Snowdon - Hormonal and Neurochemical Influences on Aggression in Group-Living Monkeys Lynn A. Fairbanks - The Endocrinology of Intersexual Relationships in the Apes Melissa Emery Thompson Part III: Social Relationships Among Humans - Human Sex Differences in Social Relationships: Organizational and Activational Effects of Androgens Matthew H. McIntyre and Carole K. Hooven - The Role of Sex Hormones in the Initiation of Human Mating Relationships James R. Roney - Human Male Testosterone, Pair Bonding and Fatherhood Peter B. Gray and Benjamin C. Campbell - Neurobiology of Human Maternal Care Alison S. Fleming and Andrea Gonzalez - Oxytocin, Vasopressin, and Human Social Behavior Roxanne Sanchez, Jeffrey C. Parkin, Jennie Y. Chen, and Peter B. Gray - Androgens and Diversity in Adult Human Partnering Sari M. van Anders - Early Life Influences on the Ontogeny of Neuroendocrine Stress Response in the Human Child Pablo Nepomnaschy and Mark Flinn References Contributors Index

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Peter T. Ellison is John Cowles Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University.

Peter B. Gray is Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology and Ethnic Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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