Frank Browning

Former NPR science reporter Frank Browning grew up on an apple farm in Kentucky and now lives in Paris. His books include The American Way of Crime (with John Gerassi), The Culture of Desire, A Queer Geography; Apples: The Story of the Fruit of Temptation; and The Monk & the Skeptic. He writes on art and culture for The Huffington Post and has contributed to The Washington Post Magazine, Mother Jones,Playboy, Salon, and other publications.

Sessions

Books

The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future

In The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future, former National Public Radio science reporter and bestselling author of The Culture of Desire Frank Browning explores human gender geographies around the world, from gender-neutral kindergartens in Chicago and Oslo to femminielli weather casters in Naples, from conservative Catholics in Paris fearful of God and nature, to transsexual Mormon parents in Utah.

As Browning reports his thoroughly researched and human stories, he also elucidates the neuroscience that distinguishes male and female biology. He shows us how all parents’ brains change during the first weeks of parenthood, and finally that no matter what XX and XY chromosomes may suggest to the outer world, masculinity and femininity as well as sexual attraction are much more complex than anyone could have previously imagined. In a world where unisex bathrooms cause a conservative public outcry, and Caitlin Jenner’s stance on the U.S. presidential elections seems relevant, the categories of “male” and “female” and even “gay” and “straight” seem old-fashioned and reductive. Just visible on the horizon is a wave of gender variance and sexual fluidity that will remake our world in fundamental ways.

Linking science to culture and behavior, and delving into the lives of individuals challenging historic norms, Browning questions the traditional division of nature versus nurture in everything from plant science to sexual expression, arguing in the end that life consists of an endless waltz The Fate of Gender offers readers of any age new ways to understand their own and others’ identities, new ways to interpret our recent gender-bending history, and a new ability to imagine the possibilities for our new and future society.