Desmond Morris may want to consider using his keepsake premiere issue of Ms. magazine as a shield after the documentary miniseries “The Human Sexes” debuts.
Morris, who gained fame with his 1967 book “The Naked Ape,” is a zoologist who focuses on people. He takes a coolly scientific look at gender in this program on The Learning Channel and comes to this conclusion: Vive la difference.
Men and women evolved with different strengths and weaknesses, and to believe otherwise is to ignore what biology shows to be true, Morris contends in the cable channel’s six-part series, showing 9-11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.
Women, for example, will never dominate championship chess because of the nature of their brain functions, he says. Men, on the other hand, rightfully should surrender wine-making to women because of the female’s more acute sense of smell.
Among the film’s tidbits: Men are better at single-minded pursuits because they honed the skill while pursuing wild game. Women, who handled a variety of duties while remaining in the village, excel at juggling multiple tasks and are more verbal.
“If you deny those (differences) then, of course, you’re not actually being biologically appropriate for the species,” Morris said. You can fight your genetic makeup and win “but you’re giving yourself a struggle.”
Spoken like a true zoologist - but an entertaining one. His professorial air does not disguise his zest in dissecting the nature of the most complex of animals. “The Human Sexes” is packed with information without being dry.
Morris and his production crew ranged across the world to find colorful, sometimes unsettling examples of how men and women function in various countries and to record demonstrations of gender traits.