Different: What Apes Can Teach Us About Gender

23 May, 2022

Ri, 21 Albemarle St., London, W1S 4BS

Web Address



Click here to register

General Information

How different are the sexes? Is gender uniquely human? Where does gender identity originate?

Drawing on decades of observing our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, world-renowned primatologist and New York Times bestselling author Frans de Waal explores what we know of biological sex differences and of the role of culture and socialisation.

From maternal and paternal behaviour to sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of the gender binary, Frans analyses our shared evolutionary history with the apes, considering what is similar and what sets us apart.

Event type

This is a theatre event, where the speaker and audience are together in our theatre.

Price: £16 / £10 / £7 Members

This event will not be livestreamed.


Doors to the theatre will open at 6.30pm. The event will begin at 7.00pm.

Meeting organisers:

The Royal Institution


Frans de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behaviour and social intelligence of primates. His first book, ‘Chimpanzee Politics’, compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians.

Ever since, Frans has drawn parallels between primate and human behaviour, from peace making and morality to culture. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialised in animal behaviour.

Frans’ popular books – translated into twenty languages – have made him one of the world’s most visible primatologists. His latest books are ‘The Age of Empathy’ (2009), and ‘The Bonobo’ and the ‘Atheist’ (2013). Two recent edited volumes are ‘The Primate Mind’ (2012) and ‘Evolved Morality’ (2014).

Frans’ book Different: What Apes Can Teach Us About Gender is available from Amazon and all good bookstores.