Gender and the Life Course is an interdisciplinary collection of essays on the lives of women and men as they are affected by history, culture, demography, economic and political stratification, and the biopsychological processes that attend maturation and aging. The book covers three major topics. Part I, which examines gender and the life course in broad historical perspective, includes a summary of recent work in biological ecology and primatology, and an analysis of the persistence of cultural and gender differences in role organization in societies undergoing the transition from agrarianism to industrialism. Other essays trace the changes in sources of household income of industrial workers over the life span, and review temporal and gender differences in life span transitions.Part II examines gender differentiation in a variety of contexts: psychological, psychobiologi-cal, and sociological. Alice Rossi's ASA Presidential Address reviews recent work on fathering and mothering, and argues that sociological explanations of such gender differences need supplementation by concepts from evolutionary theory and the neurosciences. Three essays deal with gender and economy: one shows how gender stratification took hold in the early stages of industrialization in France, another demonstrates the persistence of gender stratification in modern economies, the third focuses on ideology in relation to gender and political power.Part III examines various aspects of the aged in contemporary society, including an argument for an jnterpretive social science that uses diverse methods to improve our ability to describe and interpret many facets of the lives of elderly men and women; a review of the methodology used to study changes in the aged population over time; and an overview of existing data sets that permit further cohort and longitudinal analyses of the aged. The final essays review social policies as they affect the elderly, with particular attention to the fact that most very old people are women, and the impact of the greatly expanded life course for family and kin relations.Gender and the Life Course is a state-of-the-art assessment of the best work currently being done' on gender and age a's maturational factors and is essential reading for anyone interested in adult development and gender roles.